The Oyster & Fish House, Lyme Regis, Dorset. Words by Alex Fisher
WHET MY APPETITE. Owned by renowned chef Mark Hix, this wonderful restaurant serves the best locally caught fish and seafood from a truly stunning setting overlooking the harbour and beach in Lyme Regis. Although Mark had run a restaurant at this same spot since 2008, all of his franchises were closed down in 2020 because of the pandemic. It was a triumph, for both the town and Mark himself, that he was able to relaunch afresh at this great location, which just wouldn’t be the same without being infused by Mark’s character and expertise. With a home just up the road in Charmouth, Mark has always contributed greatly to the local community, organising the Hix Oyster Celebration in September each year and bringing many other celebrity chefs, talented producers, experts and connoisseurs to this vibrant town. This was my first visit since the pandemic and it was a real pleasure to support a coastal business that has fought so hard to make it through.
WHAT’S ON THE MENU? Beautiful local seafood, cooked with respect, in simple, delicate combinations that enhance, but never overpower, the subtle flavours of the main ingredients. We started with a selection of oysters, including a Brownsea Island, a Portland pearl and a scrumpy fried oyster with scotch bonnet mayonnaise, which were all a delight – creamy and fresh with the flavour of the sea, a great way to begin our meal. For main courses, we shared a local lobster, succulent and rich, it was cooked in lashings of butter, a touch of garlic, and fresh fennel fronds. This was served with a simple herb salad from a local farm and a bowl of chips. The whole experience was just stunning, it couldn’t be faulted – the perfect celebratory meal for any occasion.
HOW’S THE MOOD? Intimate and friendly, with extremely knowledgeable staff who are happy to guide you through the wine list or suggest interesting local ciders to accompany your meal. Excellent food in a smart, stylish, but extremely relaxed setting, with seats out on the terrace where you can even bring your dog. It’s all about enjoyment.
CAN I SEE THE SEA? The view down through surrounding gardens and across the harbour and out to sea is superb. It’s the ideal setting for a fish supper – you can see where the fish is caught and landed. As the restaurant sits above the town of Lyme Regis, the panoramic view stretches for miles: one of the best restaurant views in the country.
WHAT’S THE DAMAGE? Starters are priced from around £9, mains from £16 and desserts at £8. Side dishes all cost £4.50.
OPENING TIMES? Open from 12-9.15pm, Mon-Sat, and 12-3pm Sun. Booking is essential to avoid disappointment, call 01297 446910 or book online at theoysterandfishhouse.co.uk.