Three restaurants from the region are to battle it out to have the official 2018 Year of the Sea dish for North East Wales.

Over the last four weeks, 12 restaurants and cafes in the region have served up their interpretations of the classic fish and chips with a twist or their surf and turf dishes – all taking inspiration from the ‘Year of the Sea’ theme and working with local producers where possible.

After receiving the reports from mystery diners, the Fat Boar Wrexham, the Royal Oak Bangor on Dee and Gales in Llangollen have been selected as the three finalists to cook their dish for a panel of judges tomorrow at Hafod Restaurant, Coleg Cambria.

The Fat Boar’s 18oz bone in Celtic pride ribeye, giant crab claws and Perl las sauce proved very popular with diners while the Royal Oak’s ‘surf and slurp’ dish featuring braised pork and mussels was also a hit.  

Gales in Llangollen also edged into the top three with a surf and turf dish featuring Pen y Lan pork belly, saffron mash, American sauce, langoustine and a quail’s egg.

After the dishes have been served on Friday – an invited panel of judges will choose a winning dish and the head chef will receive a trophy, along with the chance to serve up their dish at food festivals later in the year and feature in national press about Wales’ food scene.

The challenge has been backed by the Welsh Governments Regional Tourism Engagement Fund (RTEF) following the success of food challenges in previous years.

Speaking about the finalists, Wrexham Council destination manager Joe Bickerton, part of the North-East Wales Marketing team, said: “We have three fantastic dishes competing in the cook-off on Friday.  

“Ultimately though, the team wants to acknowledge the collective efforts that all of the 12 eateries have put in over the last month to work with local producers, celebrate the Year of the Sea and deliver an outstanding welcome to their diners – many of whom visited to try the dishes and will hopefully keep supporting these independent businesses.”

Pictures: Ginger Pixie Photography