For this morning’s blog, we’re off to the harbour at Newhaven where The Fishmarket has just opened.
A joint venture between fishmonger Gary Welch and Roy Brett, chef proprietor of Ondine, The Fishmarket is now open to the public after a series of soft launches.
Located next to Welch’s retail shop, the restaurant is cross between a takeaway chipper and a sit down restaurant.
The unit is divided in two with a gleaming chippie counter on one side leading onto the bar and restaurant area.
Floor to ceiling windows open out onto raised decking and make the most of the harbourside views. We imagine that the decking will be popular during the sunnier months.
The interior is smart but simple with tiled walls and exposed ventilation units. Above the bar and kitchen prep area are signs detailing the area’s fishing heritage as well as noting some of the superstitions held by the fishermen.
For instance, it was thought to be bad luck to pass a nun when on the way to the boat.
The Fishmarket: fresh fish, crispy batter
Naturally Gary Welch’s are very much at the heart of the menu. If you want haddock and chips then you can have it battered, breaded or grilled and it comes in three sizes.
Don’t fancy haddock? Other options include cod, scampi, lemon sole, sole goujons and fish burger. Lighter options include tempura oysters, crab claws and squid which all come with a Vietnamese dipping sauce. It is all cooked to order.
While fish and chips is one of the UK’s most iconic dishes, this blogger is not always blown away every time I order them.
Soggy batter and oily fish are not unheard of.
By contrast, the fish and chips we ate at The Fishmarket were bang on the money. The batter was light and crisp while the fish was firm and so fresh that it a good vet might just have managed to bring it back to life.
With Scottish fish forming the backbone of the menu, the same commitment to local sourcing is evident on the bar. Both Pilot beer and Leith Gin are prominent.
If Brett’s Ondine is arguably Edinburgh’s most upmarket seafood restaurant, The Fishmarket offers something different.
It is a modern take on the simple but satisfying pleasures of the chippie.
For most people, a seafood blow-out at Ondine is probably an occasional treat. Fish and chips at The Fishmarket – perhaps with a chilled glass of Picpoul de Pinet on the decking – could be a much more regular source of enjoyment.
Long may they fry.