Wells Crab House named Best Restaurant in Norfolk
PUBLISHED: 13:52 15 September 2018 | UPDATED: 09:21 17 September 2018
Double win for Wells Crab House in Eat Norfolk Food and Drink Awards.
Spanking fresh fish, newly lifted from the nearby harbour, and those little personal touches that matter are just a couple of the reasons Kelly and Scott Dougal say their restaurant, Wells Crab House walked away with not one, but two prizes at the recent Eat Norfolk Food and Drink Awards.
The couple, who opened the restaurant in Wells just two years ago, say they were astonished when their name was called out twice at the ceremony in Norwich on September 10.
As well as taking home Best Restaurant, the specialist seafood eatery took home Outstanding Front of House.
“We are overwhelmed,” says Kelly, who runs front of house, while Scott leads the kitchen team. “The loyalty from our staff, and team and customers has shown what we’ve achieved here is being really well received. We’re so proud to be flying the flag for north Norfolk. We were rather shocked because we were against some amazing competition.”
In the Best Restaurant category, judges sat down to plates of brown shrimp, soft shell crab, scallops with chorizo, turbot, local lobster, lemon sole, a compressed fruit salad and lemon posset.
While judge for Outstanding Front of House also tucked into lobster and lemon sole.
“They all really loved the food,” Kelly adds, “and they actually said how when they walked in it was such an inviting ambiance and they loved the décor. For us, knowing what people like and having a personality with the team and customers is important. We want to be different, going the extra mile, whether that’s having a separate fryer for customers, or putting a birthday card on a table.”
Kelly and Scott bought the restaurant in 2016 and say it was their “dream” to finally have their own place to put their stamp on. Every part of the dining space, from the décor, to the descriptions on the menu, to the menu itself, is a reflection of the couple’s passion and dedication to their “baby”.
What sets Wells Crab House apart is its creative, world influenced menu, inspired by their travels and filled with hyper-local seafood, caught so close you can almost smell the sea.
“We love to play about in the kitchen and give new things a go,” admits Scott. “From lobster and crab to mackerel, skate – whatever we can get from local fishermen. At the moment we’ve got monkfish with garlic potatoes in red wine sauce, whole baked Wells mackerel stuffed with apples and cranberries, grey mullet fillet with Thai curry broth and rainbow trout salad made with trout smoked in Norfolk over Thetford oak.”
A signature dish, says Kelly, is the lobster Thermidor – a classic, coating the shellfish in a luxurious brandy, cheese, wine and tarragon sauce. “We call it the ‘beast from the east’,” she laughs.
“Another bestseller is our scallops –people can’t get enough of them, and we always try to have crab chowder on.”
Wells Crab House is open for lunch and dinner from Tuesday to Saturday and for lunch on Sundays.