North Shields fish restaurant lands a top-five nomination

The Staith House pub and restaurant at North Shields.
REF 0909149548
The Staith House pub and restaurant at North Shields. REF 0909149548

A North Shields fish restaurant has landed another accolade to add to its catch.

The Staith House has been shortlisted as a Top 5 finalist for the 2017 Seafood Restaurant of the Year competition for the second year in a line. The overall UK winner will be announced in October.

The award, presented by support group Seafish and multimedia magazine The Caterer, is designed to find the best restaurants cooking and serving seafood dishes.

The other finalists, selected after mystery dining visits, are Ninth Wave, Isle of Mull; Rocksalt, Folkestone, Kent; The Idle Rocks, St Mawes, Cornwall; The Salt Room, Brighton, West Sussex.

This year’s judges panel included Alex Aitken, chef-patron of the Jetty Restaurant in Christchurch and winner of the 2016 title; Derek Marshall, chef-owner of Gamba in Glasgow and winner of the 2015 title; Calum Richardson, owner of the Bay Fish and Chips in Stonehaven; and Giovanna Grossi, AA advisor and ambassador. José Souto, chef-lecturer at Westminster College London, and Catey winner Paul Hurren, managing director of Lusso Catering, also joined the panel.

The judges said the final five demonstrate great service, fish and shellfish species knowledge and are seen as ambassadors to other restaurants in the UK who have an ambition to sell more fish and shellfish on their menus.

Andy Gray, trade marketing manager for Seafish, said: “The competition provides a fantastic opportunity to showcase the wide range of restaurants, pubs and cafés that are excelling in providing customers with top quality fish and shellfish dining experiences.”

Alex Aitken, chef-patron of The Jetty, said: “Winning the Restaurant of the Year award last year for the care taken to serve responsibly sourced fish and shellfish meant a lot to the team – especially as the competition is judged and decided by our peers and industry experts.

“This was the perfect accolade for us to win, especially with the association and backing from Seafish UK and The Caterer. We try to be as sustainable as possible and have strict buying guidelines that our suppliers have to understand.

“We pride ourselves on attractingand retaining excellent staff who are proud of the product and service we provide. We have daily briefings before lunch and dinner service so that everyone is on the same page and they all know their species. We teach in a fun way and hold regular ‘Catch it, Cook it, Eat it’ sessions for our customers”.