Firstly, if you actually find The Fish Place, you’re already one step ahead of the pack. Google maps will attempt to debunk your mission to consume a seafood dinner by sending you in the total opposite direction. Ignore it. Basically, just go to the London Heliport, get on the water’s edge, walk about 20 feet westwards and hey presto, there it is.
Secondly, um… there is no secondly. You’re there!
The Fish Place opened a mere two weeks ago, and believe me when I say the place still smells brand new. I’m not really sure how many covers they’ve had over the course of the first two weeks; when we were there on Friday night, there were maybe three other tables? In all honesty though, I’m not sure how many covers they will ever have because despite the brazenly new and comfortable interior, the location is just bizarre.
But regardless, real estate has nothing to do with food.
We’re seated at a table by the floor to ceiling windows (which would be divine in summer, not so much on a dark winter’s night) and we’re immediately brought an amuse bouche of seabass ceviche with jerusalem artichoke crisp. It looked like a spoonful of fresh awesomeness but I found it all a little too sour.
My initial impression was further blundered by being told that Cornish lobsters were out of season, and thus the lobster starter was a no-go. GAH! Like any good little foodite, I’d been studying their menu for days and was desperately looking forward to the linguine. But oh well. The lobster starter is instead replaced by seared scallops with pumpkin puree, and seeing that I do indeed love me some scallops, I ordered that instead.
Thank goodness it was OMGF**KINGGOD delicious!
Three large scallops, seared just right to lock in the juices and served on the sweetest mounds of pumpkin puree. There are a few starters in life which I dream and pray and wish that they’d grow up and become fully fledged main courses and this, this is definitely one of them.
Panu’s starter was also a winner – Dorset crab ravioli with buttered savoy cabbage, shellfish and tarragon. I tried a little bit, it was good but just not as good as mine 😉
The palate cleanser came in the form of a shot glass filled with gin & tonic sorbet. This will probably be a hit with almost everyone else, but me, I’m not a huge gin fan and really wished it was just a simple lemon sorbet.
Palates cleansed, we moved onto mains. While The Fish Place does offer a selection of meat (like lamb, venison and partridge), we thought we’d stick to fish because well, makes sense right?
Panu had the pave of Scottish salmon with artichoke risotto, confit tomato and crustacean sauce, and while the salmon was good (and I got to have the crispy skin *yum*), we both found the risotto to be much too salty.
My main – the chargrilled fillet of halibut with slowly cooked leeks, mussels, clams, crispy flat parsley and lemon butter – was much better, with all of the seafood cooked wonderfully and served atop a bed of what I gather to be potato and leek mash, perfect for soaking up the lemon butter.
Dessert rolled around and I had my eye on the caramelised pear cheescake but since Panu ordered that, I opted for the lemon tart.
MY MISTAKE 🙁 Panu’s cheesecake was so painfully delicious! Creamy, sweet cheesecake coupled with the caramelised pear and crumbly buttery base… *le sigh*
My classic lemon tart tasted utterly ordinary, like something I could have bought from the bakery at Sainsbury. And I would totally believe you if you told me it was from there because we ordered a pot of peppermint tea and that came from Sainsbury!
The saving grace of my dessert was the ball of basil coriander ice cream. Not usually a fan of coriander, the ice cream somehow worked and was a refreshing way to end the meal. In fact, this would have made a great palate cleanser.
Petit fours were also served – mini lemon macarons and chocolate truffles. I’m unconvinced about both though Panu seemed to enjoy them. The macarons were too chewy and the truffles didn’t quite melt in my mouth the way a good truffle should.
All in all, an enjoyable meal albeit with a few flaws. In spite of the amuse bouche, risotto, lemon tart and petit fours though, the starters, mains and cheesecake shone through as good – great even – so they’re doing something right.
For me, whether I go back or not isn’t pinned on the food. Based on the food, sure I would go back, but it was a right pain in butt to get to. I’m curious though, given its location nestled amidst a new block of apartments… I wonder if it’s going to take off? Whether we like it or not, real estate will always play a huge part in the success of a restaurant.
ps. Check out Cheese & Biscuits, Chris was there the same night as us.
The Fish Place
Bridges Court Road
Battersea, SW11 3GY
0207 095 0410
* Panu and I dined as guests of The Fish Place.