Harry’s Shack in Portstewart is no stranger to picking up accolades, however, Donal Doherty was more than delighted with the news that the north coast restaurant was one of only two from Northern Ireland named in the prestigious Sunday Times Top 100.
The list, which features in monthly food magazine The Dish, is compiled by a judging panel which includes Jamie Oliver, who writes a column for the magazine, Antonio Carluccio and Nick Jones, the founder of Soho House.
Harry’s Shack, set on the entrance to Porstewart Strand has wowed locals, visitors and critics alike since it opened in 2014 and the news of its inclusion in the Sunday times Top 100 came out of the blue to owner Donal.
“I wasn’t expecting this news today, it’s a bit of a surprise but it’s great,” said Donal.
“The Sunday Times is such a quality paper and to be included is just brilliant for us.
“I know who it was who came to judge us and its fantastic to get these nice people come to eat in your restaurant.
“The gentleman in question came in August last year and that night he had Brill on the bone served up to him with nice vegatables from the garden with our own salad leaves, it was as local as you can get given to him on a plate with that nice view and I have to say he loved it. He loved the setting, he loved the food and he contacted me afterwards because he enjoyed it so much.
“He said never in his life has he driven on to a beach and walked into a shack for a lovely piece of fish. He was absolutely blown away by it and this guy travels all over reviewing places and it is great to get that sort of feedback from that calibre of people.
“This guy had visited lots of places all over Northern Ireland but he happened to love Harry’s Shack and we are delighted.
“People love the Shack, never in our wildest dreams did we think people would love it as much as they do. It is unique as is the north coast in general and we love it.
“From day one I have tried to put my finger on what makes it so special - the beach works, the view works, the food works, everything works.”