When was the last time you treated yourself to a fish supper? In a world where pasta, burgers, pizzas and other carbs reign supreme - sometimes it's easy to forget that fresh seafood is a delicious alternative to everything involving meat. Bristol has some fantastic fish restaurants, so we decided to seek out some of the best and present them to you, because you know, we're nice like that.
One of the longest-running restaurants in Bristol (and that’s no mean feat), Fishers is based up in Clifton Village. The daily changing menu reflects what has been freshly caught on the South Coast, which is where they source all of their seafood from. Whilst some of the dishes are takes on British classics, there are also influences taken from Asia and the Mediterranean.
The menu has plenty to choose from for the discerning fish lovers and perhaps first timers who want to dip their feet in the water (sorry, had too!). They offer a set lunch and early evening menu of 2 courses for £9.50 and 3 courses for £12.95 which is an absolute steal. You can also order hot and cold shellfish platters for if you'd like to go all out. They also have an online shop on their website, perfect for if you fancy whipping up a fish feast at home.
The Spiny Lobster is a local fishmonger and restaurant all rolled into one. Situated on Whiteladies Road, Mitch Tonks is the mastermind behind this establishment, in what used to be called The Rockfish Grill. This place has been going for 15 solid years and has accrued quite the local following and fan base. The fish on the counter has been delivered that day, fresh from the Devon and Cornwall markets; so you can take your pick from the catch that has landed, which is always dependant on weather and seasonality.
Again, the menu changes here daily in accordance with what fish has been brought in. Spiny Lobster also host 'Jazz and Shellfish' evenings, held on the last Thursday of every month, live music from jazz due Molly & the Kings are on hand to serenade you whilst you crack open that lobster.
Seafood fans and generic lovers of food will really enjoy a visit to the Wallfish Bistro in Clifton. The aim at this family run restaurant is to provide a great culinary experience using the finest produce that the Westcountry can offer. The menu is a mix of seafood fare and British classics, with their Sunday brunches becoming somewhat legendary. If you are a fish fan, choose from Portland crab, Exmouth mussels, lobster or scallops, depending on the catch.
But if traditional is more your style, take advantage of wild bird terrine, pheasant, bacon and trotter pie or cote de bouef. If you are lucky they might also be running their seafood platter on the specials menu. This is a cosy and bright venue, perfect for dinner with friends or family whether it is a special occasion or just meeting up. Couples will love the romantic setting and delicious food also, and aren’t oysters aphrodisiacs?!
Taking inspiration from Thailand, Pranee and her husband opened their first Giggling Squid restaurant in Brighton. With little to no money, but a stack full of ideas, they started creating simple, fresh Thai food - designed to be shared by everyone. The venue was such a hit that the couple now have a smattering of establishments across the UK, and we are lucky to have one in Bristol.
The quirky restaurants have separate lunch and dinner menus, where you are able to choose from tapas sets to share, one big dish if you are feeling hungrier and two dish meal combinations. Come the evening, you can choose from fresh fish, mixed seafood or shellfish and prawns, among other meat and vegetable options.
Now you may not have heard of The Jetty, as it a newcomer on the Bristol food scene, but this seafood restaurant has been garnering some rave reviews. The Jetty forms part of the Bristol Harbour Hotel, which is another reason you might not have noticed it. However, step into the former banking hall and you will find a modern, bright and sleek setting – with blue being the colour of choice.
The impressive restaurant prides itself on using seasonal and local produce and the menu is jam-packed with options. If not eating al a carte, you can also take your pick from a 'catch of the day' menu, a vegetarian and vegan menu and the set menu. The al a carte offers the most in terms of seafood, with different variations of oysters, tempura and tacos or simple and classic seafood. If you want to really push the boat out (sorry again, it’s too easy), this fancy restaurant is perfect for a special occasion.
Moving into more casual territory now but nonetheless quality fish, we have Salt & Malt. Josh Eggleton's award winning, gluten free restaurants are in keeping with his ethos of using sustainable ingredients and keeping it local. Fish is delivered daily out to Chew Valley and the harbourside from their chosen suppliers, whilst the vegetable accompaniments come from local farms. The fish and chips option here is gluten free, as are a lot of other items listed on the menu.
Menus vary depending on which venue you choose, with the harbourside offering a takeaway chippy service or seats in their modest container. The Chew Valley outfit has a lot more space and of course the glorious view, for if you want to make a day of it. Not only does Salt & Malt do classic fish and chips very well, but you can also order gems such as small plates of Cornish scallops, Thai sweet chilli squid and potted brown shrimp.
Catch 22 Nestled at the bottom of Park Street is the Catch 22 takeaway and restaurant. Using only suppliers recognised by the certified sustainable seafood association and recently winning a 5 star quality fish and chip award from the National Federation of Fish Friers – it’s safe to say these guys know their stuff. You can grab your food to go or sit in the restaurant which is deceivably large.
The restaurant menu is packed with options, whether you’d like your fish fried or in breadcrumbs is up to you, or you can decide which of the fresh catch options you'd prefer. Gluten-free options are available and all cooked in a separate gluten free fryer and all of your usual suspect side options are here; curry sauce or gravy, mushy peas or pickled eggs.
With thanks to Nat from Stuffed265