Fish Fish (13/5, Swinhoe Street, Ballygunge, Kolkata)


In a nutshell:

A small but very good concept restaurant that sticks to its core – fish & other seafood, no mutton/chicken.

fish fish
fish fish

Address & other details: Fish Fish

Meal for 2: Rs. 1200 onwards

Cuisine type : Vegetarian & Nonvegetarian

Disclaimer: All restaurants / eateries reviewed by YUMMRAJ were visited by YUMMRAJ himself & he has paid for the full Bill & tips also. http://www.yummraj.com does not have even one featured / sponsored reviews. YUMMRAJ believes in going to a restaurant in anonymity, as a normal guest, experience everything & give a honest account of the same to you.

I rate all the food items & then give a final overall rating which is a simple average of the individual item ratings. What the ratings stand for: 5 = Excellent, 4 = Very Good, 3 = Good, 2 = Fair, 1 = Disaster.

Short Description – in case u r in a hurry:

Fish Fish has a dual meaning. In English it means that it is a fish restaurant. In Bangla ‘fish fish’ means ‘whisper’. While whisper has nothing much to do with the restaurant, it for sure is a catchy & rememberable name.

Koi aam kasundi
Koi aam kasundi

This tiny restaurant is a brave attempt to stick to the core competence in a city full of generalists – I am sure u wud have noticed ‘Indian, Mughlai, Chinese’ written all over town. Yes, u got it right, no meats r available at Fish Fish. Only fish and seafood of different kinds r available. I saw families with chickenetarian kids & people with seafood allergy walking out of the restaurant but the Management stuck to its principles.

seafood platter
seafood platter

The menu card has fish & seafood items from different parts of the world as well as different Bengali fish preparations. I was pleasantly surprised to see some Far East dishes that r usually not served in India. The day I dined there, they had some big uncooked lobsters with them which they were displaying & showing to customers. Once customers chose the lobster, they wud cook it as per the customer’s taste.

the dining hall
the dining hall

Service was very good. The staff were polite, efficient & nice.

Loved the food in general & some items in particular.

Nolen gurer ice cream
Nolen gurer ice cream

Detailed Description – In case u have the Time to NJOY reading:

We tried a drink called Gondhoraj ghol. For the uninitiated, Ghol is something close to sweet chaanch but not the same. The Gondhoraj ghol had a thin texture like Ghol usually is, but had a strong taste & gondhoraj (aromatic citrus fruit) flavor. It had a good balance of sweet and sour. I wud not say this was the best I have ever had but it was surely good. While one can always argue about the price of the drink as compared to similar ‘ghol’ available on roadside shacks in Kolkata, the price at fish fish is comparable to such drinks in such restaurants in all other metros of India. I rate this 3.75/5.

Gondhoraaj ghol
Gondhoraaj ghol

We started the lunch we had the Seafood mee baksi soup – It was bhetki dumpling in bhetki stock, with garlic, green chilly & coriander. The soup was Super thin & clear. The soup was transparent & that reminded me of my eat-outs during visits to China, Vietnam & other Far East Asian countries. The soup at fish fish was not bastardized (like most Indian eateries end up doing by addition of corn starch, which the Chinese wud never do). It had a strong taste and flavor of fish. The truely outstanding fish dumplings were made not with fish paste but with lumps of fish. It was somewhat juicy due to the same. Super loved it. I rate this dish 4.5/5

Seafood mee baksi soup
Seafood mee baksi soup

For appetizers we had Chital machher Sheek kabab. I had never had anything like this b4. This was chitol paste mixed with spices & made into kababs. The idea was very interesting & precarious as well. While spices cud have overshadowed the flavors & taste of fish, the lack of it cud have made the kababs bland. The kabab at fish fish was quite balanced & I liked it. However must mention it that one of my co-diners still found it bland & another one found the spice overpowering & hence less flavor of fish. Well, I rate this 4/5 since I found it very good. However warn u to try it on ur own risk, not on YUMMRAJ;s recommendation.

