Had a nice chat this morning with Nigel and Zoe Brady, owners of a new fishmongers on Stoneygate’s Allandale Road.  Zoe is a local, Nigel a Dubliner with a background that varies from butchery to cancer research but the couple have been planning a fish and seafood shop for a couple of years.

We’ve got a fish market in the city centre, and of course big supermarkets tend to have fish counters, but I think there has to be a place for a neighbourhood fish shop. Especially one like this that seems to do it the right way.  They get deliveries from South and East coast ports every morning at 7am, all from day boats, so the emphasis is very much on freshness, seasonality and sustainability. Nigel reckons 95 per cent of his fish is from British waters, and while they do stock North Atlantic cod and haddock they are very keen to wean people off these traditional species and inspire and educate people about alternatives.  So the relatively small and beautifully displayed stock includes dabs, at just £1 each, red gurnard fillets, gilthead bream as well as Scottish langoustines and Norfolk crab and lobster. Scallops have been flying out this week thanks it seems to a colour supplement recipe at the weekend, and also on the slab today were brill, turbot, monkfish, squid, razor clams and oysters.

They cater for a lunchtime market with hot dishes to take away – today’s dish was mussels in tomato and chilli – and home made dishes including fish pies, smoked salmon pate, taramasalata and pasta salads. Recipe cards to inspire creative use of their fish are planned and the shop is licensed so they can recommend and sell you a nice chilled bottle of Sancerre or Champagne if you’re in the market for it.

The shop is open until 6pm early in the week and until 7pm on Thursday and Fridays, making it highly convenient for picking up something for the weekend. I just picked up a few extras today such  as nam pla, smoked Cornish seasalt and a few chillies, but I’ll be back soon to try the fish.

Edit January 2013: Nigel and Zoe have relocated their business to Northamptonshire -specifically to the wonderful Beckworth Emporium near Mears Ashby.It’s worth a drive out to this huge garden centee and mega-farmshop – if you do make it and see Nigel, tell him I sent you.

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