Rose's July Shop Watch: Matthew Stevens - Fresh Fish and Seafood Specialists
Matthew Stevens - Cornish Fish
Fresh fish and seafood specialists
Fresh Cornish fish for your freezer
The gently lapping waves sparkle with bright sunshine along the Cornish coastline. It looks so tempting I want to dive in. But what I am looking at is a website not the real thing. And at the moment I write this, it is unsure when anyone will be able to visit Cornwall again – we may need to rely on Doc Martin or this website for a virtual holiday.
So, what is the website? It is Matthew Stevens, a company selling fresh Cornish fish and based in St Ives. And with all our attention turned to health and staying healthy, I feel I should eat more fish. But, whilst I stocked my freezer with sausages, chops and mince from the butcher before lockdown, I did not do the same thing with fish. Supermarket deliveries are still erratic and so I cannot plan fish meals when I want them. What I need is a supply of the freshest and best sustainable fish to replenish the freezer. And what could be better than fish coming straight “from Cornish shores to your doors”?
You can order a mixed white fish box with 9 or 12 portions in it. The selection will depend on what has literally come out of the sea that day. My box contained 2 lemon sole portions; 2 of hake; 2 of sea bass; 2 of John Dory and 1 of smoked haddock. But if you don’t want to leave things to chance then choose the selection you want. There are fillets of red mullet, John Dory, plaice, bream, sea bass, gurnard (if you fancy making a bouillabaisse), monkfish, haddock and lemon sole. There are portions of cod, hake, salmon, tuna and swordfish. In the seafood selection there are scallops. prawns, crab, lobster, Cornish mussels, and brown shrimps. And there is a luxury fish pie filling, with a mix of white fish, salmon, and smoked haddock – you just need to add it to some white sauce, stir in a bit of parsley, and top it with mashed potato.
Some of the fish comes fresh and some has been quick frozen from the sea as the company has had to adapt from being primarily a catering supply business to becoming an online retail seller. But once your order is placed (Monday-Thursday) normally it will be processed straightaway, and then sent by FedEx overnight to you in special polystyrene containers arriving by midday the following day, although they deliver locally to Cornwall and Devon. My order went straight into the freezer, apart from the sea bass I wanted to eat that night with some salsa verde.
The website lacks a little bit of detail – I could not determine if the plaice was a whole fish or filleted. However, the company is addressing this and you can always give them a call or email them. They are, like many businesses, adapting to the changing market conditions with this pandemic.
The company has its roots in Cornish fishing going back 120 years. Originally the family were fishermen but after the war turned from fishing to selling fish delivered from the harbour.
It gained such a reputation that the local restaurants and hotels were eager to buy their fish from them. They are the preferred supplier to Rick Stein’s restaurants and they also supply many of the best London restaurants like J Sheekey (my favourite), Scotts, The Wolsley and Hix. And they will go on to do so once these have reopened and we return to normality.
But, in the meantime, gaze on the Cornish sea and enjoy the fish which has come straight from it.
Fish out of (Cornish) water
Fresh fish and seafood
see website for prices
Telephone: 01736 795135
Availability as at 30th June 2020