Tag Archives: tartare sauce

An Absence of Activity and a Surfeit of Fish

I was on my own in the shop this afternoon because the other two went off to a banknote meeting. It was very quiet – just one customer in three hours. Fortunately we had two eBay sales so we did take enough to cover my wages.

We had tuna for tea. It was line-caught, though I’m not sure the tuna would appreciate the significance of this, or its part in my new healthy lifestyle. If the fish had thought more about what it was eating I may well have had a vegetarian meal tonight.

We had brown rice and vegetables with it. Last night we had fish fingers, mushy peas (from a tin) and potato wedges. I also had tartare sauce. Tartare sauce is a lot more palatable than virtue, but it doesn’t go well with rice.

Tomorrow I’m planning on fish pie, though I’m still not sure what I’m going to use for a topping. We’ve tried cauliflower mash a few times but it doesn’t settle well. Potatoes are always good, particularly with cheese, but they aren’t necessarily the healthiest option. I’m thinking of sweet potato, but the colour always seems too bright.

I really should try to become more adventurous with my food, though I’m not sure that changing the topping on a fish pie constitutes adventure. I fear that old age may have caught up with me (a) unexpectedly and (b) while I am too young to be old.

And yes, I am hoping that fish’s reputation as a brain food will restore my brain to near Jeevesian levels of intelligence.

Fish and Chips at Cromer

I’ll jump ahead a bit, missing out the rest of the Hunstanton visit and Cromer Pier and getting straight to the chips.

When a chip shop calls itself Number One, even if it is at No 1 New Street, it’s making a big statement. When this is backed up by fish and chips at £12.50 it’s doing the same, as you can generally get them for £9.50. So was it really 25% better than the average fish and chip shop?

Difficult to say.

I had hake and Julia had rock (which used to be called rock salmon in the days before trades description legislation).

I’m not sure if either of them were up to the mark. The rock was a bit soft compared to the shark I’ve had before, which has always been quite fibrous, and the hake was a bit too fishy. I believe that hake is generally more fish flavoured than other fish, so this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, though again, it seemed a bit soft and didn’t flake well.

Hake and Chips in Cromer

Hake and Chips in Cromer

Portion size was good, batter was OK – not quite crisp enough for my taste. They were served seasoned with sea salt. When I’d read this on the menu I imagined a light sprinkle of salt, not the amount that ended up piled on the fish. Look at the photo for an idea of what happened. Too much salt!

The chips, on the other hand, were excellent. Big, crispy and plentiful.

Tartare sauce was tangy and had a great flavour. Ten out of ten for that.

The peas, on the other hand, were bland. We had the non-minted ones – I suppose the minted ones would have been a better choice. I don’t know how you can make bland peas, particulalrly when there was plenty of salt on the fish.

There’s no excuse for poor peas. They should have remembered the 6 P Rule.

Proper Preparation Prevents Peas Poor Performance.

We’re currently discussing this meal – Julia says she would go back again. I say I probably wouldn’t. It wasn’t bad, but I don’t think it was any better than some of the cheaper offerings from less glitzy shops.