By Christine Blank, SeafoodSource contributing editor
Published on 02 December, 2012
Seafood is being featured much more significantly in U.K. restaurants, and experts expect that trend to continue in 2013.
Over the last year, sushi, sashimi and nigiri entrees rose 13.9 percent, while shellfish dish entrees increased 7.5 percent, according to foodservice consulting firm Technomic’s MenuMonitor database. Sushi chains like YO! Sushi and Asian noodle chains such as Wegamama continue to grow in popularity and expand throughout the country.
In addition, London-based K10, which serves sushi and Japanese cuisine, recently said it would open two new units by the end of 2013. “In the last few months, we have been hitting record high sales. We are up 15 percent over last year,” said Maurice Abboudi, president of K10.
While sushi is becoming increasingly popular, the fastest growing fish dishes on U.K. menus include fish platters, fish value meals, tilapia, snapper, and haddock, according to Technomic.
Technomic predicts that seafood dishes will continue to be popular in 2013, in part because there will be a surge in “standard dishes with a healthier spin,” said Lizzy Freier, associate editor for Technomic. “Not only will salmon be highlighted in dishes, but also other fish and shellfish will be paired with superfoods to create dishes with healthy positioning,” Freier said. “Superfoods” that will be added to more menus — and seafood dishes — include soy, beans, dark green vegetables, walnuts, and yogurt.
Utilizing local and sustainable seafood is also becoming much more important for U.K. consumers, according to Technomic and other experts. Bohemia Bar & Restaurant, Jersey Channel Islands, features local, line-caught Pollock, prepared with sweet-and-sour puree and hoisin sauce. In addition, the Mistley Thorn Hotel in Mistley, Manningtree, offers Griddled Local Wild Bass.
For 2013, Technomic predicts that diners will be looking for ingredients from “two extremes”: they will want entrees made with local foods along with authentic global ingredients. “Concepts that can satisfy both cravings in innovative ways will be most successful,” according to a recent Technomic report, 2013 U.K. Restaurant Trends.