Food & Drink

Eat out, drink up

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A guide to going out on the fish. Words: Paul Dale

Red Snapper

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Sea Bass

here is a fundamental piece of advice that must be heeded by anyone considering embarking on an affair with les fruits de mer: find a fishmonger you love and stick with it for life. This way you’ll be able to broker deals and order in fish of considerable more interest than your standard haddock and cod.

There are a number of really good fishmongers in lidinburgh and Glasgow. but two personal favourites are liddy’s Seafood Market in lidinburgh and James McKechnie 8; Son in Glasgow. liddy’s. for instance. has been in

business for 13 years and offers a huge variety of

the finest fish and seafood: sea bream. huss steaks. wolf fish. turbot. shark. salmon. oysters. lobsters and samphire are just the tip of the gastronomic iceberg. lt‘s run by liddy. who will fillet or prepare the fish any way you want and explain what is what. L'nlike many fish merchants. liddy gives the impression that he and his family have sampled everything in the shop. “We are Chinese. we like to eat fish every day." he says with a wry smile. This shop is a great place to start a seafood odyssey because the fish comes from all over the world. and is always absolutely fresh.

There are certain aquatic joys on offer that some people may think are a little difficult to prepare or cook. but follow these basic rules you'll soon be swimming to seventh heaven.

liirst up Sea Bass. This is classed as a round fish. which means it has a much firmer texture than the flaky kind (haddock or cod). As a round fish. it’s pretty flexible and can be barbecued. baked. roasted. steamed or. best of all. slow poached in a wide shallow pan and served with a simple salad and lemon.

Sardines: they don‘t just come in tins but are

actually beautiful fresh. a small fish with a big flavour. These are oily fish and they are best salted or smoked. They are also great marinated in lime and wine. then barbecued.

Giant tiger prawns should be marinated and baked in foil. If you are squemish remove the head and trim the tentacles.Turbot is a flat fish. Thin and bony. they live on the sea bottom and have a soft and delicate fiavour. (iriddle or grill and serve with butter. pepper and lemon.

Red snapper and red mullet are round fish and are best cooked the Italian way: with olive oil. white wine. seasoning and a few sprigs of thyme.

So: go forth and get peched. but if you need some more advice. invest in the complete works of HRH Ricky Stein: he‘s better than Dickens you know. When it

comes to fish.

Eddy’s Seafood Market can be found at 7 Roseneath Street, Marchmont,

Edinburgh; James McKechnie & Son can be found at 350 Scotland Street (near Shield Road tube), Glasgow.

Side dishes


I OWNERS OF THE DI Maggio’s chain of Italian restaurants in Glasgow will open a Mediterranean style tapas restaurant in Cresswell Lane later this summer. The premises are the former Underground Gallery. Although a name is not yet decided, the emphasis will be on light meals and drinks, but with no dedicated bar trade.

I EIGHTY QUEEN STREET IN the New Town. Edinburgh, which supplanted the old Drum & Monkey pub in 2001 and since established a reputation for good quality bar food has launched a new bar space: Downstairs at Eighty Queen Street. It will feature live muSic Thursday to Saturday from 7pm to 1am.

I FOR A GROUP OUTING WITH 3 difference, people should inquire about Zazou, the 55ft narrow boat that plies the Union Canal in Edinburgh. Run by Pete Simpson, who once operated Cafe Graffiti, the floating restaurant has room for about a dozen diners on lunch and dinner cruises. Moored at Ogilvie Terrace, Polwarth, next to Harrison Park, only a few minutes from the city centre, Zazou boasts a ‘unique experience.’ A recent evening menu featured breast of duck in a red wine sauce with plum and gooseberry compote, spinach and ricotta filo pastry with fragrant saffron rice, and bake en papillote with fresh tomato and basil sauce and tapenade.

I IN STIRLING. THE LOVELY people who run Beanscence cafes in Glasgow and Edinburgh have opened their first branch outside the capital and second city. Like the other outlets, it encourages BYOB and offers live acoustic music as well as sandwiches and tapas and of cowse coffee.

I APOLOGIES FROM THE editors of our Eating & Drinking Guide for remarking on a patio where none exists at Viva Mexico in Cockburn Street, Edinburgh. That last order of its tasty margaritas must have got our reviewer seeing things. Sorry. .. ,

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