Great Places to Eat in Scotland
- Fishers in the City
Although Fishers is bang in the centre of town, it's tucked away on a narrow cobbled side street alongside fine jewellery shops, designer boutiques and antique shops. It was in 1991 when restaurateurs Jake Millar and Graeme Lumsden opened their original Fishers Bistro at 1 The Shore in Leith, offering fine seafood in casual surroundings - a concept which became an instant hit with diners. Ten years on in 2001, they decided to bring the taste of the sea to the city centre and opened Fishers in the City on Rose Street.
The imaginative design and quirky layout is based along the lines of a pirate ship minus the masts and sails. As you walk in, the downstairs deck has a large oval bar then climb the short curving staircase up to the main deck. Furnished throughout in dark polished wood with Bentwood chairs, the compact space is cleverly divided into separate sections stretching from the mezzanine level above the bar through to the dining room at the back. You'll find intimate tables for two at the window or in small corners, as well as large tables for a group of friends. For a light snack or more casual meal, you can also sit on a high stool in the bar.
"Lobster, prawns, marlin, sea bream, turbot, steak, venison, shark, salmon, mussels, Dover sole, seabass, lamb, tuna, caviar, scallops, crab, oysters, duck..." the list is endless. Predominantly a seafood restaurant, the menu, which changes daily according to season and market, caters for all tastes, carnivores and vegetarians. Tried and tested favourites are always available including Loch Fyne Oysters, Fishers home made Fish soup - a thick creamy Cullin Skink - as well as mussels and their famous fish cakes. Favourites are available as a starter or main portion. It is often too tempting to order one of these great Fishers classics but with an extensive menu featuring some unusual variations on a fishy theme you would be wise to study all the options. For instance start with a Crayfish and sage Risotto topped with roast fillet of plaice drizzled with langoustine and saffron oil. This was thankfully a small but appetising portion, the rice rather too al dente to my taste, but such rich flavours and an unusual combination. Alternatively a seafood salad - a large bowl for one hungry diner or enough for two - stuffed with mussels, roll mop herring, tiny slithers of hot smoked and chunks of poached salmon, mackerel and much more besides.
Then what to choose for a main course? Blackboard Specials might include Whole Scottish Lobster (depending on the season) or, as I sampled, Grilled Scallops from the Isle of Barra. These were presented in their shells smothered in a creamy sun dried tomato, spinach and crab meat aioli. At Fishers you will always find the less common choice of seafood such as John Dory, Arctic Char or Gambas from the Indian Ocean. And for those who prefer meat there is the choice of pan fried Sirloin or Fillet Steak or perhaps Roast Duck fusion style - marinated in spices with wilted pakchoi in an oyster and tamarind sauce. Vegetarians too will find an inventive range of dishes such as Roast Asparagus, chargrilled peppers and aubergine Lasagne with melted goat's cheese. Main courses are served with a selection of vegetables.
If you have room after this feast, then indulge in Sticky Toffee Pudding or Apple Flan with vanilla ice-cream. Alternatively an unusual selection of Scottish cheese from the local Ian Mellis Cheesemonger.
Fishers takes great care with their wine list offering a surprisingly extensive range of wines by the glass, from a starting price of around £ 2.65. Perhaps begin the meal with an aperitif, an excellent NV Brut champagne Marie Demets at under £ 5.00 a glass. Quality French House wines by the bottle are priced at £ 9.95. In addition there is a choice of bin end wines each day and a select list of rare and fine wines from around the world.
Starters: Soup, small bowl from £1.50, Mussels, £4.95. Speciality starters: £ 6.00. Main courses: £8.95 - £26.95. Pudding: £4.50. Cheese: £8.50. Bottle house wine: £9.95
Fishers in the City, like Fishers Bistro, is now a legendary Edinburgh restaurant with a huge fan base who return time after time. Here you can be assured of consistently good, freshly prepared food complemented by a stylish setting, lively atmosphere and friendly service. Its city centre location is ideal for business lunches, the place to meet friends after a shopping expedition, a hot spot for dinner and leisurely weekend lunches. Perennially popular it's a buzzing place all week so do book a table. Open 7 days, from 12 noon until 10.30pm.
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