[Heaton Moor, Stockport] Easy Fish

We were last here in 2015. That was a decent dinner but one where the food took much too long to come out of the kitchen. We hoped this time it would be better but it wasn’t. Still the same decent dinner but it still took far too long. It rather takes the shine off the enjoyment.

There was a starter of moules mariniere. Nice sweet mussels, let down by a rather bland sauce that, for all the world, seemed little more than just been warmed up cream. The other starter, from the specials board, was much better. Spaghetti & crab. They got this one right – al dente pasta, crab melting into a buttery sauce, all of it spiked with herbs and sliced red chili.

I had an idea what my main course plate might look like – the menu description is tandoori bream fillets with sag aloo. I expected the look and the flavours of South Asia but this was actually a very westernised looking dish. I enjoyed it for what it was, but was a bit disappointed for what it wasn’t. But there’s perfectly cooked fish, with crispy skin. And mini poppadums and a samosa (the latter neither having a crisp pastry or a filling that tasted of anything). The sag aloo bit were new potatoes with the tiniest bit of spinach clinging to it and the merest dusting of curry powder flavour.

The other main course was lemon sole. As the other dish, the cooking of the fish was bang-on. And, as with the other dish, it was the accompaniments which let it down. A couple of halved cherry tomatoes, a few cubes of fried potato. And a tomato and basil sauce which was so powerful that it killed off the delicate flavour of the sole. It could easily have been so much nicer.

We didn’t bother with dessert.

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“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold