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Girl walks into a restaurant...

By: Tanja Wessels Posted: December-02-2009 in
the theme is ever present
Tanja Wessels

“What are you going to eat!?” are the words that somersaulted from my flatmates mouth, closely followed by a bemused/incredulous expression when I told her that I was going to be writing a review of Fish Restaurant this week.

A bit of background is necessary at this point in time, for what I was telling her was hardly an uncommon exchange between people. Her aerobic facial response was however, not unfounded.

I am my own lab rat and inspired by my surroundings I recently blurted out a desire to abandon meat for an entire year while sitting at a vegan restaurant with friends.

They looked deeply impressed. Encouraged by their admiration I decided to throw fish into the equation as well. “No fish either”, I hastily added and looked around nervously.

“Why?” one quietly offered.

“Erm, just to see what happens to me”, I muttered.

They nodded in silent respect and thus began my year of self-imposed vegetarianism.

There are many good reasons to give up meat and I was fully prepared for many pats on the back from friends and strangers, loving gazes from pigs in fields and just general universal support for my endeavour.

A status update on facebook communicated my new standing and as I clicked Enter I sat back and waited for the adulation to pour in. And when the feedback did come rolling in I was gobsmacked to find that the vast majority of it was negative or unsupportive. I had to double check that I hadn’t typed in: “I kick puppies in my spare time” or “viva global warming!” If you ever wan to get a rise out of people tell them you are going to eat nothing but vegetables for a year.

Undeterred I set out to join ‘team vegetarian’ and have been a member for nearly 4 months now. I don’t miss red meat, pork or chicken one single bit. Seafood is a little bit trickier.

A friend invited me over for lunch recently and called beforehand to confirm what I will and will not eat. After I rambled off my do’s and don’ts (mostly don’ts) she summed it all up brilliantly when she said “right, so nothing with a face then”. Exactly, nothing with a face.

‘Nothing with a face’ became my new mantra. But helpful summing-up-of-my-current-eating-habits friend threw a spanner in the works when she recently asked me if squid have faces… “Shellfish don’t have faces either,” offered another. This was shaping up to be a very strange year of food experimentation indeed.

And with this work-in-progress mantra I made my way to Fish Restaurant for dinner with my ‘plus one’ - a keen consumer of things with faces.

Fish Restaurant has a lounge-like atmosphere, enhanced by the Brazilian beats playing in the background of its low-lit space. The fish theme is ever-present and with menu categories such as Fish Something Out and Bigger Fish to Fry I had the feeling that my days of spinach and olives were numbered…my ‘plus one’ was on hand to eat to eat the portion of the menu with eyes and a mouth while I was there to sample the ‘faceless’ section.

The menu truly represents all things oceanic from lobster to tuna and a few options for the meat-eating contingent. The daily specials had many a tempting offer from Seafood Coconut Soup $4.50 to Stuffed Squid with Rice $6.50 but I decided to order from the Fish Something Out menu and went for the Salt & Pepper Squid $4.50 and Curried Mussels $7.50. ‘Plus One’ opted for the house speciality Fish & Chips and chose beer battered cod for $8.50. Our wine of choice for the meal was the Cedar Creek Shiraz $17.50 and a very good choice it was.

The fish was cooked to perfection and the batter was light enough to let the fish do its thing. Served with an impressive side salad featuring olives and feta, only the chips proved disappointing as they were overcooked. My salt and pepper squid were juicy and I was very pleased, despite a distinct lack of salt or pepper on them. The mussels were served in a thick rich delicious smelling curry sauce and the dishes welcomed my return to the world of seafood with open arms.

It has taken a bit of convincing from friends that I can still enjoy some seafood, and a menu from Fish Restaurant with a warm and friendly atmosphere to seal the deal- but faceless inhabitants of the sea have made a comeback.

Girl walks into a restaurant a vegetarian and walks out a pescatarian… Thank you Fish Restaurant, thank you.

Sisowath Quay, corner of Street 108
Tel: 023 222 685

user avatar Anonymous

greetings from the North

hahaha fun Tanja


A new genre?

I've seen a few too many of these ex-vegan and ex-vegetarian tales to find them clever.

If you followed a vegan diet for four months, you must have had some reason. I don't get a sense from your article that you feel bad about having harmed an animal. I don't get a sense of what prompted you to begin avoiding animal products in the first place. Are people really this shallow?

And sea animals do have faces if you actually look.

user avatar Anonymous

amusing, funny, and

amusing, funny, and seductive
congratulations on your choice - let us know how it goes
Marta Coruche


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