Rarely do I reminiscence about a restaurant menu.
Most restaurants’ offerings just blur in my memory as one gooey blob of homogeneity. Be honest. Think about it a bit. Especially in the British cuisine sector one dish after another is regurgitated from one menu to the next that later it feels as if you’re eating at the same restaurant all the time.
Catch is different. For 20 minutes Jeanne, from Cooksister, and I repeatedly pored over the menu, which offers a smorgasbord of fish and seafood items. Process of elimination didn’t work. We wanted EVERYTHING off the starter menu. Oysters, seafood platters, crab, king prawns, crayfish cocktail, just everything. Seeing how indecisive we were our clued up waitress came over to lend us a helping hand and we weren’t disappointed.
The Seared Yellow Tuna and Marinated Tartar with Watercress Mousse and Soft Boiled Quail Egg (£14.00) sent us over the moon. The solid cube of tuna was encrusted with toasted spices that boggled our minds until we found out from the soft-spoken, wiz of a chef, Martin Scholz, that it’s aniseed and Sichuan pepper. The latter played with our tongues in mysterious ways; a prickle here and a metallic aftertaste at the back of our tongues there. We couldn’t get enough of the sweet and sour tartar and the mousse worked well with both fish items.
Who knew chorizo worked so well with oysters? Crispy Fried Oyster Tempura served with perfectly balanced, not overly sweet Sweet Soy & Chili Sauce was simply unmissable. The dozen oysters cost £24.00.
Fish-averse eaters can be consoled by some venison, the only meaty item spotted on the menu.
In the drinks department you are in cocktail heaven. Everything from the Raspberry Mojito to the Passion Fruit & Lime Cocktail were blissful and the highlight was the Apricot, Amaretto Champagne one.
After such a hugely impressive and successful start to our meal, we were brought back to reality. Both fish courses: Pan-fried Farmed Turbot with Dijon Mustard & Tarragon served with White Asparagus & Spring Onions (£24.00) and the Crispy Skinned Anglesey Sea Bass with Penne Pasta, Morels & Lettuce Hearts (£23.00), were excellently prepared but lacked the wow factor the starters had. Nonetheless, all of it was enjoyable.
What I found quite disappointing was that the only seafood platter available was a cold one. I expected more from a speciality seafood restaurant. A warm, grilled one perhaps? If this ever becomes available I’ll be the first in the queue!
Although I’m not a lover of dessert, I wished mine never ended. Cocoa Sorbet sounds like a strange concept but your tongue will beg to differ. The quaint saffron-tinted tangerines worked well with the somewhat heavy, squidgy white chocolate tart. On a lighter note, apples in every shape and form made a perfect end to the meal. Success.
9/10: One of my most memorable restaurant experience this year.
6/10: Pricy but food is of consistent high quality.
9/10: Attentive and our confident waitress knew what she was doing.
8/10: All good.
7/10: A bit dark for by taste but classy all the same.
9/10: I’ll go back in a heartbeat!
P.S. A special thanks to Catch for having me as a guest that afternoon.
40 Liverpool Street