Fresh or Frozen
Tuesday, 12 September 2017



When you think of fresh fish, what do you think of? Caught off the seashore? Bought straight from the local fish monger? Bought at a fish market on the docks? Catch-of-the-Day at restaurants? Only one of these is actually what you and I would consider “fresh”. The other three are pretty much guaranteed frozen at some point. Shock? Horror? It’s “Caught off the seashore” of course.


How can this be? Nearly all fish is frozen at some point to maintain freshness, this is nearly always done at sea to ensure the freshest taste. It always amuses me when guests say, “Well how can it be fresh when you are so far from the sea?” It’s all about perceptions of course. Just because you are eating at a coastal restaurant doesn’t necessarily mean it’s any fresher than what you eat inland. The reason for me writing this blog is because I was recently in Bournemouth and waited all day to have Fish & Chips at this restaurant on the coast, famous for their fish & chips. I was really disappointed. Why? This perception thing again, I was expecting the fish to be freshly caught but I could taste that it had been frozen and it was no better than my local “Chippie” just outside Reading. It’s amazing how many people shared the opinion that you could “Taste the freshness” according to reviews. This is not always the case, as day boats or cast-off-coast line-fisherman can of course bring in their “catch-of-that-day” and it is of course possible to prepare it that same evening. The amount of high-end restaurants that do this is incredibly slim. Why? Consistency. Guests expect consistent dining experiences and the fisherman cannot guarantee that they will catch the same size or quality of fish. Instead fishmongers go to the big fish markets and hand pick their stock, still frozen and just defrost on the day that they plan on selling it or sell it directly to the restaurants in their frozen state. Is this unacceptable? Of course not, it is still the best fish at the best restaurants, it just about breaking that glass ceiling of perception.


Our fishmongers use Brixham Fish Market in South Devon for our fish. It is the biggest and most well-known of all the fish markets, if you ever find yourself in that part of the country make sure you pop in as it really is a magnificent sight. On every Friday morning they have a huge market which you can buy produce from, not just bulk but on an individual basis. We have always been told that our fish is the best in town and it’s because of these high standards and very specific buying that this is the case. It’s not always the cheapest but it’s certainly among the best.


We are all seafood lovers here at Forbury’s which is why we have an all new midweek Seafood menu. Wednesdays and Thursdays only for both lunch and dinner we are offering a three course menu for £25. For more details go to our website or just give us a call on 01189 574044.


Thanks for reading and remember if there is anything you would like us to talk about please let us know on our Facebook Page,


Until next time,