Earlier this week I had the opportunity to check out Southsea’s newest eatery, The Fisherman’s Kitchen. If you have not already seen it, it can be found on Clarendon Road, opposite Agora and a few doors down from Sant Yago.
The venture is the brainchild of Ian Clarke and Gary Moreton-Jones. Gary has a solid seafood background and has worked as a chef in some great restaurants around the world, including Australia, France and of course England. Gary has even cooked for two Prime Ministers, the Queen, Sir Paul McCartney, Raymond Blanc and many other famous faces. Ian is no stranger to the restaurant scene as he is one of the co-founders of the Southsea Beach Cafe.
The plaice itself has a nice clean nautical look to it and I especially like the true teal coloured tiles on the counter.
The restaurant and take away officially opens its doors to the public today, this after a soft opening on Wednesday afternoon. A sensible decision by any new restaurant. It allows everyone involved to find their feet before what is bound to be a busy weekend of Victorious festival goers popping in for a bite to eat.
The team have a commitment to keeping it local wherever possible, this doesn’t stop with the ingredients, the interior design came from Neil Williams of Bureau of Change. Strong Island’s own Creative Director, Tristan Savage is responsible for designing the branding. The plaice itself has a nice clean nautical look to it and I especially like the true teal coloured tiles on the counter.
Choosing what to order wasn’t easy. The menu features traditional ‘chippy’ options, as well as some more contemporary offerings including buttermilk calamari, a soft shell crab burger, monkfish scampi and a Malaysian seafood curry. The latter is made from cod cheeks, monk fish, king prawns and scallops with coconut milk, lemongrass, fresh chilli’s, fresh ginger, and is served with coconut rice. Over the next few weeks, you can expect to see gluten free options and daily specials being added to the menu too. As great as those options sounded I went for the good old fashioned battered fish and chips. The fish on this occasion was a line caught haddock.
I perched on one of the stools in the window with a can of Island Records IPA while I waited for my food. Yes, this IPA is brought to you by the legendary record label whose credits include Amy Winehouse, Mary J Blige, Grace Jones, Drake and the Gaslight Anthem. Brewed in collaboration with the Two Tribes Brewery, the IPA is a laid-back craft beer and is bursting with fresh citrus flavours including pineapple, mango, grapefruit and passionfruit. If that doesn’t sound like your thing then you will find alternatives by the Camden Town and Big Hug Breweries. Norcotts ciders are available along with red, white and rose wine options. You can even pick up a bit of Prosecco, a whole bottle is £22.50 or you can opt for a personal 200ml bottle for £6.50. For those who don’t need to drink to have a good time, there are also soft drinks a plenty!
While I waited there was a constant stream of passers by who nipped in for a takeaway dinner. There is seating available but only for about twenty people. This is on a first come, first served basis, but if you are organised enough then you can reserve seating. Being so close to Southsea Common I am already planning on going back and taking my order down to the beach to eat it. The Fisherman’s Kitchen also has a license which allows you to take away alcohol if you want something to wash it down with.
Monday: 1130-1430 and 1630-2100
Tuesday: 1130-1430 and 1630-2100
Wednesday:1130-1430 and 1630-2100
Thursday:1130-1430 and 1630-2100
When my order arrived it came with a decent portion of chips, the fish laid on top and with a slice of lemon on the side. Tomato Ketchup was available on the table but for this fishy dinner, tartar sauce is the only condiment for me! The most striking thing for me was the thin batter on my fish. It wasn’t very greasy at all and the light batter went down much easier than the heavy and doughy batters I am used to. This left me feeling satisfied and without putting me in a food coma.
Gary later explained to me that they actually make their own batter on site. This is despite being advised against that by others within the industry, they said that he should buy in his batter and then just add his own liquid to it as it is easier. This is why it often tastes the same in many other places. Gary added that each fish will be held up for about 30 seconds in order to let the excess batter drip off, making the batter light and crispy. I also found out that the potatoes for my chips were hand picked that morning in Horndean.
Don’t just take my word for it, head down there yourself and let us know what you think in the comments below.