Small cod, well that was what I ordered

As I was just going to call the title of this blog, Small Cod I realised that people may think that this was a criticism, actually I ordered small cod and chips, so that is what I got.

We were on a day out to Minehead, travelling their on the excellent West Somerset Railway. I had planned to go somewhere for lunch, didn’t do too much planning, but had a few ideas.

Despite a lovely sunny morning, the clouds looked menacing, so the idea of fish and chips on the beach was looking like a no.

Walking up down The Avenue, there were a few choices, but in the end we went to The Cod Shop.

It would have been nice to sit outside, but it had started to rain, so we sat inside.

It was a really nice decor inside, there was a blue and white seaside theme throughout the restaurant. I thought it was really nice calming environment.

Took a table and looked over the menu. It was lunchtime, and I wasn’t overtly hungry (having just spent two hours sitting on a train) I went with the small cod special. This was a small cod, chips, a side, a dip, and a drink. I had mushy peas and mayonnaise with my cod. It wasn’t long before our food arrived.

The cod had a lovely crisp batter, and the fish was well cooked. The chips were a little underdone for me. The cod was a rather small portion, but that is what I ordered, why should I be surprised that the fish was on the small side. I did though enjoy the fish and chips.

Swordfish in Portugal

This year we went on holiday to Albufeira in Portugal. We were staying at the Cerro Mar Garden apartments. Though we had booked self-catering, we visited the hotel restaurant a couple of times whilst on holiday.

On our first visit I looked over the quite extensive menu. I decided to go with a fish dish and chose the swordfish.

It took a while to arrive, but we weren’t in a hurry.

This was a lovely presented plate of food. The three pieces of swordfish on the dish was served on a bed of cooked vegetables and potatoes.

The swordfish was cooked perfectly was delicious. I liked the cooked vegetables as well, which were fresh and tasty.

Overall I really liked the dish.

Smoked Salmon and Prawn Cocktail

When I go somewhere to eat and if there is a specials board, I do like to try something from the board, as if I go again, it probably won’t be on the menu again. Not all places have a specials board, and most chains don’t. Of course you then have something like Bills where the menu changes on a regular basis, they probably don’t need a specials board.

I am a semi-regular visitor to a couple of Fullers’ hotels in London, Drayton Court and the Fox and Goose. Now and again they will have a specials board (or menu). On a recent visit to the Fox and Goose they had their specials board and I had a look over it. 

Specials board

Two of the items on the board were standard menu items, they were just telling punters what the soup was and what the pie was.

The chicken shnitzel (sic) was something I had before at Drayton Court. I did though quite like the sound of the starter on the specials board. 

Fullers’ London porter smoked salmon & prawn cocktail with Bloody Mary sauce and sourdough. So I went with that.

Smoked Salmon and Prawn Cocktail

The dish arrived, without the bread! So I asked and out it came. It was a large sized starter, bigger than I thought it would be.

I did think that the smoked salmon was more like smoked mackerel. This wasn’t slices of smoked salmon, more chunks of salmon.

The prawns were plentiful and good. I did wonder about the sauce, I didn’t really taste the vodka in there, and I felt there needed to be more sauce. I did like the addition of the cucumber and the tomato.

I think the sourdough could have benefited from being toasted, it felt slightly stale and dry.

Overall it was an interesting dish and an interesting interpretation of a prawn cocktail. I think though it could have been a much better dish with a few tweaks.

Breton Fish Stew

I was staying in Ealing and having been disappointed that Reineta was closed I went to Côte. Reality was I did walk around Ealing to see what else was there and looking at various menus. So, in the end I ended up at Côte.

I had the Crab Maison for my starter. I stayed with seafood and I had the Breton Fish Stew for my main course.

This is a traditional coastal stew from Brittany with mussels, prawns, squid, seabream, in a tomato, white wine and chilli sauce. It was served with some French baguette.

There was a lot of seafood in this dish, yes it was mainly mussels, and there was only a single piece of seabream. There were plenty of prawns and squid rings.

I enjoyed the sauce, it was though similar to a soup rather than a sauce. The seafood was cooked well and wasn’t overcooked, which I did think it might be.

The bread was two slices of sourdough baguette. I think I would have preferred a more traditional French flute type baguette over the sourdough slices. 

I had wanted to try this dish for a while, and I enjoyed it. However it wasn’t amazing, so it probably wouldn’t be a dish I would order again.

