Review: Soul Fish, Bristol

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Everybody does love fish and chips don’t they – even vegetarians (remember the halloumi ‘fish’ and chips at 1847? Corr).

But you know what else people like these days? Soul food and booze, and luckily the clever folk at Soul Fish have brought all these things together under one cosy roof – hurrah!

The minute you walk into Soul Fish you get a warm welcome from owner Stuart Seth and his merry team, which will make you feel all the more guilty if, like me, you spend ages deliberating over their lip-smacking menu.

On this occasion we went in to try the latest additions – most of which are to the soul food elements of the menu, and it ended up being quite the mega meal…

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I’ll talk you through the highlights first: the blackened fish (a fillet of haddock in a light, slightly spiced seasoning) was perfectly cooked and a nice lighter fish option for those of you wanting to dodge the more batter-tastic parts of the menu. Paired with the collard greens (a pile of steamed kale with bacon bits, again with a nice sprinkle of seasoning) and cajun chips, this was a really tasty combo and a nice alternative to the usual fare offered by fish & chip shops.

Very pleased with the portion sizes too:

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Other favourites were the chicken wings in a butter, honey & chilli glaze (the sauce was ridiculously moreish and the wings has a nice crunch on the outside, whilst the meat was nice and soft underneath) and the deep fried mac ‘n’ cheese bites (creamy, cheesy and a good breadcrumb coating) – although the ‘spiced tomato sauce’ they come with just tasted like plain ketchup too me, but then I do have quite a high threshold for spice (to the extent that I always keep a couple of bottles of chilli sauce in my drawer at work to perk up my lunches).

I also really enjoyed the calamari, which were perfectly cooked, and I’ve had more bad calamari than you could shake a squid’s 8 fists at. The aioli it came with wasn’t very garlicky, so I ended up adding lots of pepper & a squeeze of lemon to it instead.

The Greek salad was also top notch – another good-sized portion with big chunks of feta, cucumber, red onion and tomato, and once again perfectly seasoned.

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Now for the bits I wasn’t quite so sure of, but a lot of this could be down to personal preference. I found the mushy peas a bit too runny (and the small bits made me think fresh chicken stock had been used in them), so it was more like a sauce than a side; great for dipping but not so complimentary to the fish.

The house slaw was also a bit odd – slightly pickled with a mild curry flavour, I guess they’re edging this more towards the soul food end of the spectrum, but the style might not be to everyone’s taste or what they’re expecting. Again this worked well with the chips but I didn’t like it so much with the fish or other sides.

In addition to the bits we tried, the menu also features po’ boys, battered sausage and a crab chowder which I’m keen to try next time. They do gluten-free batter on Mondays, which is nice.

The drinks selection is pretty decent too, with a good mix of soft drinks, craft beers, cider, Heineken and fizzy wine in a can (yes I wasn’t sure about it either, but it was actually nice – nice enough that I had more than one can in fact).

Finally, we just about made room for puddings. The deep fried Oreo was weirdly nice – it tasted like those freshly-made doughnuts you get at the seaside – all gooey and warm and very indulgent. I’d definitely have it again, probably with ice cream.

The pecan pie was as rich as you’d expect and also pretty tasty, although it was always going to come second to that battered Oreo. Unnnf.

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In addition to their interesting menu (which they’re always keen to get feedback on), gluten free Mondays and commitment to sustainable sourcing, Soul Fish also have a partnership with the micro-finance charity Deki, so every time you pop in for a fish supper, you’ll be doing some good for fishermen in Malawi too, which is a bit lovely.

Soul Fish have usually got a deal on Wriggle, but check out their Twitter for the latest lunchtime offers too.

A fish and chip shop with Soul by the bucket loads. Make sure you try out their munch for yourself.

Soul Fish
4A Gloucester Rd
Bishopston
BS7 8AE

www.soul-fish.uk

soul-fish

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