This is a post about my recent experience with the T G Fisheries door to door Fish sales that visit the ladder. A friend has given me really positive reviews, (i think of them, unless there's more than one lot?) so when they knocked on my door last weekend, I was interested.
Here's what they said, and what i experienced:
* they say at the door that they can do you 'any thing you want love' , but once inside insist they won't do less than than large bulk orders- in my case initially 20, then finally 10 packs of fish. In fairness, i clearly let myself get bamboozled into this as my neighbour also bought fish fro them that day, and insisted she only wanted a small qty, stuck to her guns and they sold her just as much as she wanted.
* the guy i saw said it was 'all line caught, sustainable' . On reflection I actually have absolutely no evidence of that.
*i hold my hand up- it was really STUPID not to check with them what the weight of the packs was so I was completely price blind. As it turned out when i was portioning later- every single pack was around 350g-380g.
* The claim was made that 'this is all top quality best fillets, you wont get better than this'. As you'll see- that's definitely NOT the case in my experience.
* I had 10 packs, for which i was given a 'DISCOUNT PRICE BECAUSE I LIKE YOUR FACE' of £100. So that is £100 for less than 4Kg of fish -which isn't a discount at all when you check other suppliers.
* Far from being best quality, as i portioned up- i found loose bits of tail and off cuts sneaked under the top fillet, so basically 1 sea bream fillet, half a fillet under and a whole lot of off cuts underneath. same for most of the others.
* the monkfish had one very spongy fillet on top with a huge scraggly qty of scraps under that were *really* smelly. so much so that i decided to not risk it and see if the cats were interested. Nope. they weren't either.
*Unscaled fillets in several packs where the flesh was in contact with scale muck and the front cling wrap punctured so that the fish was in poor condition. (as in, the top fillet with puncture marks in it)
* After portioning I weighed all the scraps (ends of tail, odd shaped chunks that were what looked like trimmings of fillets) i discovered the weight of these was 900g. The smelly bits went and the rest i did make into a fish stew. Not the point really as i wasn't buying 'fish pie' bits or trimmings to make stock. (i thought..)
*The labour aspect- it took me a considerable time to clean portion and remove scraggy bits to portion it all up. Something i admit i am used to asking the fishmonger to do. Happily i have a good knife and tweezers to remove bones.
I admit i'm a total mug for letting them in, allowing them to use classic pressure sales and also to 'take my order' showing me produce- but then leave and 'make up the order' from the truck.
So - verdict is that I think i've just experienced the fish version of a boiler room... and, i cannot believe i just didn't order from a traceable source like Sole of discretion instead.
you live and learn eh? Anyone fancy a fish supper?