It probably won’t have escaped your notice that I wasn’t born and bred in Manchester (and surrounding areas).
I mean, the clue’s in the name.
Growing up on the Fylde Coast until moving to Manchester in 2000, I was excited to find my two worlds colliding in the form of a fabulous fish restaurant.
Marple has hosted The Fisherman’s Table since late last year and the restaurant, offering all locally sourced produce, has enjoyed high praise in the short time it’s been open.
And so, like little old me (because this and everything else is about me), the restaurant is straddling the two counties and has opened its second in Lancashire’s Poulton-le-Fylde. Like my good self once upon a time (all about me), owner and fishmonger, Jamie Barrett, lives in the area and couldn’t wait to bring his fine fare back home.
Throwing its doors open proper tonight, Saturday 7 September, I attended last night’s launch to test out the fixtures, fittings, fizz and, most importantly, the fish.
The stylish space is classically furnished in dark wood, with open brick walls adorned with photography, paintings and sculptures depicting the restaurant’s raison d’etre; the sea and all who stem from it.
The assembled Fylde Coastians , a title I’m still entitled to, were treated to (and it was a treat) a selection of teaser canapés and starters from the menu to salivate over. I was going to say ‘and salivate we did’, but this is starting to conjure up a bizarre and frankly unpalatable image.
They were delicious, is what I’m clumsily saying.
We first tried the smoked haddock croquettes with tartare sauce…
Deliciously seasoned, these almost little fishcakes were crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside and with a smoky heat beautifully offset by the fresh, light tartare sauce. I could have popped them all night.
Also on offer was the crispy chilli calamari with harissa aoili. With a light batter, the chilli didn’t overpower and provided a tang to the melt in the mouth squid rings.
A new canape on me was the crispy haddock skin with oyster mayonnaise. At the risk of doing it a disservice, it was like a lovely fishy crisp (and I love crisps, to the point of disgrace), with a delicate dip to boot and touches like this are a strong indicator of a kitchen and restaurant which is keen to mix the traditional with the innovative whilst staying faithful to everything that is wonderful about fish and seafood.
Oysters and fizz are one of those classic combinations like cod and lemon, cockles and mussels erm…Vic and Bob. Whilst in the early 19th century, oysters were actually cheap and seen as one of the almost staple foods of the working classes, they are now a sign of decadence and never more so when taken with a glass of sparkling wine. The selection of Pacific Rock Oysters on offer last night typified the establishment’s approach to dining – classic, stylish but, most of all, delicious.
A launch is intended to provide a taster, a suggestion, a spoiler, even, of what’s to come from something new be it a restaurant, bar, festival or hotel. And from my couple of hours spent at The Fisherman’s Table, they have me hooked.
Pun, fully intended but heartfelt.
The menu proper is select but a perfectly balanced deep dive into all the glories to be found in our seas. Importantly, step forward one Irish Sea, from which local Fleetwood fish is rightly represented in dishes such as Fleetwood Smoked Haddock and Clam Chowder on the starters and Seared Fleetwood Skate Wing with Clams, Samphire and Capers on the mains.
The menu also draws on neighbour Morecambe, as the Bay’s famous Brown Shrimps make an appearance in the selection of sides.
I look forward to drawing up a seat at The Fisherman’s Table proper and for those in Greater Manchester, hotfoot it into Marple quick smart.
For those on the Fylde Coast and surrounding areas, head over to the gastronomic stretch that is Breck Road, to this fantastic addition to the area’s dining scene.
For me? I like to think of myself as having dual citizenship to the two counties, something I now have in common with The Fisherman’s Table. Whilst I would never dare suggest I’m an asset to either, I would venture that to Greater Manchester and Lancashire, The Fisherman’s Table is a great catch.
To be one of the first to book in at The Fisherman’s Table in Poulton and to see full details of the menu, head to https://www.thefishermanstable.co.uk/poulton/.
You can also book at the inaugural Marple restaurant here, and see why in 10 short months, the Fisherman’s Table has been nominated for two awards at the http://foodanddrinkfestival.com/awards/