Whether you’re local to Harrogate or just visiting; if you love seafood, especially with a south east Asian twist, I’d recommend you get a little Fisk in your dish.
A lot of new restaurants have opened in Harrogate lately, many of them great additions to the eating scene here, many of them chains too. And while I’ll happily eat out at one of my favourite franchises (I like to know what I’m going to get sometimes, especially as a family), I think it’s great to choose an independent restaurant when you want something extra special. I adore fish, so having heard good things about relative newcomer Fisk, on the Cold Bath Road, I was excited to try it.First up, it’s advisable to book well in advance for a weekend table as this restaurant is on the small and intimate side (which I love) and is proving popular since opening last year. We had a midweek early lunch date, which was quieter but the restaurant soon started to fill up. Secondly, there are meat, poultry and vegetarian options available but the menu is predominantly fish and seafood based, hence the name Fisk, which derives from the old Germanic word for fish.
While Fisk looks and sounds quite Scandinavian, the influences in the cooking actually stem from Executive Chef Kanyana Williams’ upbringing in Bangkok, where both her parents worked as successful chefs. Learning to cook since she was a child, she has since headed up a number of different ventures including a fast-service restaurant franchise as well as working as a private chef. Fisk is her first high-end restaurant offering, aimed to bring together ‘simple, flavour-filled dishes of sustainably sourced seafood and a love of champagne and fine wines’.I really like the small but perfectly formed layout of Fisk, which has a sleek monochrome interior theme with a bright, contemporary feel and the warm but discreet service only enhances that atmosphere. We kicked off with a glass of champagne (I can’t always face wine at lunchtime but a bit of fizz always feels lighter and more celebratory) and were quickly presented with a delicious little amuse bouche of prawn balls on sticks, of which I could have happily eaten a plateful.It’s quite rare that I struggle to make my mind up when ordering food as one or two things usually jump out at me but, while the lunchtime menu at Fisk is a tight and carefully-curated selection of dishes (six starters, seven mains), they all sounded so good! (NB: The a la carte menu, also available, is a little more extensive and indulgent, including options such as oysters and lobster.) In the end I chose to play safe with lightly battered king prawns and sweet chilli sauce while Greig was more adventurous with the cod tikka and mango salad. Mine was just what I hoped it would be; hot, tasty and perfectly cooked. Greig liked his starter too although it was quite generous (not a bad problem to have if you’re hungry). The tikka was a gentle blend of spices that didn’t overpower the fish, while the mango was a really refreshing, juicy accompaniment.For mains, I chose the tempura sea bass with celery and spring onions and Greig tried one of Fisk’s most popular signature dishes, the Monkfish massaman curry. I wouldn’t normally go for two battered dishes in a row but luckily the tempura was so light and crispy, it was almost ‘melt in the mouth’ and the fresh greens gave everything a nice balance. We shared a bowl of perfectly cooked sticky rice which soaked up my broth and Greig’s curry nicely. We often swap dishes half way through, just because it’s nice to try a few things from the menu. I was quite loathed to give mine up, however my serving of sea bass was pretty generous so I had my fill and let Greig finish it while I sampled his curry. I’m not great with really hot food but the massaman curry was gently spiced, again without overpowering the delicate monkfish, so I polished off the rest of his dish quite easily. To round things off Greig had a perfectly decent chocolate mousse while I had a mint tea, but I don’t think you really visit a place like Fisk for dessert. This is a destination for people who love their fish and seafood, especially with a South East Asian twist, but want something so much more than just another run of the mill Thai restaurant.
Our meal was utterly delicious and I can’t wait to sample the rest of the menu on our next visit.
A la carte menu prices range from £7-16 for a starter and from £14-29 for a mains.
A lunch time menu is priced at £18 for two courses or £22 for three courses.
Fisk, 61 Cold Bath Road, Harrogate, HG2 0NL
For more information and to book a table visit:
Disclosure: Our meal was free of charge for the purposes of this review. As always, all views are honest and my own and I would definitely recommend!