review: Seafish, St Aubin’s

For generations Friday night has meant fish and chips; greasy paper bulging with steaming, vinegary potatoes and a slab of deep fried poisson. Accompany that with a few slices of bread (always white and always buttered) for a chip buttie and you have the perfect comfort food.

Seafish’s goal is to serve up locally caught, sustainable fish dishes in a relaxed atmosphere and with reasonable prices. We visited the St Aubin’s branch (they also have an offering in St Helier) and I can say that that is exactly what we got, with some of the friendliest service we’ve had to top it off.

The restaurant is perched on the harbour front with a small number of outdoor tables making the most of the view and a surprisingly large indoor seating area. The dining room is decked out with Victorian tiles and wood which creates a bright and modern space which echoes the chip shops of old. Without a booking and on a busy Saturday evening we were given a table at the back of the restaurant; to some this would be unappealing but this gave us an eye straight into the kitchen and we watched the chefs working quickly and methodically to produce the orders.

On seating we were met with a big smile and recommendations for a house cocktail, a mixture of gin, elderflower, cucumber and strawberry. It was served with a real flourish, an unexpected touch at a self-proclaimed fish and chip cafe, and while it was possibly a little on the sweet side for me it gave a real taste of summer.

The calamari and tempura king prawn ‘dream duo’ was exactly that; there was no hint of chewiness in the crispy rings of octopus and the prawns were delightfully soft and flavoured with a surprising hint of curry. The sweet remoulade sauce bringing the whole dish together. The lack of a picture is testament to how quickly we cleared the plate….

Next up came scampi and chips. Certainly not pushing any boundaries but executed very well and in a portion that would satisfy even the hungriest of bellies. What raised this to another level however was the homemade tartare sauce, a soft pillowy sauce full of fresh herbs and none of the astringency that shop-bought tartare sauce usually gives.

My pan-fried hake was meaty and again served in a generous portion. The fish was ever so slightly over cooked but still enjoyable, while the asparagus was served a little too al dente. The small issues with timing did nothing to dampen a very enjoyable meal however, particularly given the enthusiastic but completely laid back service. We felt exceptionally well looked after and could not fault the front of house team’s efforts.

All in all the Seafish Cafe is a great family restaurant turning out well executed dishes that will satisfy fish lovers of all ages and we’ll certainly be back for a Friday feed

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