Not Your Typical Chippy
Miss Fish is a bright, funky restaurant serving up exceptional Californian inspired seafood fare whilst throwing the spotlight on how deliciously different fish can be. Located on Sathorn Soi 10 which is just a short walk from the newly opened St. Louis BTS station. So, Let’s take a closer look and see what makes Miss Fish so unique within the Bangkok food scene. For me it’s the combination of two styles of dining, think fine dining meets your local chip shop to create the best out of both worlds, with gourmet fish and chips, inspired artisanal fish burgers, and much more. Now, the first thing you see as you walk up to Miss Fish is the brightly painted mural on the outside wall that immediately catches the eye, drawing you in. The large glass windowed shopfront, with its powder blue paint work and the pink neon signage beckons you in with their classic yet modern décor. The colour scheme carries on throughout the restaurant with its powder blue walls and counter top, the pale pink tiled walls as well as the glowing pink neon sign that proclaims a love for fish & chips that illuminates one of the walls all of which creates a cool, cozy and intimate dining space.
Miss Fish is the brainchild of Radek Zarebinski, the man behind Cholos taqueria, who alongside Chef Eduard González are throwing out some fantastic Cali Mex and Mexican fare in Asoke, as well as artisanal butchery Rad Meats which specialises in sausages, smoked meats and charcuterie which opened up in 2018. Originally from Bielsko-Biala in Poland. Radek tell us that while growing up in Poland he had very little access to fresh produce and was fifteen years old before he ever tried pineapple which he did for the first time in a Carl’s Jr the Californian burger chain. Zarebinski studied the culinary arts at Alma an international school of Italian cuisine, just a few kilometers outside of Parma in Northern Italy. He then went on to polish his cooking skills working under the instruction of world-renowned Danish chef Mads Refslund at New York’s Acme and at Michael Cimarusti’s two-Michelin-star Los Angeles restaurant, Providence. Radek moved to Bangkok working as a sous chef at Gaggan which was voted number one in Asia’s ‘The 50 Best Restaurants in the world’ Gaggan closed its doors in 2019. Radek expressed that he had become disinterested with the world of fine dining and decided to cook food he loves to eat, which luckily everyone else does too. Taking the classic cooking techniques, he learnt from fine dining and bringing them to a more casual dining setting Radek has created something very special. So, without further ado let’s get stuck into the food.
Fish & Chips
There’s something about a battered piece of fish deep fried until golden served up with some proper thick cut chips that’s just so satisfying. Fish and Chips are a much-loved comfort food by many around the world especially those in Australia, New Zealand and the UK. The dish originated in England, but its components come from other cultures brought to the UK from Europe by Jewish refugees from Spain and Portugal in particular. These settlers who would have prepared fish in a similar way to that of pescado frito, which is fish coated in flour then fried in oil. While the story of the humble chip goes back to the 17th Century to either Belgium or France, depending who you speak to. Fish and Chips have been feeding the masses since around the early to mid 1800s and has gone on to become the national dish of the UK, by 1910 there were around 25,000 fish and chip shops across the UK, which increased to over 35,000 by the 1930s. George Orwell wrote about them in The Road to Wigan Pier and put fish and chips first among the home comforts that helped keep the masses happy and “averted revolution”. During World War II, British ministers bent over backwards to make sure fish and chips were one of the few foods that were never rationed and Winston Churchill called them “the good companions”. I personally have many a fond memory of going to the local video rental shop and picking up a fish and chip supper on a Friday or Saturday night and not much has changed although now its Netflix rather than renting a VHS.
The folks at Miss Fish are just as serious about their fish and chips, what I liked about the menu is the variety of choices you have when selecting your order, you have a choice of battered dory or cod as well as a choice of chips, from the classic or shoestring fries to potato wedges or sweet potato fries, we decided on the battered cod with sweet potato shoestring fries a side of the of potato wedges for good measure. The dish was presented nicely with two good sized pieces of the beer battered cod fillets that have been fried to a deep golden colour, a generous portion of sweet potato fries, a wedge of lemon and Miss Fish’s secret signature tartare sauce. Cutting into the fish you get a satisfying crunch from the batter reveling the succulent white, flakey fish underneath. The beer (Beer Lao) batter was crispy, flavourful and not at all greasy. This is in part due to the battering process, which Radek tells us has gone through a dredge (flour, herbs, and seasoning) and two layers of batter which protect the fish while frying leaving it perfectly cooked while keeping the cod, flakey, tender and delicious. The accompaniment of the lemon wedge and house made tartare sauce really helps lift the dish, as I mentioned the Miss Fish’s signature tartare sauce has its own little secret which is the inclusion of egg into the sauce. This adds a new dimension to the sauce that I have never experienced, the egg adds a depth of flavour that when combined with the diced dill pickles, herbs, and capers makes for a rich, slightly sour sauce that works so well and helps cut through the battered fish.
