Fresh from recently celebrating its tenth anniversary, Fishers still knows how to reel the customers in (ahem). Nestled in the heart of Clifton Village, the restaurant is bustling even on a Monday night, with grey-maned academics blowing their scholars’ stipends on trays of Irish rock oysters on ice and jolly regulars tucking into crispy battered haddock, homemade chips and mushy peas.
The sister restaurant to a much-lauded Oxford branch, the Fishers experience is all about the freshness of the fish and seafood. These are delivered throughout the day by Fishers’ own carriage company, set up to make sure everything arrives as quickly as possible, and so the menu changes daily – even hourly – depending on what’s been landed and delivered.
Given the popularity of the place, it’s unsurprising that what emerges from the kitchen is good. A salad of tiger prawns, fennel and olive salad in a zesty lemon dressing comes zinging with flavour and tastes like spring on a plate.
While a kilo of Cornish mussels from the river Fowey steamed in white wine, garlic and cream and served in a battered metal pan seems to last forever, the juice eagerly slurped after the last mollusc is finally gone. The house white, a fruity, dry Spanish macabeo, is eminently quaffable and good value, and it’s good to see jugs of water provided as a standard, served with pretty Bristol blue glass tumblers to complement the nautical décor.
The combination of beautifully cooked fish, charming staff and an enjoyably laid back atmosphere should be enough bait for anyone.