The Fisherman's Kitchen, Southsea | Restaurant review

IT WAS three years ago that your intrepid Dish Detective last ventured to Fisherman’s Kitchen.

By Dish Detective
Wednesday, 30th June 2021, 3:24 pm
Updated Wednesday, 30th June 2021, 3:26 pm
The Fisherman's Kitchen, Clarendon Road, Southsea.
The Fisherman's Kitchen, Clarendon Road, Southsea.

Sadly, our findings at the time were rather disappointing.

We came away feeling that despite the allure and promise of the menu, the offerings at the Southsea restaurant and takeaway were ‘not-so-jazz-hands’ and ‘nothing brilliant’.

But we live in a different time and a different world. Since 2018, Poseidon may have cast his trident towards the Clarendon Road kitchen, channelling some much-needed ocean magic into the restaurant’s seafood plates.

Part of the meal at The Fisherman's Kitchen in Clarendon Road, Southsea.

Unfortunately not. This time around, the experience was, well, just a bit underwhelming, really. Middling, I would say.

Getting the food from the takeaway to the table was a slight faff.

The menu listed on the Fisherman’s Kitchen website, I now know, is incorrect. The correct list of items – shorter and less varied than that on the website – can only be found on Uber Eats and Deliveroo.

This meant that after compiling the orders of all the members in my party and calling the restaurant, I found that none of the items we wanted were available any more.

No matter: we re-coordinated a new list of orders, opting for the prime cod fillet (£6), the battered halloumi with mango ketchup (£7.20), and the battered butcher sausage, also with mango ketchup (£2.75).

To share between us as sides, we asked for the battered cauliflower with blue cheese dip (£4.80), the pea and mozzarella fritter (£2.50), the blue cheese and bacon loaded fries (£6.00), and a regular portion of chips (£2.20).

Electing to give the restaurant a try on an evening when it wouldn’t be inundated, we set aside a Wednesday to share a fish supper and ordered ahead for a pick-up later that evening.

Enjoying the delicious salty scent that hits visitors as they walk through the restaurant door, I waited next to the counter as a few people sat eating inside at the small table section.

Although I arrived at the right time, the food was 10 minutes late. A bit of a pain when there’s nowhere to properly park outside the restaurant.

It was a slight battle to get the food home without becoming stone cold as the cardboard boxes wouldn’t close properly.

Upon serving up the grub, it became apparent that the food was dodgily boxed with fish remnants found under vegetarian sides, almost as if food had been put in a box and then taken out and replaced with something else. One rogue piece of halloumi had also been thrown in with the battered cod, for some reason.

Not great news for vegetarians. It’s also worth noting that – perhaps unsurprisingly for a fish shop – the new Uber Eats/Deliveroo menu didn’t have much variety for those who don’t eat meat, with only one main and no loaded fries options. There’s also not much for vegans, although Fisherman’s Kitchen does offer gluten free options.

There were a few manky chips in the pile that needed to be thrown away, but all-in-all a fair portion of chippy-style fries. The loaded chips were well loaded with blue cheese and lardons of bacon.

My main criticism is the frankly exhausting amount of batter on the mains –the cod, halloumi, and sausage were dwarfed in comparison to the crispy, greasy batter they came in.

I’ll give you that these issues are minor – small fry, even – but the Dish Detective does pride themselves on giving the whole truth.

This all being said, the battered cauliflower was delicious, an interesting and different side for a fish and chip supper, and the pea and mozzarella fritter was quite nice – sizeable and creamy inside.

The mango ketchup included with the halloumi and sausage was a revelation, easily the stand out star of the meal, coming to the rescue of the heavily battered items by adding zest and fruity flavour.

If you like stodgy, heavy fried food and you’re well placed to immediately nap after your meal, it’s worth giving this a try.

But for me, I’ll be sticking with my tried-and-tested favourite chippies in the future.

RATINGS (out of five)

Food: 3

Value: 3

Tel: (023) 9275 6556