To accompany my meal, rather than wine, I had a bottle of Meteor lager, which was crisp and refreshing.

Fish Tacos once more

Staying at the Drayton Court Hotel I went for dinner and I really wasn’t sure what to have. I did quite fancy the crab pasta starter on the specials list, but it was unavailable. Looking over the starters I decided to have the fish tacos, a dish I have had before.

The dish arrived, it comprised three tacos, each was served with a piece of fish in a crunchy coating, shredded lettuce, mayo and the aforementioned mango salsa.

I have enjoyed these before, and I enjoyed these as well. Nice crunchy fish, with fresh salad and salsa. Delicious.

Katsu Fish Finger Bap

I stopped off at Baddesley Clinton Hall a National Trust property in Warwickshire, partly to see the house and gardens, and partly to have lunch.

I had planned to have some soup, but looking over the menu, I decided I would have the Katsu Fish Finger Bap. I placed my order, picked up my coffee and headed to sit down.

A little later the Katsu Fish Finger Bap arrived. It was a seeded bap with three fish fingers, lettuce, pickled slaw, and some Katsu sauce. It was served with lettuce and slaw on the side.

It did look rather nice. The flavours were excellent. I did think that the fish fingers could have been a lot crisper, then were a little soft. I also think it could have had a little more Katsu sauce as well.

Overall it was a nice snack for lunch.

New Year Fish Supper

An annual tradition in our house is to have a fish supper on New Year’s Eve. This year we had a great selection of fish and seafood.

I bought some prosecco & lemon butter lobster tails from Aldi, these were rather good.

I made some crispy squid, using some fresh squid, which I then coated in seasoned flour and fried in oil. A combination of a crisp crunchy coating and sweet tender squid.

I also cooked some queen scallops, simply pan fried in butter.

I did baked lemon salmon fillets in the oven.

The prawns were cooked in a pan with herbs and butter.

All served with homemade paella.

A disappointing fishcake

Prior to flying out to Berlin I was staying at The Thistle hotel close to Heathrow Terminal 5. I picked this hotel as it was convenient to the airport and they had autonomous pods that carried you from the hotel to the terminal. They also served dinner. When I looked over the menu there was a choice of things to have. For my starter I had the smoked haddock fish cake, which was served with a soft poached egg, and spinach.

I kind of knew that I was going to be disappointed with this dish, in the main because of the disappointing chicken burger I had had the night before. 

Yes I was disappointed. 

The fish cake coating was hard and crunchy rather than crispy. There was very little smoked haddock flavour. 

It was a soft poached egg. I did think they might serve it on wilted spinach,  no it was served on just some plain spinach leaves, which did wilt slightly from the heat of the egg.

I do wonder why they serve food like this, and why they think that they don’t need to worry about it. My guess is that most of their clientele were either people like me who have dinner as part of their hotel deal, or are staying there for one night before flying out and have little choice but to eat in the hotel, and don’t want to to travel somewhere else to eat.

Time for Fish Tacos

I was staying in a hotel in Glasgow close to the SECC where I was attending a conference. Having arrived around lunchtime, I went for a walk to get some air and find somewhere for lunch. I headed up to Argyle Street with every intention of eating at the Crabshakk. However when I got there I wasn’t quite sure it was the kind of place for a quick lunch. I did also quite like the idea of the Ox and Finch, but for lunch it looked rather expensive! Maybe another time. In the end I went to Number 1082.

I started off with a double espresso, well it had been a fair few hours since my last coffee at Bristol Airport. I looked over the menu, having perused it outside, I was thinking tacos. I ordered some fish tacos and a side order of skinny fries.

On two warm tacos there was some sliced fried fish with slaw, guacamole and mayonnaise.

They were very nice, though not as good as the fish tacos I had had in London back in May.

Time for some fish and chips again

I was staying at the Doubletree Hilton in Ealing and was eating in the hotel restaurant.

I recently had fish and chips in a different hotel which I had enjoyed. So I decided to order it at the Doubletree.

It was described as traditional fish and chips with garden peas, chunky chips and tartare sauce. I received an excellent looking plate of food.

I wouldn’t have said the chips were that chunky! However it was nice to have the lemon as well. The fish was well cooked, the batter was excellent, lovely, light, and crispy. The chips were nice as well. Overall I really enjoyed the dish.