The campaigning restaurant guide for people who want to eat fish – sustainably
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Surveyed 23/09/2011What does this rating mean?
Brainchild of award-winning restaurateur, food writer, chef and founder of the FishWorks chain Mitch Tonks and long term friends Mark Ely and Mat Prowse. Inspired by travels in the Mediterranean, the Seahorse is located on the banks of the River Dart and specialises in local fish and meat cooked over a charcoal fire. Open Tuesday to Sunday. Yet to get a Google rating but 4.5 stars on Tripadvisor. Two courses from a la carte: about £30. Set lunch and early evening meal: 2 courses £15.00; 3 courses £20.00.
The Seahorse is all about the best in local seafood cooked over a charcoal fire. The pleasure of a simply grilled fish or a local steak cooked on the bone, charred, deep red and juicy with just a few herbs and some vegetables or salad of the season is typical of the food you will find on the menu. With the sea right outside the door the restaurant naturally specialises in local fish and shellfish and often fishermen will drop in their catch during service which it will find its way to the charcoal grill in minutes.
Mitch Tonks is wonderfully enthusiastic about fish and has a passion for serving fresh seafood. He is anxious to use locally-caught fish where possible and he knows the market in Dartmouth and the skippers of the boats. More restaurateurs would do well to follow his example. However, his choice of fish isn’t always so easily commendable. He is well aware of the issues of sustainability and makes a conscious effort to use fish from healthy stocks yet he does serve three fish at Seahorse that are on the Marine Conservation Society’s (MCS) list of fish to avoid. They are rays, plaice and brill. Both choices raise difficult questions of judgement. Rays are considered by the MCS to be depleted and therefore to be avoided. Mr Tonks only uses rays that have been caught as bycatch rather than deliberately targeted. Is it better to bin them rather than give fishermen any reward to catching them, or as they’ve already been caught is it better to eat them instead of letting them go to waste? The plaice cooked at Seahorse come from an area of the Western Channel deemed by the MCS to have such depleted stocks that the fishery is on the verge of collapse. Mr Tonks takes issue with the MCS advice and maintains that the stocks in the area his plaice come from are healthy. Brill are on the fish to avoid list largely because of the damage done to stocks by beam trawlers, though stock numbers are uncertain. Other aspects of the restaurant’s fish buying is less contentious, such as making sure customers know the types of fish they are offered and having a sustainability policy.
I cannot review this restaurant as I have not been to it yet but being Devon born & Bred I can categorically state that Dartmouth IS NOT in Cornwall it is in DEVON June 03 2010
I cannot review this restaurant as I have not been to it yet but being Devon born & Bred I can categorically state that Dartmouth IS NOT in Cornwall it is in DEVON
June 03 2010