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|Fishers. 36 St Clements, Tel 243003. Click here for the menu|
I remember visiting 36/37 St Clements for a meal several years ago, when it was known as The Blue Coyote, a fairly expensive night out for a student. Since then it became the rather sterile grey St Clements, and now Fishers. It is a seafood restaurant.
I first heard about Fishers because one of their deals sounds so contrary; Bolly and chips having now had a chance to look at the menu I realise it isn't quite as it sounds. The meal is actually for two and consists of a bottle of Bollinger Champagne, chips and fish of your choice. Not a bad idea for a Champagne Celebration, but at £52.50 I suspect most would probably opt for the house Champagne and pocket the saving. More conventional meals range from House Kedgeree to Chicken Breast with Mustard Sauce (both at £7.50).
When I rang up to book the table I was told that they didn't take bookings as such, but that if I gave a specific time, they would try to keep a table free for me. This I did and we were seated in a cosy corner near the wine bar.
After deliberating over our meal, we decided to try the speciality: Fruit De Mer with chips as an extra. For starters we sampled whitebait and field mushrooms with garlic butter. The whitebait came without breadcrumbs but with plenty of flavour and there were plenty of them too. They were only slightly marred by the bread which accompanied them, which seemed to be Mighty White and marge. The garlic mushrooms were gorgeous, as you might expect.
Theatre is very important in food preparation and presentation, and Fishers certainly have the knack. The aforementioned Fruit De Mer came in a large oval metal bowl supported by a wire frame which filled the table. Very French. The bowl was largely filled with ice and seaweed, but crowded in amongst it all were two lobster tails, six tiger prawns, six oysters, two scallops, two crayfish, some crab claws and for good measure mussels, cockles and shrimps (for two, £34.00). We regretted the chips.
The wines we chose were the bubbly Cordon Negro at £14.50 and the house French red (as opposed to the house dry red from Australia) at £7.95.
Having tackled as much as we could of the Fruit De Mer (leaving just a few soggy cockles and shrimps) we felt very bloated. And quite drunk. However, in the line of duty we decided we really ought to attempt a dessert each, so we did.
The Chocolate Mousse was served in a tall glass with a topping of liquid cream. It was rich and delicious. The ice cream was simple, but rich and creamy.
Despite its size, the restaurant feels very warm and the staff are helpful. When asked if they did half bottles of wine, I was told that no, they didn't, but that if I only drank half a bottle I would only be charged for half. As it turned out, they left most of the items off the bill and we would have saved about £20 if we hadn't been so honest about it.
I like Fishers and will certainly visit again.