“You’ve never eaten here before? I’m not a fan of fish, but this place is awesome”. Sitting down in Fish Finder in Mount Pleasant on a drizzling Tuesday evening, these are the words I’m met with, uttered by a regular visitor to the restaurant. Having just ordered my starter, this was a good sign and this only increased my excitement to try something new and unknown.
Last week Tuesday’s cold, wet weather was ideal for an outing to Fish Finder, a fish and chip shop set in the heart of Mount Pleasant in Port Elizabeth. I had received an invitation two weeks prior to my visit from the fresh fish restaurant’s marketing manager, Alison Newsome, for a sit down dinner, and what would be my first taste of the restaurant’s seafood menu. I was pleasantly surprised to receive an invite like this from what I had always thought was a take-away fish and chip shop on the side of Buffelsfontein Road. Having never visited Fish Finder, I was unaware of the fact that they also have a restaurant with seating for twenty or more restaurant-goers in a cosy eatery decorated to mimic the look and feel of a beach shack.
When I arrived, I was seated by Keren, my waitress for the evening. Alison arrived to welcome me to the restaurant, and ensured that I would be in good hands with Keren at my service. Escorted to my table and seated, Keren gave me a moment to peruse the menu. Fish Finder’s menu is comprised of a selection of starters, and the main meals on offer include hake, prawns, calamari, snoek, and mussels. They also serve salads, pickled fish, wraps, burgers, and chicken for those who may not be interested in the restaurant’s catch of the day. I noticed that on their menu, they claim to serve the best calamari in town – a theory I planned to put to the test later in the evening. You’ll also find an extensive wine menu at Fish Finder, with 25 different wines to choose from, as well as a house wine served by the glass. And after your meal, you can enjoy an espresso, cappuccino or americano coffee.
The invitation for the tasting included the choice of a bottle of wine, a starter, main meal, and dessert. While traditionally you’re supposed to drink white wine with fish, I decided to order a bottle of Hill and Dale’s light and refreshing dry rose merlot. After a thorough look at the starters on the menu, Keren arrived at my table to take my order. I decided on the fish balls served on a bed of salad, which comes with the choice of either a green or Greek salad. I opted for the green salad, which turned out to be a great choice. The fish balls where crisp and light, done to perfection, and full of flavour. The salad was made up of fresh greens, which is something not all restaurants always get right.
After a good start to my dining experience, Keren returned to take the next order. For my main meal, I ordered the half portion of deep-fried calamari with chips, and it was time to put Fish Finder’s title of ‘Best Calamari in Town’ to the test. Calamari is one of the very few seafoods I enjoy eating, and Fish Finder’s calamari is some of the best I’ve had in a long time. The half portion was a generous one, and it was more than enough for me. The calamari came with a healthy helping of chips. Fish Finder has truly perfected something as simple as fish and chips and made it a meal worth writing home about!
When I had first looked at the menu, the deep fried Bar One dessert instantly caught my eye, and so, when it time for me to order the final course of my meal, I knew without a doubt that this dessert was what my heart desired! It does, however, come with a warning on the menu: ‘subject to availability and doctor’s note’! Despite the disclaimer, I took the risk. Served with two scoops of ice cream and drizzled in chocolate sauce, this decadent devil of a dessert is a work of art and worth the calories! Keren and Alison surprised me with an extra treat – a dessert wine served with my deep fried chocolate delight. The glass of Slanghoek special late harvest was the cherry on top of a perfect meal.
Fish Finder is more than a local fish and chip shop, offering a friendly and hospitable dining experience, and serving fresh fish, fine wine, and mouthwatering dessert. I can guarantee that you’ll be just as surprised as I was at what you’ll find behind Fish Finder’s front door.