The Michelin-starred pub restaurant in Seasalter, which is run by chef-patron Stephen Harris, retained the number one spot at Restaurant magazine’s awards, held at The Hurlingham Club in London tonight (12 June).
Entirely self-taught, Harris is one of the few chefs in the UK to practise true terroir cooking and jokingly describes his world-famous establishment as a ‘grotty boozer by the sea’.
Air-dried hams hang in the pub’s cellar, the butter is churned in house and the team even boils down the seawater to make salt.
The Ledbury in Notting Hill came in second place in the list of the UK’s top 100 restaurants (see below for the full run down) and also took home The Service award. A Wong in Victoria in London was placed at number three while last year’s One to Watch, Som Saa, in Shoreditch, came in at number four.
The list also shows the rise of new wave Asian restaurants. From no Asian restaurants at all in last year’s top ten, there are now three (A Wong, Som Saa and Kiln). Som Saa was the One to Watch last year and is now fourth, while A Wong has jumped to third place from 19. All are casual and - relatively speaking - affordable. In the 2016 list, there were six Asian restaurants in total; in the 2017 list, there are 10, rising to 12 if you count Jikoni and Street XO, which have a considerable Asian influence.
The annual awards, which are now in their 10th year, recognise the top 100 restaurants in the UK as voted for by some 180 top chefs, restaurateurs, food writers, critics and other food experts and gastronomes.
Other award winners on the night included Jason Atherton, who was named Restaurateur of the Year, and Claude Bosi, who took home the Chefs’ Chef of the Year award. Shaun Hill, chef-patron at The Walnut Tree in Abergavenny, which was voted the Best Restaurant in Wales, was given a Lifetime Achievement award.
Chef Elizabeth Haigh, who will open her first solo project, Shibui, later this year, was named Chef to Watch.
The awards in full
The Estrella Damm National Restaurant of the Year: The Sportsman
The Service Award, sponsored by Liberty Wines and Champagne Devaux: The Ledbury
Lifetime Achievement, sponsored by Lavazza: Shaun Hill
Sustainable Restaurant of the Year, sponsored by Norwegian Seafood: Lake Road Kitchen
Gastropub of the Year, sponsored by Estrella Damm: The Sportsman
The Best Restaurant in Wales, sponsored by Hildon: The Walnut Tree
The Best Restaurant in Scotland, sponsored by Hildon: Timberyard
The Best Restaurant in Northern Ireland, sponsored by Hildon: Wine & Brine
OpenTable Fit For Foodies award: The Lickfold Inn
Restaurateur of the Year, sponsored by Aspall: Jason Atherton
Chefs’ Chef of the Year, sponsored by RitterFresh: Claude Bosi
Chef to Watch, sponsored by Harvey & Brockless: Elizabeth Haigh
Cocktail List of the Year: Hawksmoor
Wine List of the Year: Noble Rot
One to Watch, sponsored by Schweppes: Red Rooster