The Anstruther Fish Bar, 42-44 Shore Street, Anstruther
It’s a great seaside tradition – after a, usually cold, afternoon on the beach a quick stop at the local chippie for a fish supper.
But a visit to the famous Anstruther Fish Bar is about so much more than that.
It’s fame is such that it has become a destination in itself, with takeaway and sit-in queues often stretching around the block.
And while there really is nothing to beat grabbing that supper on a sunny day and crossing the road to take a seat at the harbour to enjoy the goodies, last week just wasn’t that hot or sunny, so we chose to sit-in.
We’d also chosen our time wisely – late afternoon, after the lunchtime rush and before the tea time crowds arrived.
It’s not glamorous – utilitarian is perhaps the word, with tables and chairs that come as one piece.
But it is a sparkling clean restaurant, from the cooking and waiting staff in immaculate whites to the shining tables.
There’s an extensive menu to choose from, but I am a die-hard “battered prawns and chips” fan and even a choice that included crab and sea bass didn’t deter me.
Indeed such an enthusiast am I for this particular delicacy that my traditional “haddock supper” companion decided to join me.
She even went for the mushy peas on the side as well – probably because I declined to share my portion with her.
There’s a bit of a wait,but as all the food is freshly cooked it’s well worth it.
The utilitarianism extends to how the food is served – cardboard trays for the main dish, polystyrene for the peas. But the cutlery is real, even though eating fish and chips with your fingers is really the only way to do it.
The Fish Bar’s owners also own a fish processing business just along the road in St Monans, so they boast their fish arrives fresh every morning – and from the taste of those prawns,no one could argue.
These big crustaceans, in a big portion, clothed in a light, crispy batter, imparted a fresh taste of the sea, with a hint of sweetness. Melt-in-the-mouth perfection.
Some of the best chips ever are hot and tasty and plentiful – in all honesty the portions were so generous I could have been magnanimous and shared my mushy peas, also a delicious and plentiful offering.
The sit-in option comes with bread and butter and a hot drink and the Fish Bar scored again here. While the bread and butter comes quickly, only when the hot food is served are the drinks brought.
No frills means no pudding menu, and in all honesty, after all that food, who would need one?
But you pay at the ice cream counter, where the delicious range of flavours make it a must to take a cone away to lick as you walk off the main meal, finally taking in those glorious harbour views.