Fish Market may look a bit like an aquarium but the food is ace

Old Bengal Warehouse, New Street, EC2
Tel: 020 3503 0790
FOOD ****

Cost per person without wine: £30

The Fish Market is one of the four new creations by restaurant group D&D to have found a home in the newly renovated Old Bengal Warehouse. Alongside the fish restaurant sits the New Street Grill, a low lit saloon style meat house; The Old Bengal Bar, a cool, vibrant cocktail bar; and a wine merchant and café, which employs an ingenious wine “oyster card” system.

After being greeted by the maître d' d’, you’re transported from the damp, cold London streets into the fresh seaside interiors of the Fish Market. Painted a teal blue, with rough wooden furniture and big pales of sauces adorning each table, the Fish Market has a cheery, beachy feel to it. This is not, however, your normal fish & chip restaurant: this is something altogether classier. There are no newspaper wrappers, or grey peas mushed to a pulp, no greasy chips or seagulls scavenging for your food. I had plaice goujons with tartar sauce to start, a generous portion by anyone’s standards, which disappeared at break-neck speed.

Counter-intuitively, I invited someone who doesn’t like fish and a mild panic spread over my guest’s face, as she looked over the menu and at the bar, laden with colourful crustaceans. Luckily, Fish Market caters for fish-phobic friends, with a variety of meat and vegetarian alternatives. Despite her carnivorous tastes, she ordered the prawn cocktail, which was thoroughly enjoyed.

The second course was just as good. The cod and leek fishcake was crisp and flavoursome, served with a creamy, rich mustard sauce and soft, fluffy mash potato. My meat-eating friend ordered the fillet of steak – a huge chunk of succulent meat, although it was served a little on the bloody side for my taste.

We fully planned to abstain from dessert until we spotted the chocolate hot cake. Thank God we did – it was to die for. The warm chocolate and nut cake, served with hot rich chocolate sauce and vanilla ice cream, was also divine.

Following the meal, the bar staff humoured us late into the night. This could be the enthusiasm of the new job or perhaps it is the mantra of the Fish Market; only time will tell. I will certainly be back to find out.