Seemingly an old and well known fish restaurant in Farnham, although I must admit that this was my first visit ever. It's like a posh fish & chip shop, with tables, a wine list, and lovely service.
We entered from what I think is a rear entrance near the large carpark. I am told they have a more traditional entrance around the front, but the rear one did not look very inviting at all.
We were greeted well and took a lunchtime table. The restaurant was quiet with just a handful of other tables sat, which suited us fine.
A drinks order was taken swiftly by a very pleasant young lady, although I do remember the drinks took quite a lot longer to arrive.
We ordered two simple cod & chips. The menu makes it clear everything is cooked to order, and we were in no hurry so happy to wait. All the main dishes come with your choice of peas and "bread and butter" which sounded lovely.
I was expecting an old fashioned slice of white bread and butter to have with my chips, but no. They mean that a few slices of baguette (2 slices per person) come as an entree. It seems no bread and butter is served with your meal, which is a shame, The baguette slices served are delightfully fresh as nibbles, but not quite what I was expecting, or the right shape to make a cheeky chip butty.
Whilst waiting for lunch, Chef presented us with 4 squid rings as a complimentary taster dish. I must admit, I am not a huge fan of squid having had a bad experience in the past, but this was something different - beautiful squid, prepared in some light marinade, and gently fried in a crispy and tasty batter. Absolutely delightful. If I was asked for my feedback on the dish, I would suggest in my own humble opinion that with a light flavour such as squid, the batter could do with more seasoning - just my personal preference, or perhaps that I am in love with chinese style "salt & pepper squid" however, the taster dish served was as fresh as you can imagine and very very tasty.
The fish was delightfully presented, with beautifully fresh chips and mushy peas. Seasoning is left to the diner, which suits me fine - too many places drench chips in salt, and I prefer to add a little myself.
My cod in Guinness Batter was beautiful - a really good size portion in a beautifully crisp batter. Chips were freshly made, and the peas exactly how I remember them from childhood.
For me, the whole portion was just a little too much and I could not finish the plate, but this was a mark of the large portion size - the quality of the food was excellent.
They offer a good selection of soft drinks, wines and beers.
If I was being really really picky, I would make the following suggestions. When you pay £30 for fish and chips twice, with 2 cokes, I don't think it's much to ask:
1 - Continue serving the baguette slices as a nibble - it's tasty, kills time, and costs (almost) nothing whilst diners wait for their fish to be beautifully cooked.
2 - When you offer gorgeous taster dishes like squid to clientele, please go back and ask for their comments or thoughts. It is these comments that can help you decide on a dishes viability.
3 - When a dish offers to come with "bread & butter" please bring a slice of white bread so hen pecked husbands like me can make a cheeky chip butty, like I used to able to before getting married.
4 - You are a top class fish restaurant. Please let me grind my own salt and pepper at the table by offering mills, not sprinkle style condiments. Lemon squeezers will also help people direct the juice squirt and not worry about getting a stain on their shirts.
5 - Put those nasty plastic sachets of Heinz Tartare sauce in the bin. When charging this much for fish & chips - even though I do agree it was excellent - I expect home made tartare sauce. 15 mins prep time in the morning chopping a few pickles, scallions, capers, a splodge of dijon, a dash of mayo and your secret twist of expertise would produce a beautiful and fresh tartare sauce quite unlike anything available in a packet.
Would I return? Certainly! Great place, lovely bit of fish, nice chips, but at these prices it's reserved for special occasions only.
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