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A la Colthard/Fishmekan & Fourth and Church

Brighton is well served by high end restaurants, the latest being Pascore which has 2 AA rosettes. It also has numerous ethnic restaurants. The Chinese ones are mainly to be found in Preston Street, Brighton’s equivalent to Chinatown, but there are numerous Indian, Mediterranean and Thai all over Brighton and Hove.

I was recommended Fishmekan, a Turkish fish restaurant, by my delightful Italian pedicurist Laura. I ordered a taxi which dropped me off twenty yards (he said) from the restaurant. I walked back but of the restaurant there was no sign. I asked two shops, a local trader and at Sainsburys, but no one had heard of the restaurant.

I walked back and saw a pub but no Fishmekan. I stopped a taxi driver who helpfully told me to jump in and drove me back to where I first alighted. However, I still could see no sign outside the entrance until the self-same driver showed me it was actually the pub.

Silly old Daffers – except I could see no sign other than the overhead one that was not visible from the pavement.

I ordered scallops as a starter and octopus, both served with various additions of veg. I found the final concoction a bit of a mush. The service was good, though slightly intrusive,  but the big space was at best quarter full which deprived the restaurant of atmosphere. At £66 with a bottle of Torrentes it was good enough value but I will recall the evening for poor Laura. Her boyfriend of 10 years returned to Italy to find work, their relationship supposedly intact, and promptly found a new woman who broadcast that she was officially engaged to him on Facebook. To me an example of the good guy playing it by the book and being the loser but I was telling her to fight back!

There was no such problem of locating with Fourth and Church as it’s situated close to Fourth Avenue and on Church Road opposite the Town Hall. Bob Tickler’s Spanish teacher had recommended this one.

It’s 3 things: a wine shop, delicatessen and about six tables for eating. It’s not actually a tapas restaurant, more shared platters. This was a shame as I had rather hoped for some gazpacho but ordered a cod dish, pate and a squid and fennel dish, all copious and tasty enough. My two guests had salt beef sandwiches. This did have atmosphere with shoppers and diners, one of whom left the restaurant three time in hurry to make mobile phone calls. Thank goodness he was not exposing the rest of us to his call. With a Negroni, 2 glasses of white wine and a soft drink, 3 coffees and desert, the final bill was again £66 and good value. I was more likely to return there than to Fishmekan … on the basis that I might not find it!!!

Daphne Colthard
About Daphne Colthard

After graduating at RADA but finding no roles Daphne went into magazine journalism with Good Housekeeping. Widely recognised as one of the country's leading restaurant and hotel reviewers, particularly by herself, Daphne is the author of "Bedded and Breakfasted", a light hearted chick novel and Grand Hotels DC: the Daffers Dictionary. Daphne lives in West London and is married to an investment banker Oliver. They have 2 boys Humphrey and Tarquin. More Posts