This October, as part of The Wild Table, and in celebration of Seafood Week, we’re taking a look at what really goes into getting our favourite seafood dishes onto the plate. Fredrik Lindfors is Manager of The Fish Shop at Kensington Place, as well as champion oyster-shucker (30 oysters in 2 minutes, 52 seconds!), so there’s nobody better-placed to tell us everything we need to know about daily life as a fishmonger and guide us on the seafood to look out for this autumn.
Early rising isn’t everyone’s forte, but for Fredrik, getting up at the crack of dawn (3.30am!) to hit Billingsgate Fish Market is just part of the weekday routine. With an array of suppliers at the market, including Cyprus Fisheries and Selsea, sourcing seafood from all over the British coast (particularly Scotland and Cornwall), the day has o-fish-ially started. Fredrik picks out the seafood for the day himself, before it’s loaded into the van and driven back to The Fish Shop.
Once the haul is back in Notting Hill, it’s sorted into individual orders; namely those for restaurants (to be delivered around 8am) and those for home deliveries (to be delivered afterwards). It’s fair to say this is an arduous process. As Fredrik goes about his usual routine, he divulges some useful tips, personal favourites and what seasonal treats we should eat this month.
His advice was to go big on scallops, oysters, langoustines, and crabs. He’s actually an advocate of picking crab instead of lobster, as in his opinion it has a stronger and altogether nicer taste. But his favourite fish of all? Good old Dover Sole. A particularly elegant choice, but then again he does know his fish.
What about the all important question of freshness, you may ask? Well, according to Mr Lindfors, the best way to tell if your fish is fresh this autumn, is to give it a good feel. Surprisingly, if it feels a little hard and firm, then you know it’s going to be good. Steer clear of anything too soft, as it may be a few days old.
And there you have it – remember to make sure your chosen sea creature is fresh (and firm), get it sizzling in a saucepan and slide it onto your plate before eating a deliciously fresh meal.*
One thing is certainly for shore, the Fish Shop undeniably sources some brill-iant quality fish. See the full seafood list for October here.
*If you don’t fancy yourself as much of a cook, instead of trawling The Fish Shop for the latest catch, you can munch on the British coasts finest right next door from new Head Chef, Ian Waghorn, at Kensington Place. Talk about convenient.