The owner of two of Wales’s leading chip shops is to open the country’s biggest fish and chip restaurant.
Mathew Williams, who owns The Crispy Cod in Tonyrefail and Gelli, has plans to open a 200-seater fish and seafood restaurant by the end of the year after buying The Bute Arms pub in Pontyclun near Cardiff.
Called Rock and Scallop, the restaurant will serve traditional fish and chips alongside a range of grilled fish and seafood. The menu will include locally sourced Welsh produce while fish will be sustainably sourced predominately from day boats from around the UK coast including Peterhead in Scotland and Brixham in Devon.
Commenting on the new venture, Mathew says: “I want to do something to stand out from the crowd and that uses my chef experience. There’s nothing really like this in Wales, so I want to be the man to create that concept.
“We’ll specialise in fresh fish, the aim is that less than 24 hours from leaving the sea it will be on the menu. The menu will change twice a week and will be quite simple, modern cooking. I want to let the food do the talking.”
Ryan Hughes, who currently manages the Tonyrefail takeaway, will stay on and take over running the Gelli site, allowing Mathew to relocate to the new restaurant.
Mathew adds: “I opened my second shop just under a year ago so it’s not the ideal time to be doing something like this, but if I don’t do it now, I never will. I really want to push forward and do something different.”
Rock and Scallop will take on 30-40 new staff and will also serve cocktails, champagne and a selection of wines.