The Little Fish Market is tucked away on Upper Market Street in Hove. This restaurant has been on my radar for some time and I finally managed to nab a table for Sophie and I late last year.
From the outside The Little Fish Market is unassuming and tasteful; inside there is a rustic sophistication to a somewhat Spartan space that seats around 20 diners. The restaurant was opened in 2013 and is the first solo venture by chef-patron Duncan Ray. This man knows his trade and has an impressive résumé, notably working alongside Heston Blumenthal at The Fat Duck in Bray. The restaurant appears to go from strength to strength receiving an AA Rosette Award for Culinary Excellence in 2014 and featuring in the Good Food Guide in the same year.
We went with high expectations and weren’t disappointed; the quiet restaurant played host to a delight of fish-based dishes accompanied by a deliciously refreshing bottle of Picpoul de Pinet. There is a small waiting staff team (of 1 by the looks of it) that gives each diner a very personal experience and, although I thought this ‘lack’ of staff would be a hindrance, it was not.
We chose to eat from a 5 course menu that made my wallet cry out in shock but is absolutely worth it. Each dish was presented beautifully with the flavours working well to stand out and complement one another.
We enjoyed the following delectable plates:
Confit salmon, crispy egg and beetroot sorbet
Fillet of beef with brown shrimp and water cress
Cod and curried lentils
Monkfish and pork belly with sage and cabbage
Salted caramel and popcorn dessert
Although the descriptions don’t sound like much, I can assure you they were works of art both visually and on my discerning palate. Each course had its own elaborate twist or X-factor with such promise I wouldn’t be surprised if a Michelin star were to adorn their awards board in the near future.
My only qualm would be their website, which does not do the restaurant justice at all.
We left utterly impressed, completely satisfied and will most certainly be returning.