The National Restaurant Awards 2015

The National Restaurant Awards 2015

by Izzy Burton 30 June 2015

Only weeks after The World’s 50 Best, Restaurant Magazine brings our attention back towards the British food scene to celebrate the 100 best restaurants in the UK for 2015.

Izzy studied Classics at Glasgow University, and nearly gave up writing altogether after reading Terence, who observed that 'nothing has been said that has not been said before' over 2,000 years ago. She persevered, however, and started writing about food, combining a lifetime love of eating and tricolons.

Izzy studied Classics at Glasgow University, and nearly gave up writing altogether after reading Terence, who observed that 'nothing has been said that has not been said before' over 2,000 years ago. She persevered, however, and started writing about food, combining a lifetime love of eating and tricolons.

As Stefan Chomka, editor of Restaurant Magazine and our host for the evening, emphasised at the very start of the night the National Restaurant Awards aim to represent all aspects of the British culinary scene - the old, the new and the different. Winners are voted for by industry professionals - chefs, critics and restaurateurs alike - with the only stipulation on nominations being that the person voting must have dined that restaurant within the last twelve months. Such fluid criteria always results in a fascinating run down of restaurants, all of whom offer a unique and impressive dining experience whether it be with white tables cloths in the country’s capital or on driftwood decks along the shores of Cornwall.

In addition to the top 100 countdown, there are a number of key awards that recognise outstanding performance in certain areas. Paul Ainsworth's No.6 in Padstow was recognised for the superb service of its front of house staff, while Bruno Loubet's Grainstore won for most sustainable restaurant, an award backed by the Sustainable Restaurant Association and bound to be a source of pride for the chef given his dedication to ethical eating.

Nuno Mendes and his team scooped two awards across as many restaurants, with the Chiltern Firehouse being recognised for Best Cocktail List and his latest venture, Portuguese diner Tabernado do Marcado, being tipped as Restaurant Magazine’s One to Watch.

Graham Hornigold
Graham Hornigold, whose restaurant Yauatcha came in at number 64
When mere nibbles just won't do: lucky guests lined their stomachs with Dungarvan rock oysters before the ceremony

Unsurprisingly London restaurants made the list a few times and there was more than one Bray-based restaurant in the top 100, but the regions were also well recognised. Shaun Hill’s The Walnut Tree was awarded Best Welsh Restaurant, while Restaurant Andrew Fairlie received the Best Scottish Restaurant award and Harry’s Shack in Portstewart scooped Best Restaurant in Northern Ireland.

The title of Chef's Chef, a true representation of where everyone of wants to dine (not to mention who every chef wants to be), was handed to seafood aficionado Nathan Outlaw, who has recently reopened his eponymous restaurant in Port Isaac. In a particular coup for the South West Rick Stein was honoured with the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award. Emotions ran high as Stein - who was, incidentally, Nathan Outlaw’s culinary mentor - received a standing ovation as he collected his award.

The UK's Top 100 Restaurants

1. Barrafina Adelaide Street, London (National Restaurant and Best Spanish Restaurant)

2. The Sportsman, Seasalter, Kent (Gastropub of the Year)

3. The Ledbury, London

4. Gymkhana, London (Best Indian Restaurant)

5. The Hand and Flowers, Marlow, Buckinghamshire

6. Lyle’s, London

7. L’ Enclume, Cartmel, Cumbria

8. Restaurant Sat Bains, Nottingham

9. The Dairy, London

10. Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, London (Highest Climber)

11. The Clove Club, London

12. Hedone, London

13. Restaurant Story, London

14. The Walnut Tree, Abergavenny, Monmouthshire (Best restaurant in Wales)

15. The Palomar, London

16. Kitty Fisher’s London

17. Fera at Claridge’s, London

18. Paul Ainsworth at No.6, Padstow, Cornwall (The Service Award)

19. Casamia, Bristol

20. Restaurant Nathan Outlaw, Port Isaac, Cornwall

21. Dishoom King’s Cross, London

22. The Seahorse, Dartmouth, Devon

23. A Wong, London

24. 64 Degrees Brighton, Brighton

25. Maltby Street, London

26. Zucca, London (Best Italian Restaurant)

27. Belmond Le Manoir Aux Quat’Saisons, Great Milton, Oxfordshire

28. Restaurant Andrew Fairlie, Auchterarder (Best Restaurant in Scotland)

29. Midsummer house, Cambridge

30. Sticky Walnut, Chester

31. Kitchen Table at Bubbledogs, London

32. Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, London

33. The Square, London (Wine List of the Year)

34. The Quality Chop House, London

35. Pizarro, London

36. The River Café, London

37. The Salt Room, Brighton

38. Social Eating House, London

39. Hibiscus, London

40. Honey & Co, London

41. Northcote, Blackburn, Lancashire

42. The Chilli Pickle, Brighton

43. Grain Store, London (Sustainable Restaurant of the Year)

44. Le Gavroche, London

45. Hawksmoor Air Street, London

46. The Kitchin, Edinburgh

47. The Ox, Bristol

48. Wild Honey, London

49. Scott’s London

50. Sushi Tetsu, London

Awards aside, one of the real winners of the evening was the Txogitxu beef, taken from plump 18 year old cows
Nuno Mendes
Nuno Mendes risking a singed beard to get a closer look at the steaks, which were merely salted and served blue to bring out their rich, juicy flavour

51. The Raby Hunt, Darlington, Co. Durham

52. Castle Terrace, Edinburgh

53. The Pass, Lower Beeding, West Sussex

54. The Hardwick, Abergavenny, Monmouthshire

55. Ametsa by Arzak Instruction, London

56. The Hinds Head, Bray Berkshire

57. Pollen Street Social, London

58. Pitt Cue, London

59. Quo Vadis, London

60. Lardo, London

61. Porthminster Beach Café, St Ives, Cornwall

62. House of Tides, Newcastle

63. The Waterside Inn, Bray, Berkshire

64. Yauatcha, London

65. Berners Tavern, London

66. Chiltern Firehouse, London (Cocktail List of the Year)

67. The Coach, Marlow, Buckinghamshire

68. Monachyle Mhor, Lochearnhead, Perthshire

69. The Old Stamphouse, Ambleside, Cumbria

70. Duck & Waffle, London

71. The Typing Room, London

72. The Kingham Plough, Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire

73. The Elephant, Torquay, Devon

74. Brawn, London

75. Le Champignon Sauvage, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire

76. Koffmanns, London

77. Lake Road Kitchen, Ambleside, Cumbria

78. Marcus, London

79. Tyddyn Llan, Llandrillo, Corwen

80. Wright’s Food Emporium, Llanarthne, Carmathenshire

81. Y Polyn, Capel Dewi, Carmarthen

82. Murano, London

83. Otto’s London

84. Ox and Finch, Glasgow

85. Hakkasan Mayfair, London

86. Harry’s Shack, Portstewart (Best Restaurant in Northern Ireland)

87. Carters of Moseley, Birmingham

88. Purnell’s, Birmingham

89. MEATLiqour ,London

90. Shu, Belfast

91. Restaurant Martin Wishart, Edinburgh

92. Lido, Clifton, Bristol

93. The French, Manchester

94. The Fat Duck, Bray, Berkshire

95. Little Social, London

96. The Scran & Scallie, Edinburgh

97. Antidote, London

98. Manchester House, Manchester

99. The Wild Rabbit, Kingham, Oxfordshire

100. St John, London