Sunday, 31 January 2010

Something Fishy

Fin and Flounder is one of two new Hackney fish mongers – I have yet to try the new fish shop in ever blossoming Victoria Park, but I am looking forward to it. I am not a fan of the pretentious, over-priced, Saturday Broadway Market, but many of the shops on this market street have a fascinating history (not least the jellied eel and pie and mash shop) and are good value.

Fin and Flounder sells good quality fish at competitive prices, even when compared with Marks and Spencer. I bought some wild red bream, which wasn't cheap, but was excellent and sustainable – and cooked it simply with parsley, butter and garlic – my favourite way to cook fresh white fish.

I was in Tenerife last week with a group of over 100 journalists from the British Guild of Travel Writers. Although we were presented with some dodgy looking frozen fish at a cookery course, at another lunch I had wonderful slivers of carpaccio, scallops and my favourite Spanish dish, gambas al ajo (prawns with garlic). Mountains are not usually associated with good fish, but after Tenerife I was in the Eastern Pyrenees where, because they are only an hour or so away from the coast, fresh fish features on most menus. Salmon, scallop and fresh haddock in a cream sauce on cabbage is a local speciality.