Meet the chef - Martyn Else at Something Else Fishy
PUBLISHED: 10:47 27 May 2016 | UPDATED: 14:38 31 May 2016
Not only is Something Else Fishy one of the best independent fish and chip shops in the whole of the country, it is also home to a cracking seafood restaurant
Martyn Else lives in Milborne Port with his wife Nicki and daughters Caitlin and Ffion. The couple run Something Else Fishy - an award-winning fish and chip and seafood takeaway and restaurant in the village. Only open three days a week, the 38 cover restaurant gets booked up very quickly and is something of a hidden gourmet gem, until now!
What were the tastes of your childhood?
Being the son of a butcher our meals were traditional meat and two veg. Dad brought home cuts that needed a few hours simmering in a casserole or roasted slowly in a low oven. Mum knew exactly how to cook them to get the best taste from them.
When did you decide to be a chef?
I actually trained to be a tropical fish keeper, but I always had a love of cooking. Nicki and I would regularly entertain from our little kitchen. I have a good palate and can normally put a dish together from only a few ingredients thanks to my mum!
What drew you to cooking seafood?
After working in the tropical fish industry for about 15 years in Hertfordshire, Nicki and I headed back to my family in Dorset with our daughter and took over a small fishmonger’s that I worked for when I was at school. The business expanded as did my love for cooking seafood. So when the chippy in the village came up for sale, it made sense to buy it.
What makes an award-winning fish and chip supper?
It all starts with the oil. When we first took over the fish and chip shop, oil became my obsession! It is the basis for everything you cook. The batter is just as important, it needs to be cold to be crispy. As long as you start with good quality ingredients, the right oil and perfect batter you can make a simple dish exceptional.
How did the restaurant idea develop?
When we bought the business the room over the shop was used for storage. But we saw a brilliant opportunity. Nicki took on all the planning work, meeting architects and builders, and two years later we opened the restaurant.
What’s on your menu?
We have a very traditional menu, but also a few dishes that you may not find elsewhere such as our best-selling starter ‘Drunken Prawns’ with its Jack Daniels infused sauce. Or for a main the Italian classic, Fritto Misto - a selection of freshly fried seafood such as squid, gurnard, cod and whitebait - a delicious little bit of everything.
And what specials do you have?
A popular special is our bistro style fish stew - a tomato-based stew packed full of fresh fish, mussels and king prawns. I’m also really into making my own pasta. It inspired two new dishes: Weymouth lobster with silk handkerchief pasta and a white wine and cream sauce and the squid ink pasta with medallions of monkfish.
Where do you source your fish from?
We have daily deliveries of fish from the Dorset, Devon and Cornwall coast and lobsters come from Weymouth. We have a holding tank so we can offer lobster all year round at a reasonable price.
What would be your perfect family supper?
Enjoying fresh pasta, homemade breads and oils and a bang on tiramisu in Italy. But in reality cooking up a storm at home on the barbecue and pizza oven surrounded by friends and family.
Something Else Fishy
• 1 High Street, Milborne Port, DT9 5DG, 01963 250225, somethingelsefishy.co.uk
• Restaurant is open Thursday to Saturday 12pm to 2pm and 5pm to 9.30pm
• Take Away - Tuesday & Wednesday: 5pm to 8.45pm | Thursday to Saturday: 11.45am to 1.45pm and 5pm to 9pm
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