This week has brought a heatwave to the South coast – which has meant brilliant sunshine ready for the Portsmouth Seafood Festival! Set in the ever popular Gunwharf Quays, the Portsmouth Seafood Festival is back for their third year – and it’s bigger and better than ever.
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Celebrating the fishing and seafood heritage of Portsmouth, the festival brings together local restaurants and vendors to show the locals their products and reinforce the rich culture for seafood that Portsmouth has.
I popped over to Gunwharf on Friday for a rather luxurious work lunch, and the selection of seafood on offer surprised me. I was expecting great things, but there was so much more to choose from that I expected (plus the addition of gin and rum bars)!
My local favourites from the selection of vendors are:
Alongside the above are so many other fantastic choices, as well as the local gins on offer at the bar – the festival has the makings for a great day out with family or friends.
If you’re interested in cooking and trying your hand at some seafood recipes at home, there is also a cookery theatre with local and celebrity chefs demonstrating some of their recipes.
The Fisherman’s Kitchen are offering up classic fish & chips, served up with a lemon wedge and tartare sauce – traditional British food done well! I didn’t try any on this occasion, but I’m planning to stop by their restaurant in Southsea soon.
First up for me was some fresh seafood straight off the boat from Portsmouth Fish Market. Portsmouth Fish Market have been selling seafood to Portsmouth locals since 1985, and are located in a busy spot next to the quayside and the Wightlink ferry terminal, just round the corner from Gunwharf Quays. I opted for the prawn cocktail cone, a generous serving of freshly caught prawns served in a bamboo cone – coming in at £4, I felt that this was well priced.
Big, juicy prawns in a seemingly never-ending cone – this was simple and delicious, and I could eat it all day.
Next up was a visit to Croxton’s, an independent kitchen & tap house located in Southsea. Serving up seafood with an asian twist, their star dish for the festival was the chargrilled asian style squid stuffed with pork – which did look amazing, I must say! However, I chose to order the chargrilled asian style mackerel served with asian slaw, and I certainly wasn’t disappointed.
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Cooked up on their BBQ and freshly prepared to order, the mackerel fillets took around 6 minutes to cook and arrive in my hand.
What a magnificent sight. Colourful, fresh, bursting with asian flavours and perfectly cooked mackerel – this was a feast for the eyes and the stomach! I was blown away by the spicy, tangy flavours and the mixture of crunchy slaw and soft, flaky fish was wonderful. I’ll be heading down to Croxton’s in Southsea very soon!
The Portsmouth Seafood Festival ends today (Sunday) at 6pm – so there’s still time to head over to Gunwharf Quays and taste some of the excellent seafood on offer – I wish I could have eaten more on my visit!
Find out more information over on the Portsmouth Seafood Festival website – and if you can’t make it down today, a lot of the vendors have restaurants nearby.
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