[Marple, Greater Manchester] Fisherman's Table

Even though it’s only on the other side of the borough, we may not have come across the restaurant without a casual mention on a travel forum. I’d been chatting with this guy about the restaurants in the Spanish resort and, as we were both from Greater Manchester, we started swapping the names of places we like at home. And what a “find” Fisherman’s Table has proved to be. Nice building (over 270 years old, the website says), lovely server and a nice short menu which changes every couple of months. It’s one of those places which is exactly how your neighbourhood restaurant should be – and it was worth the schlep battling through Stockport’s rush hour traffic on a very wet Wednesday evening.

The small Queenie scallops were one starter, in the French style as Coquilles St Jacques. Served on the half shell, in a creamy sauce and topped with mashed potato flavoured with a little cheese. Across the table, three big chunks of monkfish had been given a really crisp panko breadcrumb coating before being fried. They sat in a delicious shellfish bisque enhanced with a few shreds of pickled red cabbage. It all works really well.

A tuna steak came medium rare – I’m not a fan of overcooked tuna nor am I a fan of the fashionable “just seared” version. This was pretty much perfect for me. It’s how Spanish chefs cook it in the good seafood restaurants in the resort I mentioned earlier. And a Spanish theme is on the plate, in the form of a thick chorizo, tomato and chickpea “stew” – they could “big this up” and serve it as one of their non-seafood starters or mains. It’s too good to be just an accompaniment. It’s utterly delicious. Across the table, “catch of the day” was a whole sea bream which had been grilled, I think and was served with a caper butter sauce. Certainly another dish that was an absolutely bang-on bit of fish cooking. It came with a few green beans and asparagus spears. Most dishes come with a carb but these were the two that didn’t, so we ordered some chips to scoff alongside.

As often the case, desserts were OK but were not as good as the savoury courses. Housemade bread and butter pudding is a favourite of my companion in life and was declared “decent”. It comes with ice cream or custard. That’ll be custard then - obviously. The other pud was a small, very crisp tart, filled with a lemon cream and, also on the plate, blueberry compote and a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

We finished with good espresso.