It’s Friday, it’s fish day, and I am off to New Wave fishmonger in Cirencester. The town is very fortunate to have an independent fish monger, which sources fish mainly from small dayboats around Plymouth and Looe. Their immaculate shop is filled with lots of different ingredients, from Mediterranean lemons, to girolles, samphires and local strawberries. You can feast your eyes on Cornish plaice and lobster, Salcombe crabs, Shetland salmon and Bibury trout, all beautifully presented on crushed ice, covered with see-through wrapping. The staff are extremely friendly, knowledgeable and efficient. It is no wonder that its founder, Tim Boyd, has become the region’s top fishmonger, selling to Le Manoir Aux Quat’ Saisons and Made by Bob. His huge success is well deserved, and I know that Cirencester foodies go nowhere else for their fish.
Normally I am served by Ben, the shop manager, who enjoys talking to customers, sharing hints and tips on how to cook the fish and showing you the very best of the day’s catch. He has a sharp, dry sense of humour that will have you chuckling to yourself all the way back to the car. There is a large refrigerator section with jars of mayonnaise, fresh eggs, fresh herbs, vegetables, mousses, smoked salmon and condiments. Every time I shop here the variety changes, but it is clearly evident that the hands that stock those shelves have a good palate, a wise head and a discerning appetite.The decoration of the shop is really imaginative, with old kitchenalia, wooden crates, cast iron weighing scales and scallop shells used as ornaments.
Unlike many fishmongers I have visited in the area (no names will be mentioned, but shame on you, and get the Dettol out), New Wave is spotlessly clean. A huge ice container in the cold storage room furnishes clean ice every day, a down pipe from the ceiling delivering the crystals that are created from the plumbing system above. The shop surfaces, floors and shelves are spotless, and as the shop is large there is plenty of place to queue when the rush sets in.
Today’s bounty included wonderful, big squid that Ben cleaned and trimmed, ready for me to cook, as well as razor clams and scallops. Phoned orders can be pre-prepared and collected for dinner parties, and very large orders, in and around the Cotswold area, can be delivered. The shop is open until 7p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays for the convenience of local workers and commuters who cannot come during the day.
New Wave Fish Shop. Website: www.new-wave.co.uk
3 Market Place, Cirencester, GL7 2PE.
Telephone: 01285 651751