'I never thought we'd win' - Waterfront restaurant scoops prestigious award

Ipswich Waterfront's Bistro on the Quay was named the best bistro or café in the East

Ipswich Waterfront's Bistro on the Quay was named the best bistro or café in the East - Credit: Charlotte Bond

The owner of Ipswich Waterfront's Bistro on the Quay has revealed he was surprised to discover his restaurant had picked up a prestigious regional award.

The Wherry Quay eatery has scooped the best bistro/café prize in the East of England category in The Food Awards 2022.

It is the latest success for the popular spot on the marina, which Ipswich Star readers voted the best place to eat in the town last autumn.

Owner and operator Julien Jourdain said: "It feels amazing to have won. It was pretty surprising, we didn't know until it was announced.

The Bistro on the Quay is located on the Ipswich Waterfront

The Bistro on the Quay is located on the Ipswich Waterfront - Credit: Anthony and Cathy Brooks

"We went up to the awards ceremony in Manchester and went up on stage. I took my head chef and restaurant manager — we had a blast.

"I never thought we'd win, not in a million years. We do it out of passion, it is organic. 

"It's never been my thing to chase awards, I want customers to be happy, that's the main and only goal."

Julien Jordain, owner of Bistro on the Quay, which has been shortlisted for a national award

Julien says his success is down to his talented and hardworking staff - Credit: Charlotte Bond

Speaking about the secret to his success, Mr Jourdain said: "We have an amazing location, and a fantastic team of talented chefs, front of house staff, head chefs and managers. 

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"We look after all the customers and try to have fun — we're not too formal. It's all about the ambience, good food, good wine, and good laughs."

Julien owner of Bistro on the Quay has just opened a new wine shop and bar for customers to drink in

The upstairs wine boutique is a key part of the Bistro on the Quay experience - Credit: Charlotte Bond

He added the Wine Boutique, located above the restaurant, is a big part of the Bistro on the Quay experience, and with more than 100 to choose from there will be something that matches every meal. 

Mr Jourdain said: "My favourite starter is the duck liver parfait, its absolutely stunning, while for mains, the raclette is fun— the amount of cheese is obscene. 

"I'd recommend pairing it with the Saint Emillion."

The Mariners on the Ipswich Waterfront.

The Mariners restaurant on Ipswich Waterfront - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

The restauranteur added that the next big plan for him involved his other Waterfront restaurant, Mariners, which is based on a former Belgian navy customs cutter.

He said: "In about two years, we'll be taking Mariners out of the water. It will be a lot of work, the ship is massive. 

"She is 120 years old, served in both world wars, and was sunk by the Germans" he added with pride.  

"I'd like to thank my hardworking and dedicated staff and our amazing customers, who came back after Covid and allow us to do what we do best."