Eating In: A perfect fish supper to your door

Go big or go home, as the saying goes. But I have decided to do both with a potentially foolhardy plan to order lunch from two different places.
The Fishmarket, NewhavenThe Fishmarket, Newhaven
The Fishmarket, Newhaven

More specifically, fish and chips to start with, followed by ice cream from a local gelateria. Do I eat so much that I have to lie down for a couple of hours afterwards? Er, maybe. But the result is an overall triumph.

The Fishmarket in Newhaven had been on my to-do list for a while, and, having heard a glowing report, I decide to log on to its Deliveroo page.

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I’m curious as to how well a fish supper will travel – fearing limp, lukewarm chips and a wilted and soggy piece of fish.

But fortune favours the brave, so I order haddock and chips, with tartare sauce as an extra. You also get the choice to add salt or salt’n’sauce.

I add a can of Irn-Bru – doesn’t fish supper etiquette insist on it? – and am also pleased to see BrewDog’s teetotal Nanny State on the menu.

The delivery is prompt and the package is left on my doorstep in a brown paper bag, with the cheerful delivery driver already heading off by the time I open my front door.

Any fears that the journey on whatever mode of transport he was using – the following day I see a Deliveroo driver on a proper Hell’s Angels-type motorbike, an option I’d pay extra for – diminish the quality of the dish are blown out of the water immediately.

A large piece of fish in a tea-coloured, ultra-crispy batter is reclining on a bed of sunshine-yellow chips – vindicating the restaurant’s promise that everything is cooked to order. I tuck in, finding the chips to be perfectly cooked, the fish ultra-fresh. Indeed, this is one of the best portions of fish and chips I’ve tasted – up there with the legendary Anstruther Fish Bar’s offering (high praise indeed). What’s more, it’s all still hot – despite having only been housed in a cardboard container.

I’m so engrossed that it’s only several mouthfuls in that I realise something is missing – the Irn-Bru! If the food wasn’t so delicious this would’ve perhaps been a bigger deal, but no matter.

Then for the second act – also via Deliveroo – from Bon Bon on Elm Row. I had also heard only good things about this gelateria, although I do wonder how the delivery will be packaged to stop it from melting.

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I decide to get a waffle with Nutella, two scoops of gelato – chocolate and tiramisu – and a Greek frappé.

Again, the order arrives pretty swiftly, in containers of varying types. The waffle is billed as Belgian, so I’m expecting it to be small and dense, but I’m pleased to discover that it’s much more like its American cousin, round and made from a light-ish batter. It has also survived the journey very well, the only downside being its polystyrene packaging.

The ultra-smooth gelato is extremely generously served and fills a cardboard container of about the same volume as a Ben & Jerry’s tub – and I get another two servings out of it that week, which I eat with leftover waffle. The chocolate is good but the tiramisu counterpart is outstanding, with a cocoa-coated top layer and rich, sweet coffee taste.

It’s unsurprisingly a good match for the frappé, which is admittedly at the pricy end of the scale at £4.50, but very tasty, with a surprising but welcome malty undertone. It’s also a refreshing change from the watery, bargain-basement instant I’ve been making at home.

Caffeined up, I then try to work out how to register my missing Irn-Bru, and after a few taps on Deliveroo I request a refund, with the amount later credited to my account. I’d have preferred a refund, though, while I also notice on the bill that Deliveroo charges both a delivery and service fee, plus the optional rider tip.

After a few home-delivered meals, I’m beginning to realise the things I miss about visiting a restaurant. The sheer excitement of going out, sneaking a peek at other tables’ orders and chatting to the waiting staff for the gen on, say, how big/spicy/etc a dish is before making your final choice. A real-life visit also, inevitably, gives you a good sense of the ethos and history of a place. The Fishmarket, for example, wants to sustain the bond between Newhaven and the sea, I see from its website.

Then again, few venues hold the same appeal to me as my own sofa, and eating restaurant-quality food at home without any need to travel/look presentable seems like a decadent treat.



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