As a regular visitor to Borough Market, I have walked past fish! countless times. Peering through their glass windows, it always seemed packed and buzzy. By sheer luck, I recently won a meal with them via Instagram which gave me a chance to finally step inside.
The conservatory-style restaurant has an alfresco section, but majority of the dining is indoors, surrounded by full-height windows that flood the volume of space with warm, dust-scattered sunlight and give us a view of the Borough Market vendors and crowds outside. Indeed, its statement location means you feel like you are sitting inside a glass box, sheltered from the throngs of people outside and yet still maintain a visual connection to the market.
True to its name, the restaurant specialises in fish and seafood. I hadn’t realised it at that time but the restaurant won the National Fish and Chips Awards in 2017. However, if you are not a fan of the pescatarian menu, there are some meat and vegetarian options available as well.
The competition was run by fish! to celebrate Father’s Day. As my father does not live in London but coincidentally was visiting over summer, they very kindly allowed me to claim the prize for when he was here. This enabled me to share the winning meal with my dad and for him to be my lunch date.
For our starters we decided to go retro. We ordered the Classic Prawn Cocktail with Marie Rose Sauce and the Calamari. The Prawn Cocktail was refreshing and summery, full of classy simplicity, although a part of me wanted it to be served in a fancy goblet. The calamari was ace; soft squid encased in a crisp, light batter that wasn’t too heavy or oily.
We didn’t think twice about our mains. No, we didn’t go for the Fish and Chips, but our other favourite – Grilled Lobster. Here, it comes whole cooked with the classic garnish: garlic butter and chips. The lobster was a real feast, both in terms of size and quality of cooking. The sweetness of the lobster meat went well with the garlic butter, with a touch of smoke coming through. This is my preferred way to eat lobster and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
The classical theme continued with the puddings. We had the Chocolate Brownie with Vanilla Ice Cream and the Salted Caramel Sundae; these were perfect desserts to beat the scorcher of a weekend. The portions were fairly generous so ensure you have ample room left after your mains for these.
The staff at fish! were very welcoming and looked after us well. As competition winners, there weren’t any restrictions and they allowed us to have absolutely anything we fancied on the menu. Even though it was super busy and people queuing to get in, at no point did we feel rushed or like we were vying for their attention.
We had a fabulous meal overall. Even though we were guests, one can suss the vibes of a good restaurant where the wheels are well-oiled and this one surely classifies as one. The menu is pricey but this is Borough Market we are talking about – an iconic site. For a place that is quite popular with tourists, you are not stung by average food. This is a good spot for lunch with family or groups. This is also a good alternative for when you are visiting the market and want to dine in rather than crawl from vendor to vendor, but don’t wish to leave the market entirely. However, I recommend you book in advance to avoid queuing. And yes, this place does take reservations!
Location : fish! & fish! Kitchen, Borough Market, Cathedral Street, London, SE1 9AL
More information can be found here.
N.B. We were winners of a competition run by fish! but all photos and opinions are mine.