[Torquay, Devon] No. 7 Fish Bistro

Go along the northern coast of France and you’ll come across any number of restaurants focussed on seafood, usually locally caught. It’s very different in the UK, where it’s a comparative rarity to find such a place along our coast. So, it was something of a no-brainer once Google had thrown it up when we were looking for places where we might have dinner during a week’s stay in the area.

One starter was dead simple and dead good. Baguette thickly smeared with an anchovy and olive paste. The other starter was off the specials board. Thin squid rings poached in a herby, garlic seafood broth. An absolute winner.

Both mains were also off the specials board. One was a dead clever, dead good idea. Three different fish. Three different cooking methods. Three different sauces. There was sole, in a light as a feather tempura batter, with a teriyaki dipping sauce. Roast cod, flaking in big chunks, with tartare sauce. And hake meuniere. All three perfectly cooked in their individual ways. The other plate was pan-fried hake in a basil, olive oil and cherry tomato dressing. Another bit of bang-on fish cookery. They came with new potatoes and a choice of mixed leaf salad or mixed vegetables (golden beetroot, sweetcorn kernels and leeks).

We did consider having dessert but the otherwise exemplary service let them down at this point and we seemed to get forgotten. They were busy so this was no more than a minor niggle (and it did save on calories). We just got the bill. But did I mention that we thought the place was dead good?