Review – Fishy Fishy
Fishy Fishy on East Street, Brighton have been serving their contemporary fish and seafood menu since 2009. Part owned by television host Dermot O Leary, Fishy Fishy prides itself on offering mid-priced classic fish dishes in a modern brasserie setting.
Fish restaurants in Brighton and Hove are two a penny, hardly surprising given the cities coastal location. Ranging from budget fish and chips to high end fine dining experiences, the fish and seafood scene in the South is one not to be sniffed at. What sets Fishy Fishy apart is both the location and reliable quality of the food.
Fishy Fishy is in the perfect town centre position; easily accessible, great for dates, excellent for post-shopping lunch or pre-night out dinner. The external patio area is a prime people watching location, glass of wine from Fishy Fishy’s reasonably priced wine menu in hand.
Dining inside, a nautical themed interior awaits with blue and light cream adorning the walls, nicely offset by a beautiful light oak floor. Split across three levels, each with varying degrees of maritime decor, the restaurant is clean and well presented. Sat upstairs, it was clear that over the seven years, Fishy Fishy have worked consistently to maintain high standards, without beginning to feel at all dated or gimmicky.
In typical bold brasserie fashion, the menu is large and double sided, detailing the array of fish and seafood dishes Fishy Fishy offers. Ranging from nibbles and sharing plates to larger seafood platters and mains, the menu is diverse enough to satisfy even the fussiest of eater, providing they aren’t adverse to creatures of an aquatic nature.
My eyes were drawn to the Smoked Mackerel Pâté – served with croutes (£6.50) to start and the daily Market Special of Sea Bass for main. Unfortunately this dish had already sold out, thanks to the sunniest afternoon our seaside city had seen since last summer.
Continuing to toy with main options, both the Channel Cod with Parmesan and Chorizo Risotto and the Crab Linguine with Chilli and Basil were tempting, however, I was swayed by the suggestion of Whole Crab – served with rosemary salted skinny chips, marie rose sauce and garlic mayonnaise (£19.50).
After hungrily devouring a selection of bread and oils, the Smoked Mackerel Pâté was presented by our attentive waiter. A slick of thick softened butter covered the miniature round dish and after cracking through, I spread chunks of cool, well seasoned mackerel pâté onto my crisp sourdough croutes. Whilst the dish was more like potted fish than a pâté, the textures of smooth smoked spread and crunchy and crisp croutes was an enjoyable experience. With a little more kick to the pâté and slightly less butter, this starter would have been delightful.
Upon presentation of the Whole Crab, I couldn’t help but gasp at the sheer volume of crustacean laid on before me. A true beauty of an animal, the crab stared at me with beady eyes as if challenging me to finish the lot. And I’ll tell you, I gave it my best darn shot.
Snapping and gouging away at a whole crab isn’t for the faint hearted and was a lot of hard work; hard work duly rewarded with meaty slithers of gorgeous white crab meat from the claws of this gigantic sea fiend. The process of shattering and breaking something to obtain a reward felt almost like a taboo and yet made eating the crab all the more enjoyable.
Dark meat scurried away in the main shell, I scooped this out and eagerly splurged spoonfuls into my mouth along with slightly cold skinny chips and dollops of mild garlic mayonnaise. Chilly chips and bland mayo aside, the whole crab dish at Fishy Fishy is something to relish and savour. Polishing off the plate took around half an hour and is a task I would love to elongate over a hazy afternoon with a bottle of something cold and crisp.
Fishy Fishy isn’t reinventing the wheel with its modern brasserie fish based menu, but what it is doing is offering locals and visitors alike a restaurant that is dependable, in a great location with excellent service and a external South facing patio area to die for.