After a heady few years of over-expansion and financial turmoil, FishWorks seems to have found its niche, with three branches in smarter parts of town. Each has a wet fish counter at the front, restaurant behind, with the airy Richmond outpost also offering a cookery school.
The Mayfair branch is handsome and cleverly designed, thanks to dark wooden furniture, greeny-grey colours, and the nifty use of wine racks to divide up the space. Expect fellow diners to be business folk and a smattering of tourists.
Fish (much of it from Devon and the south coast) is undeniably fresh and good quality – the seafood platters come piled high – but cooking can be mediocre. Spaghetti with palourde clams looked the part, though the essential brininess of the shellfish was missing – as were the promised flavours of chilli, garlic and parsley. And it featured unnecessary onions. A starter of crisp-fried baby squid with chilli was similarly muted, but whole sea bream stuffed with garlic and fennel was cooked just-so.
Accompaniments cost extra, so with most main courses topping £15, the bill can escalate alarmingly. The drinks list specialises in white wine and fizz, although there are a few reds and beers too.
7-9 Swallow Street
|Opening hours:||Meals served noon-10.30pm daily|
|Transport:||Tube: Piccadilly Circus tube|
|Price:||Main courses £14-£19. Set meal (noon-7pm) £15.95 2 courses|
|Do you own this business?|
Average User Rating
3 / 5
- 5 star:1
- 4 star:1
- 3 star:3
- 2 star:1
- 1 star:1
Excellent food, pretentious restaurant, haughty staff. On my last experience, I was seated at a table that needed to be moved to allow access to the bench. It was moved, by the maitre'd - and not moved back after I was seated. I read the menu at my leisure, made my selections, and then, ten minutes later, walked out. I had not been even greeted by any of the staff, even the waiter serving the table next to me or others bustling about and serving the same area. (Could it have been that my tie was not of the finest silk? Or my haircut not quite posh enough? Who knows? I decamped, depressed (I had been looking forward to an excellent meal), and had a very very good meal next door at Bentley's--a great fish stew as well as a perfectly cooked main and, equally important, attentive and welcoming staff. Perhaps the food would have been 5% better at Fishworks (and the prices 30% higher), but when that sort of excellence is accompanied by lousy service, who wants it?
Went here for my birthday dinner after a night at the theatre - have used the various branches of the chain before, including this one. Food is always fine - not spectacular. I booked a late table post-theatre, and used my Taste card. Not sure whether it was the later hour (only 9.30pm!), a Tuesday night or that fact that I was using a discount card, but the service was frosty to the point of snarky. We were 'welcomed' with a comment of 'well, of course you have a Taste Card'! The items that were not included in the discount were then overly smugly pointed out to me my the maitre d'. We were made to feel thoroughly uncomfortable throughout the meal. The food, for the most part, was tasty. Though the aioli was bland and the tomato and onion salad was a lazy joke. My cutlery was thrown roughly in my direction rather than placed at my setting. The bill got the same treatment. Should've gone to Bentley's next door for a fish pie.
Fishworks was great food, atmosphere and service. i think the only complaint would be me not knowing the varieties of fish on the menu. I would love to return and try more of the menu. i just wish the market price for Dover Sole wasn't so high. Enjoy this place right down from Piccadilly Circus.
spent my mini birthday dinner there and fall in love with the place! fish-to-share was cooked as my sweet-heart granny does - just perfect!
it is a normal seafood bistro with good value and friendly services. But neither food nor decoration is impressive. I am always criticising why the fish size in London always much smaller than in costal cities. The situation here is there is no fresh, simple, good value seafood bistro in london for everyday meal and you cannot afford meals occasionally in Bentleys or Scotts.
We went for this deal on Saturday night due to the 50% off food offer. Was not impressed at all. The fish soup was all blended (most seafood restaurants would let fish do the talking and keep the big chunks of seafood as it is), prawn cocktail was...average and the bread forgotten. Mains were better but if I was going to pay £18 for monkfish I'd expect a lot more. Only 3 stars for the price...