Last rated: 10/04/2014
The Champagne and Oyster Bar is, somewhat appropriately, housed in the Old Fishmarket building in the famous Pantiles area of the town. The bijou building dates back to 1745 and has been fitted out with an open-plan kitchen, marble-top tables and a tiled floor to add a touch of luxury well in keeping with the historic surrounds. It is more spacious than it looks from the outside but with 22 seats and having quickly established itself as a popular venue, booking is advisable. It opens Tuesdays through to Saturdays.
Wet fish (a lovely old term that has largely fallen into disuse), mussels, lobster and crab (the latter from Harvey’s of Newlyn) and eight types of oysters are menu staples, along with caviar. Oysters are sold by the pair or half dozen and include Duchy Natives (£8.35 a pair), Lindisfarne Rocks (£4.80 a pair) and Carlingford Rocks (£7.50 a pair). The daily menu might major on mains such as Peterhead cod fillet (£19.50), smoked mackerel nicoise (£10.50) or moules mariniere (£10.50). Whole dressed crab (£19.40) and Cornish lobster (£40) are among the headline acts but equally you can build a romantic seafood platter for two (£22.50) from a mix of ingredients including crab, cockles, whelks, devilled anchovies and pickled herring. (For those who don’t fancy eating seafood, the restaurant is happy to prepare another dish, but give them notice.) And all this can be merrily washed down with a selection of champagnes and sparkling wines from around the world.