When it comes chips, I had never thought of putting a sweet potato fries with battered fish but I’m very glad we did, as they work very well together. The fries themselves as with all the deep-fried foods at Miss Fish are cooked in palm oil which imparts very little, if any flavour of its own and really allowing the ingredients to shine. The fries are cut in the shoestring style without being too thin, leaving a crispy exterior and a soft fluffy interior, the beautiful deep orange colour of the fries are also rather enticing, simply seasoned with sea salt giving the fries a lovely mix of sweet and salty with the addition of a little malt vinegar just compliments the whole dish spectacularly. We also had a side of the potato wedges, which were cooked just as well as the sweet potato fries with a crispy outside and fluffy potato center, with the wedges we had some of the other amazing signature dipping sauces of the chipotle mayo and the yogurt, cucumber, and dill. The chipotle mayo was by far my favourite with its deep smokiness, fiery spice and creamy mayo finish that just had me coming back for more. The yogurt, cucumber, and dill sauce also had a great flavour, the cooling yogurt and cucumber with a dash of lemon that added a nice citrus burst that worked especially well with the sweet potato fries as well as the battered fish.
At Miss Fish it’s not all about deep-fried foods, they also offer fantastic alternatives for those seeking something a little bit healthier but equally as delicious. Again, taking inspiration from other cultural cuisines and making it their own. Miss Fish has a wonderful selection of rice bowls, there are three to options to choose from that are the Green Goddess: a Californian inspired bowl with grilled asparagus and broccoli rabe, guacamole, peas sprouts, Brussel sprouts and the deliciously fresh tasting yogurt, cucumber and dill sauce on a bed of brown rice. The Nippon Des: a Japanese inspired bowl with ikura (red caviar made from the salmon roe), soft boiled egg, cucumber pickles, edamame, and a sprinkle of bonito and nori flakes and lastly, the option which we opted for Seoul Bowl. This Cali slash Korean inspired rice bowl which a choice of three different types rice which include Jasmine, brown and cauliflower rice as well as a choices of fish salmon, mahi-mahi, or tuna.
For our Seoul Bowl we decided upon the tuna with the cauliflower rice. This was a beautiful presented plate of food with bright vibrant veggies such as charred Brussel sprouts, pickled daikon, cucumber and kimchi as well as Julienned carrots, fresh red cabbage, beets, and that wonderful grilled broccoli rabe adding lots of colour, textures and flavours to the dish. The big piece of tuna which was seared to a perfect medium rare is then topped with the gochujang, a savory, sweet, and spicy fermented condiment that is a quintessential part of Korean cuisine and then sprinkled with sesame seeds and scallions. All this on a bed of that flavourful cauliflower rice which has been sautéed in butter and seasoned with salt and pepper. Essentially, this is a big bowl of fish and vegetable (if you go for the cauliflower rice). The tuna was meaty, succulent and flakey with a nice mild flavour that is complimented by the accompanying vegetables. The charred Brussel sprouts and broccoli rabe add a nice nutty, crispy, yet tender sweetness which works well with the daikon, whilst the picked veggies and kimchi give a nice sharp tangy contrast to the plate. This is all rounded off with gochujang sauce that adds an element of savoury, spiciness with a touch of green freshness from the scallions. This was a dish that really surprised me, the flavour combinations really pair nicely to create something I will go back to time and time again.
When it comes to burgers there are plenty of options for you to consider from the Miss Fish Royal, which is a nod to the classic Fillet-O-Fish burger from a certain fast-food chain, only done with better indigents like breaded cod fillets, cheddar cheese and that incredibly tasty signature tartare sauce, the K-pop Korean style buttermilk cod with a gochujang glaze and kimchi to the BFF an American style buttermilk cod fried with B & B pickles with tomato, lettuce and cheddar cheese as well their vegetarian option Can’t Beet This a grilled beetroot steak with tomato, wasabi yuzu mayo, sprouts and a fresh cabbage slaw. However, we went for The Malibu this burger was inspired by Radek’s time in California and incorporates a very west coast flavour profile.
