Sustainable Award for Olley's!
Olley’s scoop top sustainable fish awards
Sustainable fish awards have been given to foodservice and retail businesses to mark this year’s World Ocean’s Day.
Olley’s Fish Experience in Herne Hill, London has been awarded Best MSC Restaurant Menu this year, as owner Harry Niazi was recognised for the most effective use of his restaurant’s certification.
George Clark from the MSC says: “Harry uses an incredible range of MSC certified seafood which forms a large proportion of his menu, using a minimum of seven species throughout the year, including some MSC certified dishes for the specials menu. Harry is passionate about serving a wide choice of MSC certified sustainable fish and shellfish always on the lookout for more!”
Harry Niazi said: “I’m delighted to receive this award, it’s great to highlight the fantastic range of MSC certified seafood that can be sourced and I’d like to thank the help and support of my excellent MSC certified suppliers! I’m always looking for quality certified seafood to introduce, which gains very positive feedback from my customers. I gather as much information and latest news as I can from Matthew Couchmann’s “The Fish and Seafood Daily”, and from online resources such as the MSC, the SRA, Seafish, MCS and M&J Seafoods. My fish suppliers, Simon Smales at Smales of Hull and Matthew from Southbank fresh fish are always proactive, informing and educating me on the latest and best sustainable species available.”
See the full story on MSC.org June 2015
Olley's Fish Experience
SUSTAINABILITY SUCCESS - by Matt Couchman, 2014
It has been a over year since I launched the Southbank Sustainable Initiative and its very first partner, and in some respects project, Olleys Fish Experience in Herne Hill, South London, has finally fitted the last part of the jigsaw to their Sustainability pledge. Owner Harry Niazi was initially approached by the London Aquarium after being featured in an Evening Standard article lazily named ‘London’s 5 Most Sustainable Fish and Chip shops’. In reality none of the featured restaurants were anything close to being sustainable so Harry sought assistance from me, a previous volunteer at the London Aquarium, to help him understand the complexities of the subject, educate him and his team, and achieve the ultimate ambition of improving their sustainable offer to one of the UK’s finest.
Some major alterations had to be made to the menu including the move from wild halibut to farmed, the removal of swordfish, shifting from a cheap mass produced Bangladesh tiger prawns to an wild MSC Spencer Gulf king prawn and a change from generic farmed salmon to an RSPCA freedom food monitored Loch Duart option and then a further move to Organically farmed salmon when available. Additionally an in-depth analysis was needed into all the offered products which would allow staff at Olley’s to nurture their understanding of the subject so they could successfully relay information to the diners when questioned. Conveying correct information to the diner can be as important as the change in purchasing mentality. The integrity of wholesale changes to the menu, reflected in the buying patterns, has to be presented accurately to the pubic and must coupled with continued updates. We can now see on the Olley’s menu MSC cod & Haddock, MSC Queen scallops from the Isle of Man and MSC King Scallops from Canada, MSC Cornish Sardines, MSC North Atlantic cold water prawns and much more. Olley’s have one of the most concise descriptive offers of seafood information available to the UK diner which is updated regularly taking into consideration changes in availability and sustainability ratings of all products. A year on Olley’s Fish Experience have achieved the Sustainable Restaurant Association 3* rating, the highest accolade, has Marine Stewardship Council accreditation, was highly commended at the 2013 Sea fish Authority’s Fish and Chip awards ‘good catch’ category and has attained a 4.5/5 award from sustainable seafood rating organisation fish2fork, equalling the highest award given to any restaurant in the country. All this is especially impressive considering the vast selection of seafood on offer at Olley’s. Many high profile restaurants championed by industry as leaders in seafood sustainability only have few items of seafood on the menu and on some occasions only 1; Olley’s have over 20 which is as challenging as any menu in the UK. Harry and his team at Olley’s are a fabulous example of what can be achieved by a restaurant with determination and a vision and who are, most importantly, willing to learn through guidance and education.