Fishers in the City hasn’t been short of a gong or two over the past couple of years.
Winner of the Trip Advisor 2014 Certificate of Excellence and Diners Choice Top Table award, the intimate seafood bistro in Thistle Street - sister restaurant to Fishers in Leith and The Shore - has impressed consistently.
So it came as no surprise to arrive at its inconspicuously located premises and find the place thronged. Saturday night was in full flow and the combination of glinting mirrors, mezzanine and tightly arranged tables all added to the buzz.
My dining partner and I wasted no time in ordering. Our booking was from 7pm for two hours and the table, we were informed, would definitely be needed later.
I chose a starter of Lochgilphead crab and avocado salad with mackerel croquettes and tomato salsa. My partner asked for Campbeltown king scallops, artichoke puree and truffle herb salad.
Fishers, as its name suggests, is all about quality, locally sourced Scottish ingredients, and the benefits of that approach became obvious with the first bite.
The scallops were, I was told, “melt in the mouth”. And the crab was deliciously flaky, with the avocado’s creaminess well balanced by the tangy salsa. Both dishes were hard to fault.
However, the mains - Coley and king prawn Penang curry for me, pan-fried Stonebass and semolina gnocchi for my partner - didn't hit the same heights. While the seafood was again cooked to perfection, there was something lacking on the flavour front.
The curry didn’t quite pack the spice hit I was hoping for. My partner said she enjoyed the Stonebass and gnocchi but found the dish a little flat, with the roast garlic sauce failing to provide the expected zing.
Feeling like some classic comfort food, we both opted for a dessert of sticky toffee pudding. Again, sadly, it didn’t hit the mark, leaving an unexpectedly bitter and salty aftertaste which neither of us enjoyed. The portion sizes were also way too big.
I don’t want to complain too much. Our seafood was cooked and prepared with a precision which I have rarely experienced elsewhere in the city.
The textures present on each plate were truly memorable and the table service was fast and efficient if not overly warm. We both decided we would return to the restaurant in the near future.
There was just some disappointment that the sauces and flavours didn't live up to expectation.