Pysgoty Fish Restaurant, Aberystwyth

I have spent a long time grumbling about how Aber’s harbour must be unique in not having a fish restaurant on it.
So now it has one. A smart one.
Yes, it should be in the building that’s now the courthouse, but you can’t have everything.
What you can have is a tasty seafood lunch in a stylish restaurant.
External PysgotyIsn’t that smart?
It is definitely not what you’d call big, but that outside veranda will be very useful.
Veranda 2It was May when we went, and a cold grey May day at that, so in these pictures try to imagine it a bit sunnier.

If the building looks familiar, it used to be the prom’s toilets:
01 OriginalNow that the seafront has nice new toilets, the buiding has been gutted and transformed.

Inside is a revelation.
Inside PysgotyIt has the feel of a New England lobster shack – small and clean and bright and unpretentious – or one of Mitch Tonks’ places, but with a more interesting menu.

Pysgoty MenuThe menu is VERY fishy.
It is, in fact, all fish.
It’s only open in the daytime at the moment, but once they do evenings, there is talk of at least a single meat dish. (Something local like lamb chops, I hope.)
There is a veggie option too, for both starter and main.

Starters of smoked haddock & cockle chowder, or local dressed crab salad sounded fine, but we liked the look of the cakes so decided to go straight to mains.

A proper Bouillabaisse sounded very tempting, as they should have plenty of shellfish leftovers to make a fine stock.
The seabass with asparagus and hollandaise looked worth a trip too – I sneaked a picture of this lady’s plate!
Seabass PysgotyBethan did the right thing and had the dressed half lobster (I always take “dressed” to mean “you don’t have to get dressed in your apron to eat it – we’ve done the work”)
And haven’t they just done all the work?
06 Dressed LobsterAll the meat has been removed from the half lobster, then mixed up with herby butter and put back into the shell! For £15.50!
The potatoes were good, and the well-dressed (again) salad noteworthy by itself, but that meat?
Mild, tasty, rich. And plenty of it!
Even half way through Bethan was waving giant forkfuls at me, saying “look how much there is!”
11 Big Chunks LobsterPurists might prefer to meet their live lobster first, and then eat it with all those weird implements, but I’ve not seen Bethan enjoy her lunch quite so much in ages.

I should have had the same, but in the interests of variety, I thought I’d go veggie for the day.
I had a mushroom and leek risotto, topped with micro leaves and herbs (£10.50).
07 Risotto This was nicely done.
The risotto was properly al dente with a little bite remaining.
The mushrooms, herbs & leeks came together well, and it was a filling dish.
You wouldn’t come here for it specifically, but it’s a much better Veggie Alternative than many I’ve had.

Pysgoty Drinks MenuThe drinks menu is worth a mention too.
The wines are mostly white since it’s a seafood restaurant, with a great range of styles & prices, and plenty are under £20.
There’s a small but interesting range of spirits,  the soft drinks are priced fairly for once, and the three beers are all worth a try (though a Welsh one from, say, Tiny Rebel would be welcome too).
ReservationBethan had a glass of prosecco on arrival (£4). I was not drinking (as well as being veggie) so had a very tasty bottle of Fever Tree Ginger Beer (£1.50).
And isn’t that a stylish reservation marker?
On doing the maths, I realised that at £4 for 125ml, we should have had a bottle of prosecco for £17 (silly money for such good stuff), but it was a weekday lunch, and surely we haven’t become that sort already?
Bethan has become that sort, though, and finished off a tasty bottle of strong cider too.

After the big successes of the mains, the desserts were merely fine.
DessertsBethan thought the lemon drizzle cake (£2.50) a little dry (my bite seemed fine), and it certainly needed a blob of creme fraiche or ice cream.
My blueberry and lime cheesecake was better, but could have been cheesier, and a little steep at £5.

Service was very good too. Friendly, efficient, pleasant.
No long waits, and no feeling of being rushed. If they don’t know, they’ll ask rather than bluff.

One thing I’ve not mentioned, but is clear from the pictures, is that it is SMALL.
There are four tables for two, though they can stuff three on at a pinch and push several together for bigger groups.
04 Pysgoty InternalThere’s four spaces on the counter (just) which gives them just 12 covers when it’s too cold to go outside.
That’s not a lot for a place employing five, and not charging much.
They REALLY nice weather, and people out on that fine veranda, which more than doubles the seating space.
Veranda 1BillMy objection to Nick’s was to wonder what there was to make you go back, whereas we will definitely be going back to Pysgoty.
I was more than happy to pay £42.50 for two mains, two desserts and three drinks on my pal’s birthday.
We booked a few days in advance this time, and that’s vital.
Otherwise, take a note of the weather, dress accordingly, and make the most of their fine veranda.
I’ve seen outdoor spaces like this in Cornwall or Saundersfoot crammed with kids and dogs and coffee drinkers.
I can definitely see us going back for a bottle of the prosecco of a summer’s afternoon, watching the fishing boats in the harbour.
I can also see myself piling through their menu too – a chalkboard menu implies variety and innovation.

I wish them well at Pysgoty, and urge anyone who likes their seafood to give it a go.

I held back this picture of the shell of the lobster to avoid frightening anyone – they are proper sea monsters, aren’t they?
Pysgoty Lobster MonsterAnd wary as I am of recommending rival sources of info, this article from the Western Mail has some great photos of the building being transformed.


 


Pysgoty
South Promenade (or is it Y Lanfa?)
01970 624611
10:00-17:00

Pysgoty Website (though nothing on it at time of writing)

 

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