Weymouth & Dorset your taste buds are in for a treat! As talented restauranteur & chef Mitch Tonks has opened the doors of his latest seafood restaurant Rockfish on Weymouth Esplanade in the former Dorothy’s pub. Anyone remember a night out in Dorothy’s?
On a summer’s night prior to the doors opening to the public, I was fortunate to join some of the local press for an evening of taste sampling & finding out more about Rockfish from co-founder Mitch Tonks.
Rockfish has a fantastic ethos & attitude when it comes to supporting local people & sustainability. The fish you eat will be as fresh as possible caught locally in Weymouth, so the fisherman you see bringing in the daily catch in the morning could well be on your plate by dinner time.
The work that has gone into training the staff on hospitality, learning materials, teaching them about fish is extraordinary – a lot of corporate businesses could take note. Which all goes towards visitors having a memorable Rockfish experience. There’s such a friendly vibe & willingness to demonstrate how great fish is & teach folk to not be afraid to ask questions to the waiting staff. Don’t worry we did, as we really weren’t sure how to eat skate & asked Mitch to give us a demo.
It was great listening to Mitch’s back story on how he became a chef & found his love for seafood – which included working in fashion along the way before becoming a fishmonger & opening a restaurant upstairs which Rick Stein visited.
On asking Mitch ‘why open a restaurant in Weymouth?’, I found out he used to water-ski in Weymouth Bay as a young boy & just knew he had to come back. The search for the restaurant did start by the Harbour but after experiencing it on a sunny afternoon with the suns out, guns out atmosphere, decided being by the sea was more appropriate. And what a great view it is, we were even blessed to be able to spy the majestical Black Pearl 106m yacht from our seats.
One of Mitch’s main focuses are the people that work for him & treating them like family. We loved hearing about how they’re going to introduce a 4 day working week, making working in hospitality fun & attractive. And on hearing there’s a paddleboard club & dogs are welcome in the restaurant – I was totally sold on the Rockfish ethos!
Now onto the food. We were totally spoilt in helping the restaurant with their pre launch testing, by happily taste testing some of the menu which you can find online here. Plus, if you’re a gin lover they have their own Rockfish Seafood Coast gin made by the Devon Distillery.
Rockfish Weymouth is now open. Head to the website to find out more & book your table to experience the catch of the day with a view.