Prison restaurant scoops top 10 award for fine dining

Published Monday, Oct 19 2015, 19:00 BST  |  By  |  Add comment
Prison grub isn't the first cuisine that springs to mind when you think of fine dining.

But a restaurant staffed by prisoners, and stationed just outside the prison walls, has been voted one of the country's top 10 dining venues.

The Clink Restaurant in Cardiff, beat the restaurants of celeb chefs like Gordon Ramsay and Jamie Oliver in the poll.

Michelin-starred Le Manoir aux Quat'Saison in Oxfordshire came third in the 2015 Travellers' Choice Restaurants Awards – which used Tripadvisor reviews to decide the winner.

The Clink Restaurant in Cardiff is staffed by prisoners

© The Clink Restaurant

Diners must pass a security check before booking

Of the 946 eateries in Cardiff, The Clink was voted the best in the city.

Category D inmates in Cardiff and Prescoed are paid £14 to work a 40-hour week in the 96-seater restaurant.

Although all diners will have to pass a security check when booking the table, when they arrive at the prison they won't need to be patted down and searched.

The innovative rehabilitation scheme has seen three other prisoner-run restaurants open in HMP Brixton in London, HMP Styal in Cheshire and HMP High Down in Surrey.

For just £14.95 you can order a loin of venison with venison tortelloni, textures of artichoke and confit potato.

Customers described The Clink's 30 employees as "friendly and informative".

The Daily Mirror reported the restaurant has helped to bring down reoffending rates.

James Kay, for TripAdvisor, told the newspaper: "Given how competitive the UK restaurant industry is, the fact that The Clink Restaurant is the only winning Welsh restaurant demonstrates the incredibly high standard of food and service that the team consistently delivers to customers."

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