Claire Huxley reviews London seafood restaurant the Fish Market…
Remember that old adage about the best laid plans? It certainly sprung to mind as I trudged through the rain on a recent evening in town, searching for somewhere to eat. After what felt like weeks of failing to plan a reunion with an old friend – complete with missed calls, clashing commitments and a dozen proposed dates – we had finally decided on a time, place and food genre, only to arrive at our chosen restaurant to find it in the midst of a power cut. As a highly frazzled waiter turned us away – while explaining to confused punters why they were now eating in the dark – we were back to square one.
Thank goodness, then, for Fish Market. Tucked away on New Street just a stone’s throw from Liverpool Street Station, it dedicates itself to celebrating the very best of Britain’s coastal fare. From grilled lobster to freshly-caught sole, the menu is a seafood lover’s dream – all with an excellent wine list to match.
Stumbling upon the beautiful, warmly lit restaurant after half an hour of aimless wandering, we instantly were made to feel at home. At the recommendation of the welcoming, attentive staff, my friend and I split the Seafood Sharing Platter – listed as a starter but more than enough for a light main – which included grilled scallops, salt & pepper squid, goujons of fresh fish and garlic king prawns. It was all delicious, but my personal favourite was the scallops: beautifully displayed in a clam shell they were light, slightly sweet and had excellent texture. On the side, we ordered the fries and creamy spinach, which complemented the seafood perfectly.
And what about the wines? Fish Market’s selection is packed with unusual gems that you rarely find elsewhere. As would be expected, the list leant heavily in the favour of the whites, with highlights including the 2014 Folle Blanche from P. Papin in the Loire, 2009 Meursault from Benjamin Leroux and 2013 Kung Fu Girl Riesling by Columbia Valley’s Charles Smith. The Rosé and Reds were not overlooked, however, with the 2014 Miraval (of Jolie-Pitt fame) and Burgundian 2014 Raisins Gaulois from Morgon standing out as especially good choices. Low on tannins and lighter in style, the Morgon is the perfect red to drink with the fish – especially bolder, more flavoursome options such as the Pan seared cod & pancetta.
Most exciting however, were the magnums. Fish Market offers two: a 2012 Pouilly-Fumeé from Domaine A Bain and the 2008 Chablis Grand Cru Vaudesir from Domaine Tremblay. These are high quality, unusual wines that you’d be pressed to find at many restaurants – let alone in magnum format – and are the crowning jewel of a truly exceptional menu.
If you’re searching for excellent seafood, brilliant service and an unparalleled wine list – all in the very heart of the City – look no further than Fish Market.
Fish Market is located at 16B New Street in London, ECM 4TR. Visit their website to see their wine/food menus and upcoming events.