So I've been reading messages on the boards for awhile, and figured it was about time to make a contribution!
My mother and I went for lunch at Big Fish Seafood Bistro in Princeton Market Fair (in NJ) last week. Although it took a few minutes to get seated, that was only because the hostess was fulfilling our request for a booth. She said it would take "two seconds" but it took more like 5 minutes -- still, not too much of a problem. It would have been nice, however, to have a waiting area that was nonsmoking (the hostess stand is right in the middle of the bar and people were smoking there). Once seated, it was as if we were in our own private restaurant -- the high booths were comfortable and gave a sense of seclusion -- a very welcome feeling at a busy lunch hour.
Our server (K.C.) was friendly and accommodating. Our drinks were brought over almost immediately. My mother is a diabetic and, as her blood sugar was running low, was very pleased when K.C. brought us over a complimentary plate of bread (without us having to ask for anything). This was seasoned well and at the perfect temperature for nibbling. It wasn't greasy, either -- something that you often see in bread like this. Not long after that, our meals were brought over. My mother had the crab cake sandwich and I had the coconut-battered fried shrimp. We're pretty discriminating eaters, and we agreed that the crab cake was one of the best we'd had -- ever! Not a lot of filler and a lot of delicious crabmeat. The coleslaw that came with her meal was also amazing! Coleslaw is difficult -- everyone has a different preference and there are many ways to prepare it -- but you found the right way! I didn't try her fries, but she assured me they were wonderful as well -- crispy and not greasy. My shrimp was beautifully presented on a bed of kidney beans and rice. The beans and rice were seasoned very well and an unusual, delicious partner for the shrimp. The sauce that came with the shrimp was not what was expected (it had more of an orange marmalade flavor than a chile flavor -- I can't remember exactly what the menu said it was going to be, but I expected something more Thai-like) but that sauce was incredible so I didn't mind the surprise! The shrimp itself was the only disappointment -- it just wasn't very good. Also, the batter on the shrimp could have used more of a coconut flavor and texture.
We were very surprised at the price of the meal -- we've paid much, much more in the Mercer/Bucks area for food that wasn't even close to the high-quality food we had at Big Fish. (I think for both meals plus 1 soda it was $23).
All in all, a VERY fine dining experience -- we will DEFINITELY go back!
I had been to Big Fish one time before, but it was earlier in their history -- they've definitely improved. (It wasn't bad the first time -- just not this memorable).
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