When you are eating out and you don’t eat meat, but you love fish, you have two options (well, three, if you include vegetarian restaurants).

However, as we regularly cook up a storm on the vegetarian front at home, and veggie restaurants being few and far between, these hardly come into the equation.

We often eat out with others in restaurants where, unlike our fellow diners, we have a very restricted choice.

This often comprises a severely lacklustre vegetarian option (a tart or pasta), along with a fish dish or two, one of which is normally salmon.

So rather than being treated as some sort of afterthought, we prefer to head for a fish restaurant where we can peruse the whole menu.


One such venue is Fishers, in St Clements. It’s a place we visited a few years ago and had a great time, the food and atmosphere being faultless.

And so we decided to return, escaping the rain through the revolving doors.

Once inside, everything was familiar – in fact, not much appeared to have changed since our last visit. The décor was just as we remembered it – nautical.

Sails hanging from the ceiling, the odd porthole and lovely, faded seascape murals on the wall. Charmingly rustic.

It could be said that the place had become a little worn around the edges, but nothing that a lick of paint couldn’t sort out.

The ambiance was affected slightly by the fact that there were only a few other diners – however, it was a wet Thursday evening. On a Friday or Saturday, things might be very different.


Sitting at our window seat as we relaxed with a backdrop of subtle Latin music, I drooled at the sight of the shellfish platter heaped with langoustines, oysters and smoked salmon arriving at one of our neighbour’s tables.

Over a glass of Pinot Grigio, I chose from the main menu while my wife decided to go for the fixed seasonal three-course menu.

To start with I had mussels in garlic, wine and cream, which were perfectly cooked and delicious, while Paula had the prawn gratin served in a scallop shell with spinach, mustard and gruyere – which she found tasty but a little too salty.

My main was baked bream with garlic roasted vegetables and balsalmic reduction, although there was only a hint of balsalmic about the dish.

That said, the fish was huge, but deliciously fresh and melted in my mouth. I managed to surprise Paula by eating the lot.

She had ordered grilled fillet of bass served with a tangy Mediterranean couscous and harissa dressing. No complaints here – again, it was marvellously fresh and beautifully cooked.

Paula finished with Eton Mess with strawberries, whipped cream and slightly overcooked meringue, making it rather more chewy than she would have liked.

I ordered the sticky toffee pudding – to seriously raised eyebrows from across the table. I have to say, it was everything you want from an ‘old school’ pudding: sticky, gooey, sweet and very moreish.

VERDICT: Overall, our food was very good and the service excellent. It feels as if Fishers is no longer on the top of the list of best Oxford eateries these days – but if you had stumbled upon it on a back street in Paris, you’d come back raving about it.

The three-course menu costs £19.50 per person and is available Tuesday-Sunday.

On the daily menu, starters cost £5.50-£8, mains cost £10-£22.50, and desserts £4.75.