Dorset Oysters was born in 2009 when Pete Miles, owner of Storm fish restaurant in Poole, cook and fisherman, couldn’t source local oysters for his own restaurant – a perplexing problem considering the area has some of the biggest oyster beds in the country. Taking matters into his own hands, Pete built up an alliance with Othniel Oysters, whose oyster farm in Poole Harbour now provides Pete with the high quality pacific oysters that go straight to Dorset Oysters’ depuration plant just 3 miles away, where they, along with local clams, cockles and mussels, are purified and sent to some of the top restaurants in the UK.
Dorset Oysters uses the U.V. method of purifying its shellfish, ensuring their superior taste and texture are not compromised. This outstanding quality that has led to them being the shellfish providers of choice for top restaurants and chefs such as Mark Hix, Bentleys, River Cafe, Sheekys, Wright Bros Wholesalers and The Chewton Glen. However, you don’t have to be a top chef to experience the best; through their website www.dorsetoysters.com anyone can order small or large quantities of oysters and shellfish, delivered to their door.
With the success of Dorset Oysters firmly under his belt, Pete has now decided the time is right for launching a new venture, which will merge his passion for great food and the best shellfish, accompanied by a selection of fine wine, champagnes, cocktails and premier beers.
The venture, aimed at drawing together these key elements, is ‘The Cruel Sea Bar,’ based in cosmopolitan Penn Hill. During the day, the bar doubles as a bespoke fishmonger, where you can buy reliably fresh oysters, fish and shellfish, and by lunchtime turns into a friendly atmospheric bar, where lovers of great food and drink can come together to relax or do business, whilst enjoying a simple taster menu of tapas style dishes.
“During the day, we want to offer people the opportunity to buy the best and freshest seafood in the area,” explained Pete Miles. “It will be prepared by our experienced staff however the customer wants – be it simply half a dozen oysters or fruits de mer for two, or the catch of the day prepared with a recommended sauce all ready for you to take away and just pop in the oven back home. By lunchtime our set up transforms into a place where people can come to enjoy oysters, lobsters and fish; tapas style, with a glass of wine and a good ale.”