The Fishmarket Newhaven

23A Pier Place, Newhaven, Edinburgh, EH6 4LP, United Kingdom

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This fish and chip shop is next door to Welch Fishmongers on a pier in Leith. Welch supply some of the top restaurants in Edinburgh, such as Kitchin, and opened Fishmarket in 2018 in collaboration with restaurant Ondine. The pier directly overlooks the sea and the restaurant is split into a regular dining room and a fish and chip takeaway alongside. The dining room had tiled walls and quite well spaced tables. The menu unsurprisingly is focused on seafood, with a couple of token meat dishes.

There was a short wine list without vintages shown, with 23 offerings ranging in price from £20 - £70 with a median price of £28 and an average markup to retail price of a moderate 2.5 times. Example labels were Albarino Sobre Lias Causal Caeiro at £34 for a bottle that you can find in the high street for £17, Domaine de la Meuliere at £44 compared to its retail price of £25, and Louis Roederer Brut at £70 for a wine that will set you back £55 in a shop.

Prawn cocktail had decent prawns but was under-seasoned, and the Marie Rose sauce was bland (barely 11/20). Garlic prawns in a garlic and chilli sauce were better, served with toasted sourdough which unfortunately was partly burnt. Again, the prawns were cooked well enough and at least the sauce had plenty of garlic kick (12/20). 

Things were on much more solid ground with the fried fish. Haddock and chips were very good, the haddock nicely cooked and having crisp batter, with reasonably crisp chips (14/20). Even better was the breaded scampi, using much larger langoustine tails than you would encounter in regular pub scampi (easily 14/20). On the side, mushy peas were fine but hispi cabbage was dreadful, wildly overcooked with just a little green cabbage left in the centre; it was basically inedible and should never have left the kitchen. At least the tartare sauce was reasonable.

At this stage I was not sure whether to bother with dessert, but I was glad that I did as it was a pleasant surprise. Lemon posset was well balanced, with just enough acidity to balance the sugar and cream, and lemon madeleines were soft and lovely and served warm. I was genuinely shocked by how good this dessert was, especially after the shambles of the cabbage. Sure, posset is a simple dessert with only three ingredients, but is often either too sweet or good sharp. The madeleines here were not quite as light and fluffy as in a high-end French restaurant, but they were still pretty good (15/20).

Coffee was a brand called Resolute by Origin coffee roasters, a blend of El Salvador and Nicaraguan arabica, and was quite good. Service was capable and the bill came to £69 a head (without service), with a bottle of Louis Roederer champagne between us, and the cabbage discreetly removed from the bill without us asking. If you shared a modest bottle of wine then three courses might come to around £50 per person. This was an erratic meal, with good fish and chips and a genuinely good posset, but some really poor elements alongside those dishes. If you come here then stick to the fish and chips and save room for the posset, based on this meal.

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