The Fish People Café
Everything you would want, and more, from a neighbourhood restaurant – without an actual neighbourhood.
It is said of New York that if you can make it there you can make it anywhere. The same is true of Scotland Street. There ain’t much there except a Mackintosh School and one of the best fishmongers in the city – of which the Fish People Café is an offshoot. The remarkable fact that the shop has been there for almost 20 years means a supply of the finest, seasonal fish in this sophisticated oyster bar-style restaurant is not a problem. Chef John Gillespie, there since the restaurant opened in 2012, is consistently on good form. Icelandic prawns are paired perfectly with soft, sharp goat’s cheese in a starter, while a seared tuna is immaculately presented, accompanied by seaweed and a wasabi horseradish. A rich smoked bacon topping to scallops give them a real kick, while the paper-baked sole with Asian-style vegetables – unfurled with a soupçon of drama – is a great comfort. A lovely dinner is topped off with a perfect passionfruit posset and a surprisingly light chocolate pudding. As good as the food is the confident and friendly service. Good marks all round.
So far as locally sourced produce goes, you can’t say much fairer than the fish market directly adjacent to your restaurant. Indeed, it was the Fish People fishmongers – based beside Shields Road Subway – who were responsible for founding this place, which explains its somewhat out of the way location. Be sure it’s worth the trip. Compact as the place may be, the café designation does the place little justice – this is a quality restaurant in all but name. Nor should you let the slightly naff exterior dissuade you as to how smart it looks within, between a marble-topped bar, green leather clad chairs and stools and gleaming glass wear. These fish people don’t just know how to pick the finest fruits of the sea but what to do with them, too. Lightly battered goujons of sole with a caper crème fraîche dipper is a simple starter impeccably made. Mains like Portland crab linguine with coriander, chilli and lemon and Anglesey sea bass rubbed in curry oil and served with spiced basmati rice treat common catches in unconventional ways. Were the rich chocolate tart with puff candy and salted caramel ice cream a fish it would sink it’s so deliciously indulgent.
- Provides: Halal options, Children's portions, Children's high chairs, Wheelchair access, Pre-theatre menu, Outdoor tables, Free wi-fi
- Music on stereo: Sixties soul
- Capacity: 38
- Largest group: 38
- Open since: 2012
- Number of wines sold by the glass: 21
- House wine: £19 per bottle
Reviews & features
The List Eating & Drinking Guide Awards for 2013 announced18 Apr 2013
Winners of the annual Best Newcomer Awards in Glasgow and Edinburgh
With the publication of its Eating & Drinking Guide for 2013, The List announced the winners of its annual Best Newcomer Awards. Selected from restaurants opening in Edinburgh and Glasgow since April 2012, the winners are chosen by the guide's…