If you’ve been craving seafood and decide to treat yourself to a nice meal out at a restaurant, you want to be sure you’re getting quality seafood. But how exactly can you tell if the seafood you’re being served is good quality? We asked some professional fishmongers to give us some tips about restaurant seafood. Here’s what we found out.
Ask the Staff When the Seafood Gets Delivered
Most restaurants get their seafood delivered on a regular schedule, so ask your server what days the seafood truck brings in the fish. If the delivery comes on Thursdays but you’re dining on a Wednesday, you may want to avoid the seafood as it won’t be very fresh. If the server is hesitant to give you the answer or claims he has no way of finding out, it could be a sign that the seafood isn’t fresh.
Choose a Dish Where the Seafood is Simply Prepared
When you order a seafood dish that is covered in sauce, deep fried or mixed with other proteins, it can be hard to gauge if the seafood is of good quality. A simple seafood dish should let the actual seafood be the star of the show and it should taste clean and fresh. Simple dishes often use good quality seafood, since the seafood isn’t masked with strong spices or sauces.
Check for Dryness
Overly dry fish is usually caused by chefs that overcook it. However, it can also be a sign that the fish was previously frozen and it was not of good enough quality to be brought back to its original form. A high-quality seafood dish should be juicy, succulent and tender.
Know What’s in Season
Knowing when local seafood is in season can help you determine whether or not the restaurant serves quality seafood before you even place your order. For example, if a restaurant is offering local oysters in May, but you already know that oysters are in season during the fall and winter, you can tell the restaurant is trying to fool you. Know what’s in season before you dine.
If It Seems too Cheap to be True, it Probably is
Good quality fish isn’t cheap for restaurants to source, so it’s often one of the pricier options on a menu. That’s why it makes a good choice for a special occasion, or when you want to treat yourself. If the restaurant you’re eating at advertises fresh, locally sourced or in-demand fish for a surprisingly low price, they may actually be serving a cheaper alternative instead.
Next time you’re about to dine on a delicious seafood meal, keep these tips in mind to make sure that the seafood you’re about to enjoy is good quality. A top of the line fish dinner is one of the tastiest things you can order at a restaurant. Enjoy!
If you prefer to eat your fish at home, check out these top tips for buying fresh food at the grocery store.
Photo Credits: Philip Stridh / Shutterstock Inc., Stockyimages / Shutterstock Inc., Subbotina Anna / Shutterstock Inc.