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Native: The finest fruits of the sea

Native is fishmonger J H Mann’s newest venture, and if you’re a fan of seafood then you’re in for a real treat.

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Having opened its doors in May, Native is a dedicated fresh fish and seafood restaurant sitting snugly in Shalesmoor, just opposite Shakespeares. I had the pleasure of dining there a few weeks ago and was blown away by the extensive menu of seasonal dishes, and the fabulous flavours. Combine those elements with a spacious, airy venue and friendly, down-to-earth service, and you’ve got yourself a winner. I chatted to JH Mann and Native owner, Christian Szurko, to hear more about this new gem in Sheffield’s dining crown.

First things first, can you tell us a bit about yourself and about your new venture, Native?

We’ve been based in Sheffield for a long time now with J H Mann Fishmongers on Sharrow Vale, and I’ve been a chef for over 30 years, so it’s amazing to see those two passions come together in Native.

It's something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. It's an extension of the shop, where we also serve food, but this solely focuses on producing more of a restaurant environment. I opened Native because there aren’t any fish-based restaurants in Sheffield, and over lockdown, it gave me time to think about what I wanted to achieve and where to go next with the J H Mann brand. Gibraltar Street is an up-and-coming area, and we hope that the restaurant will be a great addition.

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Native is the only dedicated fresh fish and seafood restaurant, not just in Sheffield but in the whole of South Yorkshire. How have customers been responding since you opened in May?

Everyone has been really positive and just generally excited to have a fish-based restaurant in Sheffield. There’s no one else doing what we’re doing and that’s what makes us stand out. We’re thrilled to see so many people who are really passionate about fish and seafood. A lot of customers are already fans of the fishmongers and know us through that, but it's been really nice to see more people being introduced to new and exciting produce that they might have never thought about trying until seeing it here.

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You've repurposed your downstairs dining room into an art space for new and upcoming artists. Who can we look forward to seeing in The Glory Hole?

We have local Sheffield street artist Game Over starting from 21st July; his launch event will be held on the 27th. He has already painted a huge mural on the side of our building called ‘Lucky Angel Wings’ for when we first opened so we’re really excited to see what else he can bring to Native.

We’ve also got Charles Major, an artist mainly specialising in drawn pieces, from 6th September to 17th October, and the artist Yasmina from 25th October to 5th December.

We’re still looking for artists to join us in the new year. You can send your work to nativesheffield@gmail.com if you’d like the opportunity to display at Native.

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What are your priorities in terms of Native's menu?

We are passionate about fresh, local produce that is native to British shores as much as possible. We source only the finest fish and seafood and our main priority is serving good quality food. We’re constantly changing the menu and introducing new elements and creative dishes so that every time someone visits they’ll have the opportunity to try something new and different.

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And finally, for someone visiting Native for the first time, what would be your top picks from the menu?

Our menu changes every 1–3 days depending on what’s in season and what we can get our hands on, so our top picks change on a daily basis. From the sample menu, we’d suggest the roasted octopus and mashed potato with nduja and anchovy dressing, the grilled tiger prawns with chilli, garlic and lime, and the hand-dived roast scallops in the shell with garlic, herb and parmesan breadcrumbs. They’re our bestsellers, but we’d recommend it all!

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