Seaside pub named UK’s top restaurant
The Sportsman, a seaside pub where the menu is on a blackboard and main dishes cost about £20 (US$26), was named UK restaurant of the year, beating some of the biggest names in British gastronomy in a Top 100 list otherwise dominated by London establishments, Bloomberg reported.
Chef Stephen Harris cooks with local produce, much of it fish caught off the coast of Kent, where The Sportsman is situated on a quiet road in Seasalter. The daily tasting menu, costing £45, may feature dishes such as lemon sole fillets with pea sauce, and angels on horseback. Several wines are offered at less than £20 a bottle.
Barrafina, a tapas bar in London’s Covent Garden, slipped to second place from first, and the Ledbury, in Notting Hill, placed third. The tasting menu at the Ledbury costs £115, while tasting menus start at £85 at Hedone, which came fourth.
Harris was working as a financial adviser when he decided to teach himself to cook. He subsequently quit his job and went to work in a professional kitchen for £8,000 a year in 1996. He took over the Sportsman in 1999 and has held a Michelin star since 2008.
Som Saa, a new Thai restaurant in East London, was named one to watch; Social Eating House won cocktail list of the year; Noble Rot triumphed for its wine list; and Pierre Koffmann received the lifetime achievement award. Phil Howard was named chefs’ chef of the year.
The Top 100 is based on the votes of more than 150 industry experts, including chefs, restaurateurs, food writers and critics,