New fish restaurant and seafood deli opening in Sudbury this summer
- Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown
Work is underway in a Suffolk market town to transform a former clothes shop into a seafood restaurant - complete with a deli takeaway selling everything from oysters in the shell to pots of smoked prawns.
Carolyn Munro, who’d been running a successful pop-up at The Granary at the Quay Theatre in Sudbury for a year prior to lockdown, is behind the venture, which replaces Anouk at 36 Station Road, near Waitrose.
Space limitations at The Granary, and the fact it’s on an upper floor, meant Carolyn was forced to look for a new location in recent months – this time for a permanent spot.
“I saw this place when it was previously up for lease but I’d only just started up and I wasn’t ready then. When it came up this time, I jumped on it! Currently we are getting all the work done. It only had a small kitchen, so we needed to move the stud walls to make it bigger. We’ve put in banquette seating. And we’re decorating every day,” she says.
Carolyn hopes to open The Fish Dish - Munro’s, which seats around 30 people, at the end of June, offering brunches, lunches and dinner in the main space, while a second door will open out to be “almost a small seafood deli and oyster bar. We’ve always offered seafood platters with a dressed crab or lobster but couldn’t have offered it all the time before. Now we can.”
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Lovers of all things from the ocean will find plenty to excite their palates – Carolyn gets pretty creative in the kitchen – but she’s also keen to encourage more diners to try fish, and will have plainer dishes and uniquely prepared plates, to get the people of Suffolk eating more seafood.
“People want convenience these days. They’re frightened of whole fish. And they’re scared of trying oily, bony fish so we want to make it easier for them. We’ll have things like marinated, deboned mackerel on kebabs with spiced potatoes, a fresh tomato salad, and courgette in sour cream- a bit like a tzatziki dip. Something that feels a bit more familiar.”
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Other examples of the chef’s culinary prowess include smoked trout salad with green mango and a dried mango dressing, bouillabaisse, sea bass fillet with samphire, quinoa and red onions, and whole fish to share.
“I really love cooking fish on the bone,” Carolyn says. “It just gives so much more flavour and retains the juices. We’d put that in the middle of the table with the side dishes for the customers to serve themselves.”
The menu will change seasonally. Something very important to the cook. “These days everything is about convenience. And I think we’ve lost our understanding of the seasons because produce is so readily available. I love to cook with seasonal produce. I know you can get mussels all-year-around, but we won’t serve them in summer because they’re not at their plump best. And Dover Sole will only be available at certain times because there are parts of the year when they’re spawning. They look good but don’t have as much to them.”
Fish, from husband David, is sourced every day from Billingsgate Market, with lunches offering seafood platters alongside two daily hot specials, and evenings a set three-course menu, with three options per course. All handmade by Carolyn where possible, including bread and even ice cream.
“I love making ice cream and we nearly always have homemade ice cream as a dessert. Eventually I’d like to have a freezer in the restaurant with our ice cream to takeaway.”
Other desserts could include vanilla cheesecake with rhubarb compote, or a fruit or chocolate tart.
Complementing the food will be a concise list of beers, soft drinks, spirits and wines, including prosecco and Champagne.