I managed to take a trip to Dartmouth on Saturday, a kind of belated Mother's Day. Obviously with my Mother. She was feeling sick from some bug she picked up on holiday so I had to eat alone.
Mitch Tonks is a successful fish restauranteur, when I heard he'd opened a fish & chip shop in Dartmouth called Rockfish, I got pretty excited. Sad I know. So off I went in search of my lunch with a rumbling tummy and a big hangover.
When I found the chip shop, to my disappointment, I realised it was actually a restaurant and not a takeaway. Yet I stepped inside and asked the lady if I could take away, as I wasn't going to eat alone seated at a table. The lady offered me the only takeaway option, Cod & Chips, I was happy with this. The Cod at Rockfish is line caught from a sustainable source, so it gets a big tick for ethics.
I handed over my £7.95 and sat for 10 minutes or so while my food was cooked to order. It arrived nicely boxed and in a brown paper bag with a tub of tartare sauce, slice of lemon, plastic knife & fork, napkin and sachet of vinegar & salt. Oh and for extra poshness a single leaf of parsley to show me that my £8 was money well spent. The whole package looked really good, but the illusion collapsed the moment I ate a sneaky chip. It appears they are using frozen chips or overly floury potatoes which fill your mouth like a sponge, although it probably helped soak up the booze from the night before. The batter was under cooked or rather the oil wasn't hot enough to crisp it up properly. The tartare sauce was good and the actual fish flesh was excellent, but just a massive let down that the basics weren't covered. I'd rather go to my local chippy in Totnes (The Silver Grill) or my favorite in Exeter (The Dolphin) or if you're looking for posh high end stuff try Rick Stein's chippy.
My comments are not fair on Rockfish as a restaurant, although I wouldn't eat there based on my chips being utter guff and the decor being rather shit. Sorry Mitch. But it really is shit.