Fish Shop on St John Street

360-362 St John Street, London , England, EC1V 4NR, United Kingdom

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This has now closed. The notes below are of historical interest only.

Very near Sadlers Wells Theatre is this simple yet fairly smart fish shop, the tables split over three levels in what is not an easy site to operate. The fish is apparently bought from Billingsgate each day and hence the menu changes at a similar pace. The wine list was mostly but not entirely French, and is mostly under £40. Livor Rioja Tinto 2008 was a chunky £26.50 for a wine that you can pick up for around £6, Pinot Gris Michel Leon 2007 was a fairer £26 compared to a retail price of around £11, while at the upper end of the list Condrieu Chateau St Cosme 2006 was £70 for a wine that can be found for around £22 retail.

The only bread offered was slices of fennel seed bread, which although fresh enough seemed an odd choice (12/20) objectively. Lemon sole (£16.50) was served on the bones and was fine, with reasonable flavour and properly cooked; mixed vegetables with it, in particular some greens, were a little undercooked though (barely11/20 vegetables); the dish was seasoned quite well though (12/20). Haddock and chips (£13) in batter was perfectly pleasant, with reasonable batter and chips that appeared to be made from scratch (12/20). Our waiter was lively and capable, though the actual server who brought our dishes asked “who ordered what?”, which also seems to me amateurish. The bill was under £30 each, but we did not have a full meal.

Below are brief notes from earlier visits.

Haddock and chips featured good quality fresh haddock, thin crispy batter, home made tartare sauce, excellent pickled cucumber and mushy peas that used to be good but were rather tasteles on my most recent visit. Another dish which worked well was a fishcake of salmon and haddock, which had good flavour, served on a bed of spinach (12/20). On another occasion tuna was nicely seared, with good fennel and a simple if slightly sharp salad of cherry tomatoes.

Bread, which is just an offering of slices of country bread is bought in yet was really good, the bread crusty, full of flavour and well seasoned; this was actually better than the bread at some top restaurants in London. There is a selection of real beers e.g. Freedom Organic Lager, as well as a pleasant wine list ranging around the world, with several nice wines by the glass. There are also five dessert wines by the glass, served in proper 125 ml measures. Service was friendly. 


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