EACH morning at dawn Brian Mortell and wife Maggie wake up and take delivery of a fresh catch of fish before deboning them, ready for public consumption.
And his hard work has paid off, for Mortell’s Delicatessan and Restaurant in Roches Street has been accepted onto the prestigious BIM Seafood Circle for the third year running.
The restaurant was accepted onto the list, backed by the Irish Sea Fisheries Board, which recognises and awards hospitality and retail businesses that consistently deliver the highest standards of seafood and service to their customers. Mortell’s is the only outlet in Limerick to be listed in the top guide.
In order to win the prize, Mortell’s was visited by a mystery shopper who inspected the delicatessan on the quality and presentation of its fish.
Asked what he felt earned him the place, Brian - whose family have been in the fish industry since 1841 - said it is because they use Irish fish caught on a daily basis.
“We use fresh produce: we have a policy of no capture, no garlic, and no freezing. It is fresh on the day it is delivered. We buy the fish directly, fillet it and pin bone it. It is quite a lot of work,” he admits.
At the moment, the restaurant has cod, haddock, black sole, mussels and gurnard. But, Brian says this changes by the season. They had prawns on sale last week, for example.