This review previously appeared on Edinburgh Spotlight.
The recent run of glorious weekend weather inspired a new mission, one which unfortunately did not come to fruition. Apparently, getting a table outside Café Fish in Stockbridge on a Saturday afternoon is comparable to finding a needle in the proverbial hay stack. Since this was my second failed attempt to enjoy fish outdoors, I conceded, and accepted a table inside Café Fish so I could at least satisfy one of my two cravings.
As we perused the menu, I soon forgot about the glorious sunshine outside, as I became intoxicated by the smell of seafood. My decision was entirely straightforward. My love for mussels means that wherever they feature on a menu, you can be sure I will order them. However, my dining partners were unable to decide between numerous options, all of which implied an array of delectable flavours. Finally, a decision was made and we were ready to order. I opted for a large portion of Shetland Blueshell mussels (£12), cooked with tomatoes, chilli and coriander, served with a side of homemade chips. The mussels were cooked perfectly, with a sauce that was a welcome change from the usual white wine and cream, which so commonly accompanies this type of fish. Although they were delicious, the absence of a finger bowl was noted, leaving me working through a rather large number of napkins. My sister opted for a deliciously fresh crab and mango tian, which at £7, was the perfect choice for those opting for a lighter lunch. Our fellow diner was pulled towards the traditional fish and chips, served with mushy peas and tartare sauce. His dedication to working through this hearty portion was admirable, as he commented on the freshness of the fish, and the crispness of the chips.
The sociable nature of our lunch encouraged us to accompany our meal with a bottle of Sicilian white wine (Planeta Alastro Greganico, £23) which accompanied our fish perfectly. Unfortunately we were too full for desserts, and rounded off our meal with three espressos (£1.75 each), leaving us ready to tackle the rest of the day.
Other than the absence of a finger bowl, which is essential when eating something as ungraceful as mussels, we were all in agreement that our experience at Café Fish was a good one, and that we were willing to part with our hard earned cash to go back and eat there again.