This restaurant has both the best and worst of locations. Best if it’s a sunny day and you want a view of the Thames towards Wandsworth Bridge, well away from the usual Battersea crowds.
Worst if it’s the middle of winter, and dark, and you’re the only diners in the restaurant.
Allow yourself an extra half hour to locate the place if it’s your first visit – that’s how long it took us, as the only sign is a small placard tied to a lamppost out on York Road. A restaurant down a coal mine would be easier to find.
So here’s how you actually find Fish Place. Look for the Hotel Verta on Bridges Court Road, then cut through a lane to the riverside and turn left (west). Fish Place is the unmarked, two-storey, glass-fronted dining room on the side of a brand new residential development on the river.
After the hunt, this holy grail might seem a little disappointing. The two floors are decorated in a modern Continental hotel look, with marble tables that clatter whenever tableware is placed on them. The rooms have as much personality as an office equipment showroom.
The menu’s pricey, and a little old-fashioned; appetisers appeared unbidden, even sorbets between the starter and main course. But to the chef’s credit, the cooking’s very good.
A starter of king prawns (£9.50) was pan-fried and served with puy lentils, bacon and a vinaigrette which tied the elements together. A fillet of brill was nicely grilled, and attractively presented with baby clams in the shell, baby leeks and a lemon beurre blanc (£23.75).
The menu mentions that the fish comes from ‘local fisherman who go out on day-boats’ – curious, as listed ingredients include Atlantic prawns and cod.
Our cod (£22.40) was certainly fresh though, topped with a dark drizzle of braised oxtail, and sat on a pale green purée made using spinach and leek.
Desserts are essentially French and cost around £7-8.The wines by the glass are good, the service was nice and solicitous. It’sall too easy to spend a lot more than a hundred quid for two here though.