BATTER UP: The expansive menu at City Fish includes crispy, flavorful seafood and more. Photograph by Amy Buchanan
One of Downtown San Jose’s newest eateries, the City Fish, serves seafood in a casual setting but with a surprisingly expansive menu. They carry all the expected treats, like fish and chips, calamari, prawns, oysters and clam chowder, but they also offer such unexpected items as fresh grilled salmon, pasta, sandwiches and even sushi. There are plenty of chicken and beef options as well.
The fish and chips are quite delicious. The batter in particular, which is homemade and done tempura style, is crispy and flavorful; the fish is tender and practically falls apart when you pick it up. If greasy fried fish isn’t your thing, then you may not like it, but otherwise, it is worth making a trip to try it. A one-piece fish and chip order is available for $4.95; a two-piece order is $7.95. I found the accompanying tartar sauce to be a bit too sweet, but the fish with just a dash of lemon was good enough all on its own. They also offer it in panko style.
The clam chowder was good, though not anything special. It’s available in a cup ($3.50), bowl ($4.95) or a sourdough bread bowl ($6.95). The other option is to order a fish and clam chowder combo. For $7.95, the combo comes with a cup of clam chowder, one piece of fish and your choice of coleslaw (which is the creamy variety) or fries (which are basically diner style).
The calamari ($7.95) is thick and lightly breaded and not greasy like the fish and chips. It makes for a good appetizer and doesn’t veer far away from expectations. The cocktail sauce has a nice tangy punch to it.
To get a sense of their nonfish items, I tried some chicken wings and a grilled-chicken sandwich. The wings are available in barbecue and buffalo sauce. I preferred the barbecue sauce, which was highly zesty; the buffalo sauce was a bit too heavy in vinegar flavor. The chicken sandwich was a pleasant surprise. The chicken was grilled with Cajun spices, and the sandwich wasn’t loaded with mayo and cheese—just chicken and veggies on a roll. The succulent flavor of the chicken really came through. The wings are served with a drink and a side as five-piece ($7.95), 10-piece ($11.95) or 15-piece ($13.95) meals. The grilled-chicken sandwich is $6.50. Fries are an additional $1.50
There were so many other items I would have liked to try—shrimp ceviche, fried chicken, Ceasar Salad, mussels, Mozzarella sticks, Philly cheesesteak sandwich—but will have to leave for another visit.
The City Fish
30 E. Santa Clara St., Suite 140, San Jose; 408.293.3474