Less than a year after opening their doors, Deep Blue Fish Co has become one of the most popular seafood spots on the North Coast. The well-known Woodcock brothers have managed to come up with a winning recipe that draws in the Durban North and Umhlanga crowd daily.
From the very popular, traditional beer battered hake and chips to calamari and fishcakes (and their signature, deep fried Mars bars for dessert), the menu is full of tasty, fresh-from-the-ocean meals and delicacies.
The restaurant is clean and modern and doesn’t smell like fish when you walk through the doors (a priority for the owners).
Having always been an avid fisherman, fishing off his ski-boat and kayak whenever the weather gave him a gap, 30-year-old Sean left his career in event planning to join forces with his younger brother Greg after he returned to South Africa from London. The brothers decided to start what they call their ‘deep blue adventure’…
“I had experience managing a chain of fast food stores on the KZN North Coast for a few years, so opening a fish shop that offers a complete ‘ocean one-stop-shop’ made sense for my brother and I,” says 28-year-old Greg.
Their love for cooking and great food stems from mom Liz, who they say is a machine in the kitchen! With their mom’s help, Sean and Greg set out to learn all the tricks, tips and recipes they needed to open their dream shop – and it’s paid off in the long run.
“We have to give her credit here – it couldn’t have been easy keeping two young hooligans under control in the kitchen!” laughs Sean.
With a small, limited menu of a just couple of dishes and a sushi offering, the brothers chose to rather do fewer items really well, while also providing their customers with the option of purchasing fresh from their frozen fish section. They also supply fish to some of the top restaurants in Durban.
“Our fish mongers, Musa and Paul, are true professionals who have unparalleled knowledge of fish and truly leave the customer happy after each visit. We offer a variety of whole fish or already filleted steaks and will cook it for you at no extra charge!”
Attributing much of their success to their staff, Greg and Sean say they couldn’t do it without them. “We have been lucky enough to find a friendly and professional team of staff and the Deep Blue team works like a family.”
When asked what their favourite dishes on the menu are, Sean says the Prawn Avalanche is his favourite while Greg highly recommends the Deep-fried Calamari.
things to look out for when ordering or buying fresh fish:
The eyes: The first telling tale that a fish is fresh are the eyes. Ensure that the eyes are clear and glossy. Once a fish has been sitting for a while the eyes will go milky and sink into the head.
The flesh: Fresh fish meat should be firm and bounce back after being pressed. If the meat is soft and the indent of your finger remains after pressing the fish it has been in the fridge for a while.
The smell: Some people are more sensitive to the smell of fish than others, but fresh fish should smell like the ocean. The nasty, rebound ‘fish smell’ shouldn’t really be present when dealing with fresh fish.
Tips for fish on the braai:
Using tinfoil makes life much easier when cooking fish, it also keeps in the juices which can be used as a sauce for your fish. Wrap two layers of tinfoil to protect the fish.
Use spray and cook on the grill before cooking. Add a few shallots, dill, thyme or lemon zest over the fish and wrap in the tinfoil.
Cook over medium coals for roughly 15 minutes and then turn for a further 10 minutes.
Unwrap the fish from the foil taking care to reserve the juices which you can use to dress the fish when serving.
Get in touch:
031 461 2530 | email@example.com | Shop 1, Arcadia Centre, 87 Umhlanga Rocks Drive
Text: Monique De Villiers-Delport | Photographs: Melissa Mitchell Photography, firstname.lastname@example.org