Happy Chocolate Week everyone! Yep that’s a thing (12th – 18th October) and yep I am making the most of it by eating as much chocolate as I can! Many restaurants are getting involved too by offering extra special chocolate delights to celebrate. One such restaurant is Fish Market* who have collaborated with superfood chocolate producers Doisy and Dam to create a delicious limited edition maca, cacao and vanilla chocolate pot. Superfood means it’s healthy…right?!
I’d never been to Fish Market before and very rarely venture out to the Liverpool Street area of London, but I will definitely be heading back soon after the lovely evening my boyfriend and I spent there last Saturday. Despite being just opposite Liverpool Street Station, Fish Market is housed down a quiet little street with a picturesque courtyard dining area as well as the main glass fronted restaurant. We decided to eat inside and eagerly headed in and sat by the windows so we could look out at the diners below whilst enjoying the warmth and ambience of the restaurant. I loved the decor – a mix of quaint beach side restaurant with East London chic. It really reminded Tony and I of the gorgeous harbour side restaurants we’d been to in Fethiye, Turkey the year before.
The menu is really large and diverse with all sorts of fish options available (as you’d expect from a restaurant called Fish Market!) but they also had some gorgeous sounding vegetarian and meat dishes too. We were absolutely ravenous when we arrived and quickly ordered the Salt and Pepper Squid with Roast Garlic and Chilli and Boat Sole Goujons whilst munching on some sour dough bread and butter.
Squid is one of our favourite dishes and one we are guaranteed to order if it’s ever on the menu anywhere, and Fish Market’s offering was absolutely delicious. Served on wooden board, and garnished with browned flakes of garlic, fresh chilli and spring onions, the squid looked and tasted very fresh, despite being coated in a light crumb which tasted almost southern fried with a light spice running through it. Despite being fried it was very light and delicate and I could have eaten about 5 more platefuls! YUM!
The Sole Goujons were also delicious and were packed full with beautifully white, flaky yet meaty fish. The crumb was delicate and had a lovely crunch too it and was served with the most delicious homemade tartare sauce I’ve ever had.
For my main course I ordered the Smoked Haddock Fishcake which came on a bed of wilted baby spinach, with a poached egg and grain mustard sauce. It was absolutely huge and so filling, wonderfully packed with haddock and potato. The poached egg on top was cooked perfectly and complemented the smoky flavours of the fish beautifully. The mustard sauce was also really nice and despite being quite subtle added another depth of flavour to the dish. I certainly didn’t need the side of sweet potato mash with chilli and coriander but of course ate most of it as it was so tasty! Three of my favourite foods mashed together with butter – how could I resist!
Tony really fancyed a steak and was so pleased to find one on the menu, and ordered the 350g Belted Galloway Rib Eye Steak with Fries and Bernaise Sauce. Again it was a huge serving and was actually one of the nicest steaks I’ve had – beautifully tender and with a delicious grilled taste. Not usually a fan of Bernaise sauce I also couldn’t resist pinching some (along with fries to dip into it of course!) Fish Market isn’t just a one trick
fish pony, but offers something for everyone and does it well – even a huge juicy steak if you fancy that rather than a delicate fish dish!
It was soon time for the much anticipated chocolate pot. Oh my goodness it was worth the wait! I was really surprised (and delighted) by how big it was – I was expecting a modest little sweet treat but the chocolate pot came in a really generous sized mason jar and was served with two delicate shortbread biscuits. The dark chocolate with its crunchy nibs was beautifully rich without being too much and the vanilla kept it nice and sweet and not too bitter. In the words of Mary Berry – absolute perfection! Happy Chocolate Week indeed!
We then headed next door to Old Bengal Bar* to round the evening off with some cocktails. Like Fish Market, Old Bengal Bar has a pretty outside area as well as an internal bar, and we sat on comfy sofa seating underneath the outdoor heater umbrellas, which again made us feel like we were on holiday. Lovely! After perusing the menu (which had some amazing quotes in it) we decided on our drinks. Staying true to my inner Pat Butcher I went for the gin based 1605 – Tanqueray London Dry, Gentiane Chartreuse, Luxardo Maraschino, Lemon and Peppermint Bitters. It came in a classic martini glass with floating lime and mint and looked so pretty. Tony (a secret lover of flamboyant cocktails – just don’t tell his mates) went for the If You Like Banana-Colada which included Abuelo 7yr Rum, Green Chartreuse, coconut cream, banana, pineapple and banana crisps, and to my delight arrived in a coconut shell glass! (“Dont laugh, there’s a whole table of guys in there drinking these!”) They both looked great and really packed a punch. The perfect aperitifs!
We really enjoyed our trip to Fish Market and Old Bengal Bar. The food was incredible, drinks delicious and both had such a lovely ambience – we were taken by surprise as we went back to the hustle and bustle of the main road and realised we were in the middle of London and not on a relaxing and decadent holiday! We’ll definitely be back soon to try the Seafood Platter which looked amazing and includes the Sole Goujons, Squid and a selection of fresh shellfish, presented on pretty clam shells! If we can get back before the end of Chocolate Week to have another limited edition Chocolate Pot then even better!
Are you doing anything special for Chocolate Week?
*Thanks so much to Fish Market and Old Bengal Bar for inviting us for dinner and drinks. All thoughts are honest and my own. For more information please see my Disclaimer Page.