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A fillet is the most common, and popular, cut of fish. However, whole fish holds its shape and flavour better than fillets, and your fish will be much fresher if you buy it whole and fillet it yourself.

To fillet a whole round fish:

  1. Rinse fish under cold running water.

  2. Lay the fish on the cutting board. Using your free hand, press down on the fish to pin it to the board.

  3. Slice down the backside of the head with your knife, as if beginning to cleave the fish into its two halves.

  4. Place your knife inside this cut, positioning it neatly between the fish's bones and its flesh, and cut from head to tail. Keep the bottom of the blade tight against the bones, so that these are separated from the fillet.

  5. When the fillet is all but freed from the fish, hold it in one hand and snip it loose at the tail, holding the knife blade tilted downward for this last cut.

  6. Cut away the "comb" of tiny bones that will edge your fillet.

  7. Once one fillet has been cut from one side of the fish, turn it over and proceed as with the dark side up.

  8. Begin by making a shallow cut in the top of the fish's head, bringing the tip of your knife blade just shy of the backbone, and continue as you did with the first fillet.

This tip comes from the Loch Fyne Restaurants web site and has been reproduced with their kind permission.

The Loch Fyne story started in 1977 when the late Johnny Noble, owner of the Ardkinglas Estate, created Loch Fyne Oysters with his friend and colleague Andy Lane, a fish farmer and biologist. Their ambition was to produce oysters of exceptional quality to sell to restaurants around the country. By 1987 they had added a traditional smokehouse and their own seafood restaurant, oyster bar and shop in a former cow shed on the banks of the Loch Fyne at Cairndow. So popular was this restaurant that they decided to experiment south of the border and opened two restaurants in England to introduce Loch Fyne products to a wider audience.

Buoyant with the success of these two existing restaurants, well-known entrepreneurs Mark Derry and Ian Glyn were approached, who between them already had an impressive track record in the restaurant business through involvement in the development and running of successful chains such as TGI Friday, Country Style Inns and Luminar Leisure. With their combined expertise, and eagerness to develop a winning seafood restaurant concept, Loch Fyne Restaurants was then established.

Replicating the success of Loch Fyne Oyster’s original restaurant at Cairndow, each restaurant has been incredibly well received by its customers, with enormous local and national press interest. 23 restaurants are now open nationwide, with new outlets opening throughout the year.

If you have never dined with Loch Fyne before, then you can look forward to some of the very best fish and shellfish that you will ever taste – their Loch Fyne smoked salmon and oysters are famous around the globe where they are the choice of many of the world’s best chefs. They also have an excellent choice of white fish – all from sustainable resources – and have recently introduced some fabulous meat dishes to the menu including beef and venison from the glens around Loch Fyne.

To find out more and to locate your nearest restaurant visit the Loch Fyne web site <click here>