Fish City Belfast shines light on Sustainability, Traceability and Local Produce

The award-winning Fish City Belfast welcomed guests to the launch of their ‘Healthy Options Menu’ on 1st March with key speaker Christopher Elliott, Professor of Food Safety and founder of the Institute for Global Food Security at Queen’s University Belfast.

John and Grainne Lavery of Fish City have a unique dining experience in the heart of Belfast’s city centre. Embracing a sustainable approach to sourcing, this fish & chip restaurant and take away is exceptional in its commitment to healthy eating and full traceability.

Fish City aims to change people’s perceptions of the fish and chip industry and believes in full transparency, which is why they have published the calorie and nutritional content of all their dishes on their extensive menu.

Welcoming guests to the launch, owner John Lavery shared his vision by stating, “we at fish city have a strong ethos on sustainability, traceability and nutrition. We have a solid commitment to these beliefs which have won us numerous awards and accreditations nationally and internationally in our sustainable and environment practices, healthy eating, food quality and marketing.

“Tonight is about bringing our partners together and showcasing the flavours in our new menu. We aim to develop new opportunities promoting fish, supporting tourism and our local economy”.

Guest speaker Professor Elliott stated, “the concept of Fish City is absolutely in keeping with reconnecting people with what they eat.” He continued, “To understand that fish is delicious and nutritious but also sustainable and traceable is incredibly important.”

John continued by stating, “great care is taken in preparing our own batter, ensuring it is light and full of flavour. Every portion of fish is cooked to perfection and everything is homemade, from tartar sauce to our mushy peas and sauces.

“By partnering with MCS and by being the first restaurant in Northern Ireland to be MSC Certified allows us to trace species of fish from ocean to plate. This ensures they are from healthy sustainable stocks safeguarding our oceans for future generations.

“We have a strict policy guide available to the public, highlighting our commitment to only serve fish from sustainable waters. We must support sustainable fishing to ensure fish stocks can be maintained for future generations, meaning that if we catch it, it must be easily replaced,

“We are pleased that the waters around Northern Ireland are fast approaching sustainable levels. We would hope that the exit of the EU does not threaten this approach by our local fisheries and reach

Sharon Macala of Food NI seen here at the launch of the award winning Fish City’s Healthy Options Menu in their restaurant on 1st March 2017, along with Chairman Jonathan McKee and Manager Nicola Kelly of the RNLI fundraising team. @fishcitybelfast

the target of sustainable levels.

“According to MCS’s ‘“Consumers can help reduce the strain on certain species by demanding that the fish they eat comes from sustainably managed stocks and is caught or farmed in a way that causes minimal damage to the marine environment and other wildlife.”’ We at Fish City strongly believe this and we have introduced new fish species, including ‘Red fish’, a recently MSC certified species which is beautifully sweet and tender. We are one of the few restaurants in N.Ireland to have this fish on our menu.

“We decided that we could do more to promote the issues and challenges faced by our fishermen and supply chain. Professor Christopher Elliott who is a world-renowned expert in sustainability kindly accepted our invitation to come along to speak with chefs and likeminded food experts, including guests from SeafishUK, NI Good Food, Tourism Northern Ireland and the Food Standards Agency are just a few of the guests attending.

“Speaking on the provenance of our fish, Professor Elliott commended us on our efforts. We always aim to provide new experiences for our customers, while maintaining the high level of stable favourites such as the great ‘Fish & Chips’!”

Tara Cunningham of IslandSky, Organiser of Event Launch ‘Healthy Options Menu’ for the award winning Fish City Belfast, seen here with owners Grainne and John Lavery and Fiona Quinn Designtek 

Dr Lynn Gilmore of Seafish N. Ireland who attended the launch said, “Healthy and sustainable seafood is key to John and Grainne’s innovative business and offering to their customers. This event has showcased their new Healthy Options Menu as well as new opportunities on the horizon. It has been a great success as Fish City continues to flourish.”

While John focuses on the high quality of all fish and produce prepared by his team, Grainne manages front of house and welcomes customers to the restaurant, stating: “We are keen to promote fish and chips as one of the most nutritionally balanced takeaway options in the UK.

“We are customer focused and customer lead and one of our many success stories is to have our menus translated into different languages, supporting our local community as well as our tourism industry. Tonight, has been a huge success in bringing together like minded people both local and from around the UK.”

John and Grainne Lavery are unique on their take on the industry. Constantly breaking new ground in research and development, investigating new ways to showcase the best our fish industry can deliver and how we as consumers have other options when we go out to eat. Fish City aims to encourage the next generation of chip shop and restaurant owners to understand why using local suppliers and sustainable fishing practices matter. For more information on Fish City Belfast go to or @fishcitybelfast.