Colmans Seafood Temple has opened its doors to offer a new seafood experience in its home town of South Shields.
From May 26th, the unique, family restaurant, housed in the historic landmark ‘Ghandi’s Temple’ will provide a broad range of high-quality seafood dishes and a cocktail and oyster bar, alongside traditional fish and chips, to eat in or takeaway.
I was lucky enough to be invited to the industry launch before the official opening to see for myself the beginning of a new era for the Ord family.
As we got within a few hundred yards of the building our fellow ‘taxi’ passengers (thanks Mathew Williams) were already admiring this new iconic building from afar.
A fifth-generation family of fish friers, the site sits proudly adjacent to where it all began for the Ord family. As we went in and climbed the stairs the gathered group of industry experts all looked on in awe at the finished project that had been a few years in the planning. At one end based within the columns of the old temple sits a beautiful cocktail bar, at the other a sea facing restaurant with views across the golden sun lit sands.
We were treated to an abundance of tasty dishes from the new menu including oysters, salmon, crab and mini fish cakes and of course a selection of drinks to toast the evening. The food was delivered from the Temple engine room the kitchen on a regular basis with the chefs and staff getting to grips with a completely new set up and passing with flying colours.
The quality of the design, fixtures, branding, staff and of course food and drink was incredible. The Temple has been born out of a desire to breed a new life to South Shields and Richard Ord and family have done this with a sense of equanimity.
With the opening of the new seafood restaurant, Colmans is creating more than 40 jobs within the local area, to cover all aspects of the business. As well as the restaurant it will also serve fish and chip from the takeaway downstairs.
Newly appointed General Manager, Alex Vladoiu, has joined Colmans with nine years of industry experience and is keen to provide a different type of seaside experience for customers.
She said: “Colmans Seafood Temple will be different to every other fish and chip restaurant in the North East, because as well as featuring fish and chips, it will offer a range of local and sustainable seafood and will host a small plates seafood bar serving cocktails.
“The restaurant sells itself, thanks to the fabulous building and location, so we’re looking forward to welcoming seafood worshippers to enjoy not only the delicious dishes, but also some unrivalled views of the North East coastline.
Following in the footsteps of the Ocean Road restaurant, Colmans Seafood Temple will operate a strict environmental policy by converting all waste oil to biofuel and using KFE high energy efficient frying ranges and equipment.
The restaurant is planning to become MSC certified, meaning the seafood stocked comes from a sustainable source, a factor which is very important for Colmans’ owner, Richard Ord.
He said: “We are passionate about using locally sourced produce with fishing being such a large part of the local economy, plus they are also some of the best quality ingredients you can get.”
Richard is delighted with the support the whole community has given to the new venture, especially towards the refurbishment of Ghandi’s Temple.
He added: “Originally built in the 1920s, the temple had fallen into disrepair. We’re thrilled to be able to restore the landmark to its former glory for future generations to enjoy.”