LONDON EATERIES – Simply fresh and friendly seafood dining, enjoyed out of a Shoreditch shipping container
Simply Fish is a restaurant specialising in Seafood in the heart of the vibrant cultural hub that is Shoreditch, and sister to the more established restaurant of the same name in Camden. If the Shoreditch location wasn’t stylish enough, the restaurant is situated in the BoxPark which is a collection of 2 floors of converted transport containers near to Shoreditch High Street station, and all that is fashionable in East London. The restaurant proved itself to be a refreshingly upbeat, modern and casual dining experience and was a revelation on the balmy summer evening of the visit. Every aspect of the venue, food and staff was a winner for us and a definite destination for dining in the future.
The restaurant proved itself to be a refreshingly upbeat, modern and casual dining experience and was a revelation on the balmy summer evening of the visit.
We were warmly greeted by both the Operations Manager and Manager who showed us to our tables which on a summers night were perfectly situated near the open front of the restaurant. The vibe in here is lively, casual and with upbeat. Soulful music softly helps create a relaxed and happy atmosphere as you sit and casually watch the passers by, and a bar at the front of the restaurant serves those who just want to drink and hang out at the outdoor bar space at the front of the eatery.
We were cheerfully given our menus and asked what we’d like to drink by the friendly, chatty Manager. He showed real knowledge and passion about the menu and was able to recommend some dishes to us. The way that they menu is organised is great for the both the casual and more substantial eater. There is, for example, a ‘pick and mix’ style menu for a set price that offers one type of fish cooked in a selection of styles, served with a sauce, and two sides all of your choice from a varied selection. This enables you to go from England to the Orient and in between in one course, and if you choose multiple places at the same time with your choice of cooking method, sauce and sides. Additionally, as mentioned there is the more traditional set up of starters, mains (under their House Recommendations) and desserts, for people looking for something more conventional.
The way that they menu is organised is great for the both the casual and more substantial eater.
We opted for a bit of both. The starters we chose at the kind recommendation of the Manager were the chilli salt squid with soy coconut sauce, and sizzling prawns. Both when they came were a treat. The squid was soft and encased in a lighter than air tempura batter. The prawns were indeed sizzling when they reached the table and were more than generously sized and fresh and intensely tasty. In fact both starter portions were ample both in generosity and taste.
A bit of a break where the staff graciously kept our glasses filled and then the main events. From the fish ‘pick and mix’ menu my guest selected the cod, pan fried with a soya, ginger and oyster sauce with accompaniments of stir fried veg and secondly pak choi, ginger and garlic. From the House Recommendations our friendly Manger was again kind enough to suggest the jerk sea bass, pineapple salsa, steamed rice & sweet potato wedges.
The mains really didn’t disappoint. Again generous portions served with a smile, fully flavoursome and well seasoned. Despite many bold flavours both in the more Asiatic menu and the Caribbean choice the flavour of the fish still was amply present. This was all a definite testament to the chef who managed to balance the flavours perfectly. The cod was beautifully succulent and the vegetables not overcooked, meaning it still had that slight crunch of freshness. The sea bass was again cooked very well, moist with a crispy pan fried jerk skin on a bed of fluffy rice with a sweet potato accompaniment. If anything the portions were too big! Scarcely seen in capital restaurants, suffice to say we couldn’t finish. The only comment being that it would have been nice to have some kind of sauce to help with the rice dish but an observation more than any criticism.
All in all a great mid priced dining experience where the quality of food and service punch way about the price. They also provide take away and delivery services which I think is our gain as the food really is something to write home about. The quirkiness of the setting, the friendliness of the staff and the quality make it somewhere worth a visit again and again and again, and believe me both myself and my dinner companion shall definitely be doing exactly that.
All in all a great mid priced dining experience where the quality of food and service punch way about the price.
Simply Fish, Shoreditch, Boxpark, Units 42-43, 2-4 Bethnal Green Road, E1 6JU – 0207 613 4440
Heart London **** star rating
Emma, Heart London Magazine