The Malibu is a meaty portion of tuna steak which has been seared to medium rare giving the exterior a lovely char while leaving the centre pink and juicy. Most burgers (fish and beef) that I’ve had in Bangkok have been either in brioche or the occasional Kaiser roll, at Miss Fish they dare to be a little different. All of Miss Fish’s burgers are sandwiched between beautiful light and airy potato buns (delivered fresh daily), these buns hold up exceptionally well, capturing all those lovely juices from the fish whilst not falling apart as soon as you pick them up. The buns are well toasted and they have a nice mild flavour which enhances the overall burger. Between the bun is a layer of fresh cabbage slaw and lettuce which give some nice crisp bite to the burger on top of which the tuna steak is placed topped with thick cut tomato, sprouts and the signature wasabi yuzu mayo that give the burger a little spice and citrusy tang. This burger has a wonderful light freshness, whilst being very filling and satisfying.
Gouda Cheese Pillows
As well as fries, Miss Fish has a good range of premium sides with southern style curly fries, the classic tater tots and onion rings, mozzarella sticks, as well as the divine gouda cheese pillows. The pillows are one of the only things at Miss Fish that are not made in house, but these are defiantly little pillows of joy! A thin breadcrumb casing encloses a hot gooey, gouda cheese center for me these are the perfect drinking food or even better for when you’re suffering from the previous nights drinking and need a cure for your hangover. The pillows come with two simple dipping sauces of ketchup and mayonnaise (Japanese style Kewpie mayo) but we found they were even better with the wasabi, yuzu mayo or the smokey chipotle mayo to add a little more depth of flavour.
Grilled Fish With Veggies
For our final fish dish, we had to try the grilled fish with vegetables as a contrast to the fried fish and chips. This time we went with option of grilled mahi-mahi which is also known as dolphinfish, the taste of mahi-mahi closely resembles that of swordfish or other similar meaty fish, but with a slightly milder flavour. The mahi-mahi was grilled with their skins still on, which instead of oil or butter which can burn easily Miss Fish uses the Japanese kewpie mayo (The best mayonnaise, in my opinion) which gives the skin a delightful crispiness. Again, it had been cooked so that the fish was toughly cooked through leaving it moist and flakey. Served with the fish was a pairing of some wonderful veggies which included grilled asparagus, charred Brussel sprouts and broccoli rabe with their nutty sweetness alongside slices of beetroot with its minerally slightly bitter flavour and sautéed Shimeji mushrooms which have a lovely earthy funkiness and garnished with a lemon wedge. With this dish we also had another of the house signature sauces this time the extra special Mentaiko mayo which is a combination of mayo, boiled egg and salmon roe which is like a classic thousand island cocktail sauce on creak and just as addictive this sauce is just loaded with a salty, umami goodness with that pop of tangy fish eggs and creamy eggy mayo, that’s simply divine.
What better way of finishing off this gastronomical feast than some locally made artisanal ice cream? For dessert Miss Fish has teamed up with folks at Yora Bkk to bring you some eccentric and creative ice cream flavours. We choose two flavours that we thought were just too different to pass up. The first ice cream on our hit list was the odd sounding but delicious tasting Fish Sauce Caramel, an insanely tasty salted caramel with just a hint of fish sauce in the back ground that is just so moreish it ridiculous. The second flavour we selected was the Chili Rocky Road this dark chocolate ice cream has a lovely rich stickiness, packed with nuts that add a nice crunchy component to complement the marshmallow sweetness alongside the back note of the chili pepper’s fruitiness with a present but not overwhelming spicy warmth with every spoonful.
There are so many reasons that make Miss Fish so unique amongst the Bangkok food scene and that would have me coming back for more, chief amongst these is the depth and laying of flavours that showcases just how well chef Radek understands his ingredients and the ability develop amazing dishes using his background in fine dining to elevate everyday food into something incredibly tasty. Miss Fish also has a great selection of drinks from soft drinks, craft beers to cocktails that can really turn this restaurant in to a destination rather than just a meal. So, whenever you’re looking for some food to comfort your soul as well as some amazing healthy options, look no further than Miss Fish. You wont be disappointed!
Link to their Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/missfishbkk/