Mackerel Sky Seafood Bar, Newlyn

If you are in Cornwall, then the Mackerel Sky Seafood Bar in Newlyn, is the place to go for seafood that could not be more fresh or more local as it comes from the harbour opposite. It’s a conservatory on the corner as you drive through Newlyn on the way to Mousehole and you can’t miss it. Inside the furniture is simple, metal chairs and wide wooden shelves to eat at overlooking the road  around two edges of the space and high tables with suitably high chairs and stools in the middle.

At one end is a small open kitchen with the names of the three chefs and the two serving staff on duty  that day chalked up on a blackboard along with the daily specials. On our first visit, they were fresh local sardines with samphire clam and white wine sauce and smoked haddock and leek beignets with dill .

Mackerel Sky smoked haddock and dill fritters
Mackerel Sky smoked haddock, leek and dill beignets.

The chefs worked efficiently in a small space, sending out plates of food that don’t have time to go cold. The portions are taster size and the menu says to eat as much or as little as you like but recommends two per person with one or two sides. We had a good peer round to check out what everyone else was eating and then we chose crab nachos, jalapeños with lime sour cream,  It was a generous portion of crab, the flavour heightened by the chilli and easy to scoop with the nachos.

Crab nachos, jalapeños, lime sour cream
Crab nachos, jalapeños, lime sour cream

Then, beer battered fish and tartare sauce with a side of chips. My husband professes to loathe capers but loved the home made tartare sauce and as we could see the kitchen, the batter was as hot and crisp as it ever could be.

Mackerel Sky beer battered fish and tartare sauce
Mackerel Sky beer battered fish and tartare sauce

The scallops, chorizo and red pepper was full of colour and beautifully styled and tasted as good as it looked

Mackerel Sky Scallops, chorizo, red peppers
Mackerel Sky scallops, chorizo, red peppers

I had a glass of Verdicchio, Monte Schiavo Ruviano, which was cool and pale and citrussy with a slight green tinge and a perfect foil to the seafood.

To finish, there was salted caramel moo maid icecream  made locally on a farm near Zennor.

Moomaid salted caramel ice cream

They don’t take bookings and on a dull Monday in March we could walk straight in and take the last chairs but they told me that in the summer there are long queues outside and over the stone bridge. The server said to me, it was like a game of Jenga fitting everyone in and this just made it feel like fun. it’s want eating seafood on the British coastline should be like, expertly cooked, reasonably priced, and accessible to everybody.


Author: Kate Roxburgh

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