Chef and North East restaurateur Terry Laybourne is expanding his 21 Hospitality Group with the opening of his new venture – called Saltwater Fish Co.
For Fenwick this sees the welcome return of a retail fish outlet within the Food Hall; for Terry Laybourne the move reflects a return to his roots with fish and seafood, which is where he built his reputation on returning to Newcastle in the early 1980s.
Saltwater offers fast, casual seafood dining. Developed with London-based design consultancy CADA Design, there is counter seating for 23, an open kitchen, creative chefs and knowledgeable service staff.
Head chef is Chris Eagle who, up until recently, had been head chef at The Broad Chare since it opened in 2011 on The Quayside, Newcastle. Prior to that he worked at Café 21. Running the front of house and service team is Rachel Elliott, who previously worked at Caffe Vivo.
Fish will be cooked from the counter ensuring a lively, dynamic environment throughout the day. Diners will have the opportunity to see and discuss how seafood is prepared and cooked.
Joining him, heading the fishmonger is well known chef and fish specialist Ian Lowrey, who worked with Terry Laybourne when he first received his Michelin star in 1992. Prior to that, Terry and Ian worked together at the renowned Fisherman’s Lodge in Jesmond Dene.
Depending on the season and daily catches, menu choices will include freshly prepared fish, oysters from different beds, French-style fruits de mer platters, salt and pepper squid, seafood cocktail, crab sandwiches and salads. A fish focussed wine list will accompany the menu.
Terry Laybourne explained: “Our chefs will work hand in hand with the fishmonger, taking a ‘we cook what we sell, we sell what we cook’ approach. Fish is seasonal so both our fishmonger and menu will be constantly on the move, reflecting the rhythm of the season.
“We have brought together a skilled and experienced team to select the best of seasonal seafood and go wherever it takes to find the best. Our fishmonger will ensure we consistently offer the finest, highest quality seafood that comes from the fabulous larder off the North East coastline as well as other ports around the UK.”
Saltwater will be open seven days a week, 11am-7pm. There will be a daily Oyster Happy Hour from 3pm – 5pm offering favourably priced oysters and fizz.
Terry has acted as a consultant to Fenwick helping advise on the overall Food Hall redevelopment.