REVIEW: The Fish Cottage, Sandsend
- Credit: Kathryn armstrong
Where: Could it be better placed? The Fish Cottage sits by a stream that trickles to the ocean waves at chic little Sandsend, at the north end of Whitby Bay. Sit on benches outside with your takeaway and you can smell the sea air and feels sand between your toes. Close to Mulgrave Woods, The Fish Cottage has a leafy outlook too – best of all worlds.
The vibe: Definitely a flavour of refined beach shack. Rock up in your flip flops and shorts or something a bit fancier – casual and cool is how they play it. The indoor/outdoor tables mean it can be a stop-off after a beach day or a destination for dinner on your hols. Outside it’s easy-going dining on wooden benches inside a bit more fancy in surroundings that offer a seaside nod with shells, blues and wood – and fishes on the wallpaper in the loo. All very relaxed.
The food: Fish and seafood lovers will be happy as Larry thanks to a menu that is all about the catch of the day – exactly what you want somewhere like this. Dine inside and you can bag half a lobster and chips for a decent £19, moules mariniere at £16 or fish or king prawn tacos at £9.50/£10.50. There are the cod and chips mainstays in a variety of options – large cod and chips £14.50.
Sides line up at £3 each and include Pan-fried pak choi, soy and garlic butter, beef dripping chips, skin-on fries and mixed salad. We liked the sound of crab fries - skin-on fries topped with fresh crab meat, brown crab mayo, fresh chillies, spring onions, coriander at £9. You get the picture - something for everyone.
What we ate: Four of us dined in the restaurant early evening on a sunny day. Outside there were families filling their tums after a day on the beach.
Inside we spied a specials menu and from this one chose the pan-fried sea trout at £18. My choice was the simple half lobster and chips, £19. Another less hungry pal chose from the starters menu - salt cod fish cakes with lemon aioli, £7.50. While another went for a ‘from the grill’ option of hake en papillote, £18.
This was a star of the show - roasted in a paper bag with samphire and harissa butter it was cooked to a just-flake perfection, nice balance on the heat of the harissa and on a bed of roasted new potatoes. You need fresh fish and seafood to be cooked with a light hand – this was true of the lobster which was easy to tackle having been eased from the shell for easy access – same true of the chunk of claw meat. Simply done - garlic butter, chips and salad ticked the box to make the dish complete – it was lovely. Pan-fried sea trout was deliciously seasonal and fresh, well cooked with charred skin and soft flesh.
The salt cod fishcakes were punchy and moussey – good with their kick of aioli. Top marks to a decent well-priced wine list too. We thoroughly enjoyed the seaside seafood experience. Staff were pleasant, the ambience good and there was a spirit of jolly holidays about the place.
Takeaways looked the business and I’d definitely be tempted to come back and grab some of those prawn tacos to sustain me on a beach walk.