Views from the Scord

Da Haaf returns

This week saw the much-anticipated return of evening meals being served at Da Haaf Restaurant in the NAFC Marine Centre.

The local eatery that has always specialised in serving quality seafood has been re-vamped to try and provide even better service for its varied lunchtime and evening clientèle and is now comprised of two separate food outlets, both run by the same team.

Restaurant manager Vicki Mordue, who has been at Da Haaf for a year, has had the vision to fully use the space available to them and visitors may be pleasantly surprised at the new layout.

A long dormant bar area in the foyer of the college building was re-opened in the first working week of this year and now functions as a coffee and snack bar, offering hot pasties, soup, sandwiches and filter coffees.

All the goods being sold are said to be freshly cooked every day and offer a wide range of options from simple BLT sandwiches to toasted paninis and filled pasties.

The transition from the previous canteen-style restaurant to this format has been a major change for the venue’s most regular customers, the sea cadets and staff. But according to Vicki the regulars have now taken to the new format and as a result are now getting better quality, healthier, good value food than they could offer before and the handiness of the foyer location has made the outlet more accessible to everyone in the centre and visitors alike.

A notable fringe benefit of this new arrangement is that anyone entering the marine centre building is now met by the friendly staff of the coffee bar, which directly faces the entrance, where before the uninitiated customer entering the spacious foyer could be left somewhat without direction.

The restaurant area itself has been altered, giving it a more spacious feel and can now offer a conventional bar facility for diners. The previous canteen style counter has been entirely replaced by a flat top bar counter and conventional table service is being offered for the first time, seeing an end to the queueing system that existed previously.

Assurances are given that the new-look venue will still have the same emphasis on fresh local fish, and the local theme is being applied to all their wares where possible. Fish is being supplied daily by Scalloway’s two most prominent fishmongers and the local butcher is supplying meat.

The head chef is Simon Allan who has worked in local hotels and restaurants for 10 or more years and he has an apparent passion for local produce.

The restaurant comfortably seats 60, but can hold up to 90 on occasion. It had been hoped that the restaurant could be re-launched at a special Burns Night supper last Friday, but the snow put paid to that plan and even the initial postponement has had to be dropped as apparently the piper was still snowed in midweek with no guarantee of a suitably-timed escape.

The next large event will be the annual Fish Fiesta held for the Fishermen’s Mission charity held on 19th March. But, as of Wednesday lunchtime this week, the restaurant will be open again for business as well as the snack bar. Children’s menus will be available and they aspire to offer high quality fresh local produce at reasonable prices.

Opening hours are limited to lunchtimes on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and evening meals will be offered on Thursday and Friday only during the winter but openings may be extended during the summer as demand dictates. The cafe in the foyer is open all day, every week-day.

The restaurant now operates as an independent part of the college under the new SIC rules to see an end to subsidised food outlets. This has been at the root of the new rationalised serving arrangements and also allows the business to widen its outlook and they are hoping to offer and cater for conferencing and similar non-college events within the marine centre.

While much may have changed in the restaurant and its operation, the old favourite dishes like battered haddock will still be available, as will the fantastic views that the premises has always enjoyed.

The re-launch of the restaurant with evening opening will hopefully put Da Haaf back where it belongs alongside the other fine eateries the village has to offer “right on the doorstep”, to benefit locals and visitors alike.

History postponed

The Burra History Group has had to postpone its Who Do You Think You Are? event planned for Sunday.

Organising the event has been hampered by the recent spell of snowy weather and the decision has been made to put it back until later this month or the beginning of next month.

The event is a chance for anyone to get together with the group’s local historians either to find out, or pass on, information about family connections and histories in the style of the recent TV series of the same name.

The new date and time for the social get together will be publicised in due course and anyone wishing to find out more in the meantime can contact Adaline Fullerton on (01595) 859 623 or Sylvia Jamieson on (01595) 859209.

Bridge-End slides

The Bridge End Outdoor Centre is having a slideshow and supper evening tonight at the centre.

The slides will feature interesting hameaboot subjects from the local area, mostly dating from the 1970s. The photos belong to David or Keith Robertson and they will be on hand to talk the attendees through the content matter.

The evening will be accompanied with a supper of soup and sandwiches. Due to the size of the hall in the centre it is stipulated that booking is essential to avoid potential disappointment. If you would like to attend please contact David Robertson on (01595) 859443 or Janice Pottinger on (01595) 859054.

Harbour activity

It was a quiet week in Scalloway Harbour with only a moderate amount of fishing vessel and aquaculture activity.

The fishing vessels Fertile, Mizpah, Valhalla, Guardian Angell, Quiet Waters and Reliance all used the port during the week up to Friday. The majority of the 1,026 box total came from the Mizpah, with two landings of 326 and 212 boxes at either end of the week, while Wednesday and Thursday saw no landings at all.

The standby vessel Grampian Conquest, which was in the port at the end of the previous week, departed early on Tuesday morning bound for the Clair oilfield west of Shetland. She was in port for a routine crew change and re-supply.

Harbour regular the Ronja Settler continues operate in the area, supplying salmon to the factory at Blacksness and mussel harvesting craft were busy again during the week, landing an estimated 38 tonnes of shellfish for shipment south.

Due in today is the huge new well-boat Victoria Viking. The Norwegian-built fish transporter, launched only last year, has a massive 1,000 cubic metres tank capacity, along with all the latest associated technology.

The owners are holding an open-day event for the salmon industry representatives to get a look around her and find out more about her capabilities today.

School magazine raises cash for Haiti

Primary seven at Scalloway Junior High School combined a class project with a noble charity gesture toward the disaster in Haiti.

The class compiled and printed a class magazine, in which each pupil designed their own page with content including top 10s, puzzles, poems, jokes and stories. The finished article was sold to other primary students and to those that attended the schools Christmas concert, with totals sales approximated at 120 copies.

From these magazine sales the class raised £150 and it was decided by the class to donate half of their profits to charity.

They chose the charity appeal for those affected by the disastrous earthquake in Haiti as many of the class had seen reports of the story on the news programme Newsround and as summed up by Autumn Leask: “The class feels terrible for the people of Haiti.”

The other half of their profits will pay for a trip for all the class to the Shetland Museum and for a Wii game for their next class project.

Mark Burgess


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