Meeting up with one of my groups of friends is always fraught with panic because one of them is.......a vegetarian! Growing up in South Africa, a carnivores paradise, it is fair to say that I love meat, so it is with some trepidation that it is left to me to pick a venue. Where to go that would accommodate the veggie (who eats fish)? Earlier this year, I dined at New Street Grill and part of the same D&D development at the Old Bengal Warehouse near Liverpool Street is the restaurant we decided on, Fish Market.
Walking into the restaurant it is starkly lit and decorated in a stereotypically nautical theme. We're welcomed warmly and once seated we were left with the extensive menu to peruse. Three of the four of us decided on the set menu - a bargainous £19.50 for 3 courses!
To start I chose the Cornish sardines on toast with a Bloody Mary ketchup. Two beautiful fillets of sardine on a nicely charred slice of ciabatta. The Bloody Mary ketchup tasted a bit more like a BBQ sauce. It's not something I would've ever thought to put with sardines, but I really enjoyed this element of the dish.
I then chose baked cod with a white bean and chorizo stew. It's a combination that I love (actually I love chorizo with almost anything!) but I think the strong smokiness of the sausage works well with the relatively plain flavour of cod. And as expected, I really liked this dish. The fish was expertly cooked and the white bean stew full of flavour. I'm just not sure what the green sludge was, it brought nothing to the dish other than a bit of colour.
Desserts were unfortunately a bit of a let down. One chose the bitter chocolate pot with coffee cream, which came in a really good size kilner jar. Another chose the cheese board from the main menu and the rest chose the cheese from the set menu. It was advertised as Keen's cheddar with water biscuits and grapes, but what arrived was the measliest slice of blue cheese I have ever seen! It was quickly rectified when we pointed it out, but it really was very disappointing. There was no chutney/relish to go with it either and most people will know how dry water biscuits can be. I know that restaurants normally charge a supplement for a cheese board on a set menu and perhaps this is something that Fish Market should consider in order to make this course more appetising.
|As a comparison - this is the cheese that came with the main menu|
Our evening had very mixed reviews from the group. I enjoyed two of my courses very much, but it was let down by the disappointing cheese plate. Service was just as mixed, it seemed that the left hand didn't know what the right hand was doing. I'm not sure I could convince the girls to go back, although I would be inclined to give it one more go.
The total bill for 4 including 2 bottles of wine and service charge came to £171.56.
Next up STFF will be on tour in Dublin!
Until we eat again!
16 New Street, London EC2M 4TR