Saturday, 9 June 2012

Fish at 85, Pontcanna Street Cardiff

I had heard great things about Fish at 85 and so it was with great expectation that I set out with a friend, who by the way was fish mad, to taste the delights of this fishmonger come restaurant in Cardiff.

Opened in 2011 it is rapidly gaining a very positive reputation among the good and the great of the Cardiff food world.

Only room for 20 covers with a couple of tables outside it is never going to be the biggest restaurant you would visit and if I was to be hyper critical the table we had was a little cramped to get to but that has got any negatives about this place out of the way at the start because everything else about this delightful specialist fish emporium is exquisite!

The decor is wooden slats made to look like a beach hut and for some it may take some getting used to eating while being watched by the days catch. Believe me it was so fresh I would not have been surprised if some of the fish was still able to be watching.

The Fantastic Fresh Fish Selection
 The lunch time menu was good value with prices starting at £6.00 for starters to £15.00 for a main course. On this visit we didn't sample to desert menu but it looked very good.

I was tempted to give Oysters a go for a starter but never having tried them before I was slightly reticent. At £1.99 each and sold by the half dozen I was unsure, never fear dear reader because the staff were happy to give us two to try and they were delicious. Served with shallot in a red wine vinegar and Tabasco they were truly delightful. An experience I would definitely try again.


For starter I decided on the smoked haddock tart (£8.00), which I was told was new to the menu. Wow! what a winner the pastry case was cooked to perfection thin and crispy and the filling of smoked fish and leek was complimented wonderfully by a beautifully cooked poached egg and pancetta. This is a real winner. My dining companion opted for the Mussel Ribollita (£6.00) served with a bean ragout and tomato sauce. Again in my opinion faultless.

Smoked Haddock Tart
 These chefs really know how to cook fish.

Oysters as a taster.

Mussel Ribollita
 I think at this point left to my own devices I would have spent the rest of the afternoon going through the starter until I had tried them all but alas the main course was calling. Monk fish with chilli saag (£15.00) was out of this world. The only way to describe the fish was a perfectly cooked fillet steak tasting of the freshest fish I have had in a long time. The saag (spinach and potato) had a wonderful background heat from the chilli without it being overpowering.

Monk fish with Chilli Saag
I am running out of superlatives about Fish at 85. Before I close though I must say thank you to Philip and the front of house staff who were extremely friendly and well informed about the dishes on offer. This was my first visit but it will most definitely not be my last. Don't take my word for it try Fish @85 for yourself, I for one do not think you will be disappointed.

Score 4.5 T's

Twitter - @fishat85
Address - 85 Pontcanna Street, Cardiff, CF11 9HS
Telephone - 02920 02 02 12

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