We are in Dorset for the first time in a while and we are having dinner with Neko and Ziggy at The Riverside. It is a restaurant in West Bay that specialises in fresh fish.
As we trawl through the menu….we are all confused. There may be many fish in the sea but most of them appear to be on this menu. We order, change our minds, change our order, change our minds again and change our order again. The process only takes about 5 minutes and the staff are patient and understanding throughout but, we are nevertheless, feeling slightly embarrassed.
Both Neko and I, still caught by this confusion, decide to wade into the daily selection of fish. The selection is a shoal of five different fresh fish, plus a scallop and a gamba all served in a bourride sauce. I’m not sure we could name all the fish but they are beautifully fresh and beautifully cooked.
A bottle of Les Perriers Sancerre arrives with a gentle elderflower and gooseberry nose and a finish of decent length. It works really well with the fish.
Rock reels in the grilled Lemon Sole fillets and Ziggy lands the grilled Dover Sole fillets in a Lobster bisque served with cumin fried parsnip crisps and shiitake mushrooms. Rock and Ziggy seem strangely quiet for a while but I soon realise that they have just been busy clearing all signs of food from their plates.
We cast an eye over the dessert menu. After having an assiette of fish, I share the assiette of desserts with Rock. Ziggy and Neko decide to net the coffee crème brulee with Breton biscuit and caramelised fig. Nearby diners soon catch sight of another set of clean plates.
There remain many restaurants who really don’t do fish well, but The Riverside know how to cook fish – hook, line and sinker!