GOOD quality food, hard working staff and a focus on fresh ingredients has seen an independent fish and chip shop shoot up the online ratings – taking the top spot in Hampshire.
Fisherman’s Kitchen, in Clarendon Road, Southsea, opened last August. Since then it has had rave reviews online and is currently number one for fish and chips in the county on TripAdvisor, an online review website. It is also currently the seventh best rated restaurant in Portsmouth (out of 526) on the same site.
Owner Ian Clarke, from Southsea, said: ‘We have had some great reviews. We have managed to claw our way up to number one and we are in the top 10 restaurants for Portsmouth, which I know from past experience is a really hard thing to do.
‘It has been a hard journey but we are very pleased that people have welcomed what we are trying to do. And that people like what we are doing.’
Ian set up the business with Gary Moreton-Jones after the pair spotted a gap in the market for fish in Portsmouth.
Gary had been working as a chef at Ian’s other venue, Southsea Beach Cafe, before deciding to enter the world of business for himself with Fisherman’s Kitchen. They transformed the unit, which used to be a letting agency, into a trendy takeaway-restaurant.
As well as selling standard cod and chips, the menu boasts a variety of fish including line caught haddock, sea bass, mackerel and hake, plus more. Ian says that while cod and chips is the restaurant’s best seller, his personal favourite is the Malaysian seafood curry.
Ian said the secret to the venue’s success is quality – and Gary’s chef’s eye.
He said: ‘There’s a perception that fish and chips is bad for you because it’s greasy so we wanted to do really good fish and chips but with a healthy angle.
‘We buy the ingredients fresh, we make the fish cakes from scratch, we focus on quality. We are very conscious of our ingredients, we source the best products. We are coming at fish and chips with a chef’s view rather than your bog standard takeaway.’
Now the restaurant-takeaway, which can seat 20, employs 10 people and the pair have plans to expand the business by opening a second outlet, potentially in the north of the city.
However, Ian said their success would not have been possible without the hard work of his team.
‘You are only ever as good as your staff,’ he said. ‘We treat them fairly and look after them and they in turn look after our customers.’