For my Ask the Foodie column for Cambridge Edition, I seek out the best places in Cambridge to eat and buy fresh fish...
Q). Where in Cambridge can I indulge my penchant for fresh fish?
A). Ah, a subject very close to my seaside-loving heart. A few years ago, before Cambridge started getting more ‘foodie’, my reply would have been “head for the fish huts on the Suffolk coast and don’t look back!” Luckily we’ve now got a few options for buying and consuming fresh fish right here in the city. And being located less than 2 hours from the bountiful shores of the east coast, so we should!
If you’ve got culinary aspirations, head to the market square and seek out fresh fish and advice from the fishmonger stalls. I prefer the friendly patter, generous dressed crabs, and tasty Manx kippers at the Sunday stall. There are roaming fishmongers, too; one parking up on Wednesdays by the Portland Arms and selling a great selection of fish fresh from Lowestoft boats, and another stopping by the Newnham area on Saturday mornings. It’s advisable to pop along early to avoid disappointment if you’ve got a particular recipe in mind. My favourite local finds are the salmon and eel from River Farm Smokery in Bottisham, unbelievably tasty smoked fish that can be purchased from The Larder at Burwash Manor in Barton.
The options for feasting on fresh fish whilst out and about are more limited. Mill Road’s Broadway boasts The Sea Tree, a restaurant popular for its lobster evenings and fish and chips, which also holds a small selection of wet fish from Billingsgate (and the offer of ordering in if you’re after something specific to cook at home). If you’re in need of a larger menu of fish dishes, Loch Fyne retains the quaint Scottish charm of its origins and serves an array of seasonal shellfish alongside classics like fish pie and roast hot-smoked salmon.
If it’s a lobster brioche roll or crab bisque-infused Mac n Cheese* you’re after, like me you’ll have to wait for that street food trend to hit the city. Claws crossed!
Originally published in Cambridge Edition magazine, August 2014.
*Update: check out the lobster Mac n Cheese at The River Bar - it's fab.