Chital machher Sheek kabab
Chital machher Sheek kabab

Next we had was a fish & seafood platter. It had Lote machher bora, Calamari, Tandoori fish, topsey fry, prawn tempura, pomfret fry.

seafood platter
seafood platter

Lote machher bora had too much packing & thus the fish was lost. Good to taste as it is, as a bora if not told it is lote machher bora. I have had different versions of Bombay duck (lote maach) ib Delhi & Mumbai & in those the fish taste is so obvious. I rate this 3/5

Lote machher bora
Lote machher bora

Pomfret fry had just salt and turmeric. Like at home – in case someone wants to taste the home version. Good, but nothing great. I rate this 3/5

Pomfret fry
Pomfret fry

The Calamari was batter fried. It was soft (which is an achievement as most people goof up on this). It tasted good as well but like any batter fried small item, the taste of the batter interfered with the taste of the calamari a lot. I rate this 3/5.

Calamari batter fried
Calamari batter fried

Tandoori fish was good. It had layers of juicy fish. I quite liked it & rate it 3.5/5

tandoori fish
tandoori fish

Batter fried Topsey fish was good. The batter was crisp & the fish within was nice – same way as u get in most homes. However I have had some versions of topsey fry with a thin marination layer between the external batter & the fish. That usually adds a twist to the tale. I rate the Topsey at Fish Fish 3/5.

Batter fried Topsey fish
Batter fried Topsey fish

Overall rating of the platter averages out to 3.1/5.

For main course we started with Koi aam kasundi that turned out to b the star of the show. It had juliennes of raw mango in a pungent mustard sauce. Very very intense, had a nice kick to it, pungent, robust thick gravy that was simply divine. Koi itself was also very fresh & enjoyable. I rate it 4.95/5

Koi aam kasundi
Koi aam kasundi

We were given a complimentary moong daal. It was so simple yet so good. Aroma of good cow milk ghee added to the flavor. Loved it &rate it 4.25/5

Next item that we had was Chingri macher baansh paturi. This was prawns cooked & served in bamboo hollow. It was in the right direction but had a mild execution issue. The prawns marinated in coconut and spices were put inside a bamboo Hollow and sealed from the top & then cooked in the bamboo hollow.

Chingri macher baansh paturi
Chingri macher baansh paturi

Since the steam cud not escape, it condensed back to water thus making the gravy bit watery & deficient in salt. I guess the dish conceptually needs a bit of fine tuning unless this was an occasional mistake. The huge prawns were very good to taste and had perfect texture. Not at all chewy. Without the execution problem this cud have been 4.5/5. But the way it was, it turned up to b 3.75/5.

Chingri macher baansh paturi cooked & served inside bamboo hollow
Chingri macher baansh paturi cooked & served inside bamboo hollow

Ilish macher pata pora. This was large pieces if ilish (marinated with mustard, mustard oil, green chilles and coconut scraped) wrapped in a leaf & baked.

Ilish macher pata pora cooked & served inside a leaf wrap
Ilish macher pata pora cooked & served inside a leaf wrap

The scraped coconuts got a burnt feeling. Overall there was a strong unmissable smoky flavor that u do not usually get in an ilish paturi. Loved that smokiness. The dry gravy was again pungent and strong. The fish was also very good in quality – it was juicy as the layers of fat had melted due to the heat. I rate this dish 4.5/5.

Ilish macher pata pora
Ilish macher pata pora

For dessert we chose Nolen gurer ice cream. It was superb as well. Strong nolen gur flavor of ice cream with mashed chana interspersed in it. The chhana ensured that the sweet level was balanced & it also gave a daanedaar effect to the dish. Loved it and rate it 4.5/5.

Nolen gurer ice cream
Nolen gurer ice cream

Overall rating of food at fish fish averages out to 4.1/5

I wud surely revisit here. Look forward to trying out newer dishes next time.

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6 comments

  1. Dear Y.. after a long time…. a review worth drooling…!! I meant it… due to being based in North East…I frequently visit K’kata & & it’s conclusively a place to visit again & again & yes …the photographs are superb too.. a significantly discovery at your end…

    Many many kudos….Keep on…
    Rgds,
    Sharma U,
    Shillong.

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