The Fish Club
189 St Johns Hill, Clapham Junction, SW11 1TH
Tuesday-Sunday from 12 to 10pm.
Reviewed Sunday 5 April 2009.
The Fish Club in Battersea
After two days of pizza, a fish restaurant sounded good… TimeOut magazine apparently recommended this place, saying “Fish & chips don’t come better than this” as they wrote on the sign just in front of the restaurant.
The restaurant design is fairly basic with a few high seats for eating at the counter (you can see them on the photo above) and a few tables in the rear of the room. There were some art for sale on the wall: fish made of papier mache and mosaic giving a nice touch to the basic design.
Some art for sale
Another nice fish in papier mache and mosaic for sale.
The menu is displayed on a black dashboard on the wall with all the currently available fish, starters, side, drinks… The menu may vary because they only use fresh produce – which is very welcome. The staff were nice to suggest some fish and to describe them and we decided for the red gurnard (£9.95) and the whole royal bream with chilli and garlic (£12.95). Sides were the chips (£2) and the roasted veg (£4.50). I was surprised to see we could get the Japanese beer Asahi there but we chose a bottle of Australian wine Willowglen (£12.95).
An easy to drink wine
The red gurnard on top before...
The red gurnard after...
The royal bream
Overview of the table
Chips and roast veg
The two fish were cooked chargrilled for the royal bream and ovenbaked for the red gurnard. Both were fresh and firm. The royal bream with chilli and garlic was tasty and fortunately the chilli, which was not hot at all but sweet, was not too sweet. The skin was nicely crispy. The red gurnard was nicely cooked, with a crispy skin. The flesh was firm and with a nice delicate flavour (neither fishy nor bland). Nicely enhanced with just a touch of lemon. The chips were excellent and certainly the best chips we have ever eaten in the UK. Usually they are quite boring, suffocating and look boiled. Here, they are cooked twice like they do in Belgium (which is the country of frites) so they were crispy despite being pretty thick. The roasted vegetables were good, soaked in olive oil and well roasted. The wine was very drinkable.
For dessert, we ordered a chocolate brownie and vanilla ice cream (£4.95) and Jude’s Ice Cream (£3.95) with butterscotch flavour. No bad surprise, they were good too! The brownie was not too sweet and the butterscotch ice cream was fine (very similar to “hokey pokey” ice cream that you get in New Zealand).
Chocolate brownie and vanilla ice cream
Cost and conclusion: for the two fish, two desserts and the bottle of red wine the total cost was £54.25. The food was great and while what we ordered was not the ordinary cheap fish & chips (a haddock costs £6.95 for example) the setting was like a fish & chips place so I find the place a little overpriced.