It’s a funny thing with fish. Years ago I never used to eat anything more adventurous than a Bird’s Eye fish finger but things have changed.
In those days I wasn’t familiar with it. I didn’t care for its slithery slippiness. I feared I would poison myself and others if I tried to cook it.
But that was then. Over the years I have gradually tried fish and liked it more and more. I’ve even caught mackerel at sea and prepared it from scratch. So I was keen to try out the fish night at Joules Yard and Eating House in High Street, Market Harborough.
I’ve been a regular visitor to Joules Eating House over the years for a lunchtime snack or to listen to the music at the monthly acoustic night or the Sunday lunchtime sessions.
I’ve always liked its quirky décor and its general friendly higgledy-piggledyness. But I had never gone there to eat in the evening before, so myself and my friend Jackie were looking forward to finding out what it was like.
The set-up is that they plan a four-course menu with a choice of two options for each fish course. It all starts at 7.30pm and they serve everyone at the same time.
They need at least six people to come along to make it viable for them to put on the fish night so it is important to book ahead so that they can plan ahead. It runs every Wednesday if they get the numbers, which I think they mostly do.
It costs £18 per person and that includes your four courses and a bottle of wine per couple. It’s absolutely brilliant value and we were trying to fathom out how on earth they manage it for the price. I wondered whether the portions would be tiny but this turned out not to be the case at all.
The staff were busy in the kitchen when we arrived but were soon out to say hello, bring us our wine and take our orders.
I started with salmon and scrambled eggs which had a lovely smokey flavour. Jackie tried the smoked trout pate which she said was nicely trouty without being overpowering and was pleasantly creamy.
Next up was the soup course and I decided to be adventurous and try the bouillabaisse. I say adventurous because it contained squid which I’m a bit wary of since trying it on holiday when the experience felt like chewing on a rubber band. No such problem here though. It contained lovely mussels and prawns which gave little bursts of flavour. Jackie went for the Laksa prawn soup which had a thai-inspired flavour, creamy, rich and spicy. Jackie is not a fan of prawns but since both soups contained them she was backed into a menu corner here. She gave them a go but settled on enjoying the soup and working round them. I pitched in and helped out with these so there were not too many left.
Main course options were fish goujons or cod. We both went for the cod. The fish was perfectly cooked. Nice and tender. It sat on a mixture of bacon, leeks and lentils which complemented the fish nicely though it made for a slightly dry combination for my taste and maybe it could have benefited from a sauce.
Then onto dessert. Jackie tried the rich chocolate cake and I went for the creamy lemon cheesecake. In both cases the portions were large and we just couldn’t finish them.
Overall a great, hearty meal in a friendly venue and excellent value. I would definitely recommend it to any fish lovers in the area.
PARKING: Some on-street parking and a car park nearby
COST OF OUR MEAL
FINAL TOTAL: £36
Yvonne’s star rating: 8/10