Review of Flying Fish

2234 First Avenue in Belltown

206 728 8595

Flying Fish is a great restaurant and it gives one a unique taste of Seattle. They are located on First Street in Belltown and only serve dinner, but for years, there has been a line in front when they open.

The decor is simple and modern. We like the peace and quiet of the balcony, but many crave the excitement of the ground floor. Some people might come for the scene, which is typically hopping Belltown, but we come for the food.

The cooking is distinctly northwestern, with fresh fish and brightly flavored ingredients and an emphasis on seafood. One of our favorite dishes here is the fish tacoes, with freshly grilled white fleshed fish, pickled onions, jalapenos, smoked tomato salsa, avocadoes and other goodies. We like it so much, we derived our own version. Also, check out the deep fried rockfish with a distinct Thai influence. The fish is served with soft oriental pancakes and a plate full of bean sprouts, basil, mint and coriander. Make yourself a pancake and douse it with apricot anchovie salsa and enjoy.

We always go for the rock shrimp spring rolls and the fried oyster Caesar salad. In season, order the Copper River salmon with potatoes, artichokes, asparagus, bacon and chicken stock. They also make a great cubano sandwich.

The kitchen has a wonderful light touch, with everything perfectly season and nothing overdone. They have a good selection of wine by the glass and make marvelous margaritas, but having drunk, we often finish up with their wonderful hibiscus hip, lavender and fennel tea.

UPDATE 9 April 2006 - We had our first meal at Flying Fish in some time, and we have to say that they are still at the top of their form. If anything, the deep fried whole rockfish was better than ever, and the fish tacos were amazingly good. We weren't even sure what kinds of fish they used, but the spicing was phenomenal. The weakest part of our meal was the trendy cupcake dessert. Bring back the 1980s cookie plate. After all, aren't cookies just cupcake tops, and aren't cupcake tops the best part of the cupcake?

Also, Flying Fish is now serving lunch on weekdays. The menu looked good, with lots of stuff from their dinner menus, so we now have a new mid-day dining option.

UPDATE 24 JANUARY 2001 - We were a bit nervous about taking our young nieces to Flying Fish, as neither girl has a fondness for seafood. Flying Fish won them over, and they were soon crunching down on those oriental pancakes full of deep fried rock fish and chowing down on fish tacoes. With children, as with adults, presentation counts, and here, Flying Fish proved itself kid friendly.

Also, Christine Keff has opened a new restaurant across the street, Fandango.

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