Since Northampton’s fish market closed some time ago buying fresh fish in the town has meant a trip to one of the supermarkets. Morrison’s are pretty good – especially the town centre branch – but Waitrose and Sainsbury’s are fairly average; the fish is ok but the selection is limited.
Goose and I eat fish quite often and having recently returned from Lisbon are feeling more adventurous. I tried some fairly small halibut from Morrison’s but wasn’t that impressed. You can get salmon, sea bass, snappers and some fairly ordinary shellfish but its all rather uninspiring. Their samphire is Israeli too so I’ve stopped buying that.
So I was delighted to learn that two fishmongers have opened in my adopted home town – one on York Road and the other, much nearer to me, at 167 Kettering Road.
The appropriately named Fresh Fish Supermarket is sited boldly on the corner of Kettering road and reminds me of similar establishments I’ve visited in Kilburn. There’s no fuss, just a lot of fish!
Laid out in the polystyrene boxes they arrived in and covered in ice there is a dazzling array of seafood. You will find the usual suspects: cod, haddock, salmon, sardines, prawns and mussels. But also shark, several types of live crab, lobster, monkfish, clams, parrot fish, sole and much more.
They have a deep freeze as well so if you want to stock the freezer you can. The two chaps were friendly and knowledgeable (language permitting) and told me that if I wanted special items or, say, a larger fish then orders are taken.
I chose two medium groupers which they gutted and cleaned for me. I paid £12 and was happy with that. Another couple handed over £25 and walked out with two full carrier bags. I reckon its better value than the supermarket chains and you won’t find that breadth of stock anywhere on the high street.
When I got home I managed to cut four generous fillets from the groupers (I could probably have got away with one) for Goose and my dinner. I marinaded them in salt, pepper and a little paprika and pan fried them in very hot olive oil. I served them with roasted cubes of potato and acorn squash and slow roasted cherry tomatoes with basil. All washed down with a lightly chilled Chablis. Nice.