Matt and Cat\'s Isle of Wight Eating Out Guide
At the scrag-end of a hot Sunday afternoon, Matt and Cat were in need of refreshment. Turned away from one establishment who saw eating...

At the scrag-end of a hot Sunday afternoon, Matt and Cat were in need of refreshment. Turned away from one establishment who saw eating as coming to an abrupt end at 5.45, they sought succour in June’s Fish Bar. It is neat and newly painted, but does not particularly stand out from the many tourist traps which litter Shanklin Old Village, so your reviewers entered with no great expectations.

The Fish Bar is an unpreposessing sit-down cafe, which also does takeaway fish and chips. Matt and Cat navigated their way through the strangely cluttered shop to take their seats. From this point on, the experience rapidly improved. The staff were very friendly, and despite the party arriving late on what had obviously been a very busy day for them, the place was clean and tidy, and the welcome was genuine and warm.

The menu was basic, but easy to understand – chip shop staples all round. The meals arrived very quickly, along with two hot cups of tea. The tea was hot and refreshing, with real milk. Not in pots – this was a fish bar, not a tearoom – but with china cups on saucers. The battered sausages eagerly consumed by junior reviewers Bill and Jack were very fresh, with thick, crispy batter that clung to the sausage as it should, rather than peeling away in a soggy mess. Unexpectedly, the chips were sublime – possibly the best chips this reviewer has ever tasted on the Island. Perfectly cooked and full of flavour, they had a springy texture that banished any thought of greasiness or flouriness.

On another occasion, the diners were delighted to see one of the serving staff strumming a guitar in a few idle moments – although this seemed to be for her own entertainment rather than any sort of performance, it was a long way from the piped music that pollutes some establishments, and well illustrates the unusually friendly atmosphere of June’s.

Your reviewers will undoubtedly be making further visits to sample some full fish meals from this unexpected gem.

  • dave smith says:

    Matt and Cat this could be a great site I often look at it when I come to IOW I eat in the places you recommend most of us tourists spend money on your lovely Island but you seemed to have lost it latly.Yes it is a small island but we visitors are very interested in it.If we eat out as we do we could be spending anything up to £1,000 on our fortnight. Thats big money for your Island so please keep up to date with your reviews owners change every year

    Matt and Cat reply: hey Dave, really glad you find it useful. Not quite sure what you’re getting at there but yes, you’re right, we don’t update older reviews as often as we’d like. But by way of explanation a little arithmetic may be enlightening. There are over 300 reviews on here, and only us doing it. So work out, if you like, how long it would take us to re-review all of those 300 places, if, say, we did one a week.

  • Holiday Maker says:

    Have to agree with Last reviewer not Good on my visit. Quaint aint great its all about
    the Food and this was average for me too , Im told its up for sale due to retirement
    possibly time for a change

  • kj says:

    managed to find time for the first time in four years to eat from Junes..expecting lots after the publicised awards we were left a little jaded. I enjoyed the offhand service provided at the hatch, although some tourists there obviously didn’t. I am glad I’d placed a telephone order as the place was packed. Package was presented dead on time and rushed back home. Since the demise of Johns Place good fish & chips have sorely been missed.

    Was it award winning? …no where near on this occasion

    firstly the chips with the C&M pie…I counted 10, the portions with the fish were great and tasted fantastic (the don’t provide salad)

    The fish where smaller than we expected and the batter incredibly greasy, the fish inside was a delight.

    All in all we found the food to be OK and would go there again for lack of somewhere better, but was it award winning…no where near on this occasion

  • Sean says:

    A very old fashioned interior but thats not necessarily a bad sign and makes a change from modern plastic.

    The service was quick and friendly and the Cod and Chips excellent. Well cooked, fresh, tasty chips and flavoursome cod.

    I’m told the shop has been there for 50 years and is quite famous.

  • Cat says:

    Congratulations to Dudley Holmes and all at June’s Fish Bar for your recent commendations, including an accolade in Rick Stein’s prestigious Seafood Lovers’ Guide and coming top of The Independent’s 50 Best Fish and Chips in England. We’re glad to see that the top notch agree with our review!

    Read all about June’s Fish Bar’s accolades on the County Press website.

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