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Restaurant review: Rockfish Grill

The main problem I encountered while eating at Rockfish Grill is that now I want to eat there every day for the rest of my life. I’m sure it’s obvious from my previous reviews how much of a big seafood fan I really am, but I have never had fish so fresh, so perfectly-cooked, so imbued with flavour as I have here.

From the moment we stepped in the door, we were struck with the exceptional service. When spending this sort of money – mid-range for some, expensive for recent graduates – you want the service to make you feel special, and it did. A waiter came to our table with a silver platter of the fish available that day. A simple touch, but one that really made a difference to our experience, demonstrating not only the freshness of the fish but also the passion of the producer (Rockfish Grill is also a fishmongers). The fact that we felt like we were learning something was a bonus, and the wall charts of fish splashed around the stylishly decorated room added to that.

For my starter I felt as if I’d somehow cheated by ordering one of my favourite dirty snacks, calamari, described on the menu as ‘Devon squid fried crisp with aioli.’ When it came, however, my guilt faded away. It had little in common with their typical greasy, rubbery pub counterparts, but instead had a delicate freshness, a light batter and a lovely aioli. My boyfriend had a generous portion of mussels steamed with white wine, garlic and parsley, which were amply sized and well-seasoned.

I’ve been told by others that they don’t order fish in restaurants as the cooking of it is so simple, which may be so, but it was worth it for the freshness and flavour of my main, a John Dory grilled over charcoal, coated with a special herb blend of parsley and garlic. The outstanding quality of the fish was evident. Hake, cooked in paper with cider and chanterelle mushrooms, had absorbed a richness of flavour I haven’t encountered before in fish. All this along with a wonderful wine selection, I honestly couldn’t recommend Rockfish Grill any more.

Rockfish Grill & Seafood Market, 128 Whiteladies Road, Bristol BS8 2RS t: 0117 973 7384

Photo: Flikr cc PaddyMurphy

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