We've been going to The Fish for a decade or more, ever since coming across it in an article in a national newspaper about award-winning British pubs. So at the outset it came with quite a reputation to live up to. And I have to say that it has never done anything less than deliver.
Let's be clear, though. This isn't high-end dining or a swanky restaurant experience. Nor, on the other hand, is it a hardcore Scottish drinking den. If these are what you're after then Dundee has a considerable number of the latter though very little of the former to offer you. Rather it's just your classic British pub, but the whole thing done about as well as it's possible to imagine.
The beer is simply outstanding, a constant rolling succession of guest beers from across Scotland and England. This is a key selling point of The Fish and the reason why it's been a prominent presence in the Campaign for Real Ale's guides for thirty years or more. They keep their barrels well and serve an excellent, soothing pint. Finding what they've got on and enjoying something new is an important part of each visit.
The food is also splendid. Again it's basic pub grub in conception with no airs and graces: chips, salads, pies, lasagne, curries, paninis and so forth. But the quality and value for money is top drawer. The crucial factor here appears to be the cook, a lovely lady who clearly prepares the food by hand and knows how to cook it well. The Fish, for example, gives you peeled and cooked fresh vegetables, such as parsnips, and it's always a pleasant thought that, at least here, your dinner isn't simply coming out of a freezer bag and through a microwave. She's so on top of the job that she's often to be seen wandering out in the bar chatting to customers.
A word or two about the place and its bar staff is also in order. The Fish divides into a food side and a drinkers' side, both of which are attractive and well-maintained. I've never noticed any bad behaviour on the drinkers' side; and for the food service there are nice tables in a separate room up some stairs.
The staff are perhaps the best thing about the place. There's a highly competent manager and a lot of well-drilled staff who combine pleasantness with efficiency. In ten years we've never had the slightest problem in getting good, quick, accurate service.
If I had to pick one place for my Last Drink on Earth, it would be here.
- Also Known As:
- Fisherman's Tavern Hotel Dundee, Scotland
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