Marylebone High Street: Fish Works

Fishworks on Marylebone High Street seems like the urban version of Tobermory’s Cafe Fish, a seafood restaurant at the back of a fishmongers.

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I started my late lunch off with a platter of bread served with salsa verde and aioli. I don’t think the bread was home baked, something in the crust told me so. Pleasant enough but a bit bland. I do love the concept of dips for artisan bread as opposed to the plain old standby butter. This would have been beautiful if the aioli were homemade and the salsa verde less uniformly smooth…I like to see and taste texture!

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A half dozen oysters followed – 3 prestige (salt and savoury), 3 Dorset rock (sweet and delicate). The Dorset were so lovely and gentle it would have been wrong to defile with mignonette…the prestige needed a taste of something acidic to cut through the saltiness.

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My main course was a spaghetti with clams, because I am utterly predictable. It’s only of my favourite dishes, and had become over the years one of my ‘yardstick’ meals. It’s simple and unfussy, and relies entirely on the freshness of the (few) ingredients and the talents of the chef to execute well.

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This version included, oddly, a mirepoix (carrots.onions and garlic as a base). A little too oily, possibly not enough butter and too much olive oil, or not enough white wine to cut through.

Nothing extraordinary, but the oysters were lovely. I think sometimes the freshness of the ingredients speak for themselves, but sometimes (in this case anyway) a bit more effort should have been made in the details.

The Fishworks
89 Marylebone High Street W1
http://www.fishworks.co.uk

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