We called in at Bells Fish Restaurant Durham for lunch on Good Friday. The restaurant is on the corner of the Market Place and used to be Bimbis Fish Restaurant. The place has just been totally redecorated and looks great inside. Like the Gilesgate takeaway, the shop has a big feature of an ornamental fish tank just inside the door, with tropical fish. This seemed to keep the kids entertained nicely.
Bells Fish Restaurant Durham
No cheap ‘cafe’ style decor for us; no plastic tables or chairs. At Bells we feel that a world class dish, served in a world class city centre, should be served in a world class place. Hence our heavy investment in our restaurant on both equipment and fixtures and fittings.
At Bells we are proud to serve local people as well as guests from all over the world. You’re sure of a warm and friendly reception here at Bells. Just take a look at our menu and remember, at Bells we are now serving beers and wines too.
If you’d rather enjoy your fish & chips the ‘traditional’ way, our first class takeaway service is available just alongside our restaurant.
We had to queue for a while in the rain to get into Bells, but were able to jump the queue a bit as a table for two came up and those in front of us needed 3 or 4. Felt a bit guilty there as we passed them all in the queue; their faces seemed to harden slightly as we breezed past. The restaurant was fairly full, everybody from adults to babies in there! The seats are nice and comfy and there’s more room upstairs if the lower deck is overflowing (it was). The waitress (all were smartly turned out in their uniforms) took our order straight away. We stayed with traditional Cod and Chips with mushy peas, although there’s plenty to choose from on the menu, including Sea Bass, Salmon and Steamed Mussels. And dandelion and burdock is compulsory with fish and chips isn’t it, along with a slice or two of bread and butter? Oh, go on then.
We amused ourselves by pulling silly faces at the baby on the next table until our food came. All the while people were coming and going, but they seemed to have it all worked out, with a lad clearing tables to make sure new incomers had a clean place to sit, rather than staring at the previous leftovers for 5 minutes. The food took about 10 minutes to arrive, and was delivered on Bell’s fish shaped plates. That was totally effective, raising a smile and reminding us where we were. The cod was cooked beautifully, no soggy batter or bones, all nice and crisp. The chips were also nice and dry, and the mushy peas were a perfect paste consistency. Time to nip our noses and dive in! We stayed for about a half hour, but they were still queuing outside in the rain, so we didn’t hang about any longer and let someone else have their turn to dry out and feast their faces. I was still feeling a bit guilty about jumping the queue to be honest 😉
Price was £24 for two, which wasn’t cheap, but when you consider that fish and chips for two from a normal chippy will cost best part of 12 quid these days, without the sit down, drinks and service, it wasn’t too bad.
Bells have got things very right with their Durham restaurant. The food is very nice, the menu extensive and the service is fast, efficient and polite. Recommended if you don’t mind queuing to get in.
Bells Fish Restaurant Durham,
11 Market Place,
Tel: 0191 384 8974
Website : http://www.bellsfishshop.co.uk/
Durham Food and Drink Ratings
First Impression : 8, Service : 9, Food : 8, Value : 8