Leigh Hermon savours the flavours of Plettenberg Bay in her review of The Fat Fish.
When the hankering for hake and chips sets in, I become single-minded in my quest for seafood. The craving hit one afternoon and determined our lunch plans for the day.
We wandered over to The Fat Fish set at the bottom of the hill at Central Beach in the Milkwood Centre. Despite being behind the behemoth hotel that is Beacon Island, diners still have access to beach views on the balcony which is where we set in for an afternoon of white wine and, of course, fish.
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So what’s on the menu?
First off, the menu is not as it seems; it’s also a four-page newspaper complete with a nameplate, edition number, opinion pieces, Sudoku and an article about the Kranshoek Griqua. Some might call it gimmicky but, as a journalist, it’s endearing and frankly informative.
I may have been there to get my fish-and-chips fix, but I didn’t mind putting that off while we sampled some tapas. I’m unable to turn down squid, so bring on the Cajun baby squid (R75) and, while we’re at it, we might as well throw in the wild mushroom arancini (R72) and the bobotie spring rolls (R70). The potent Cajun flavours and creamy blue-cheese sauce served with the arancini were both so moreish that we found ourselves mopping up both with our spring rolls.
The wine list is extensive and you order bubbles by the glass – always a win. There’s a cocktail menu with all the usual suspects as well as a dedicated gin section that showcases some of the well-known local varieties such as Inverroche and Six Dogs.
If you want to stay in and make your own beer battered hake, try this recipe.
When I eventually ordered the fat fish and chips (R110), it did not disappoint. The beer batter was crisp and packed with crunch as I pierced the fish to find it perfectly cooked. I couldn’t finish all that was on my plate – no doubt due to how heavy handed we were with the tapas – but that just meant I could take home what was left to enjoy it a second time round.
If you still have space, then dip into the dessert menu of white chocolate crème brûlée or chilli chocolate mousse. I have my eyes on the baked cheesecake for next time.
Open Monday to Sunday from 11:30am to 10pm.
+27 (0) 44 533 4740; [email protected]
A journalist by trade, features writer on occasion and now the digital editor of SA Country Life. The first chance she gets, Leigh will tell you about a podcast she was recently listening to and how you simply have to make the move from radio. In a previous life, she once taught English on Jeju which left her with an insatiable craving for kimchi.