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Review: Trying something fishy at a Preston City Centre healthy options restaurant

Posted on - 22nd April, 2023 - 7:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Food & Drink, Opinion, Preston City Centre, Preston News, Restaurants in Preston, What's On in Preston
Saladishy pani puri
Pani puri; the boy band of the appetiser world… Little Justin Timberlake front-left, putting the others to shame, there

Winter is almost over! I’ve put on my summer quilt, bought some rhubarb and ginger gin, dug out my sandals and bought a dehumidifier for my creaky, damp She-Shed (not a metaphor).

I haven’t yet started buying the salad ingredients that are my kitchen bin’s summer staple, so for a few more weeks it will have to survive off bananas that have turned black because I’ll die before I accept that I’m not someone who makes banana bread.

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Anyway, it was warm and sunny, so my daughter Ground Zero and I decided to go to Saladishy on Fishergate in Preston city centre.

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It’s not the best place for people who get migraines, as it’s bright, zingy, neon and sparkly decor is in-your-face cheery to such a level that some people mistake it for a dessert parlour, or the set of Tron. However, it’s nicely done, and it has an extensive selection of savoury dishes that, according to the menu, contain under 500 calories each.

We chose a table with banquette seating, and I managed to trip up on the step leading to it despite the bright yellow and black ‘mind the step’ sticker on it, though in my defence it was the dullest and least noticeable thing in the restaurant.

The tables are generously spaced so diners can enjoy the lively atmosphere without hearing the details of the conversations around them, something that I’d consider a bonus but about which my mother/occasional review tagalong/double dipping food criminal Yvonne would be devastated.

We ordered a portion of pani puri to start, filled with avocado, whipped yoghurt and potato at £6.95. They arrived perched on their own shot glass of spiced water which was a cute touch, but we couldn’t see the whipped yoghurt or avocado, and the filling was on the sparse side for the price. Nevertheless, they had enough authentic curry spices to make them enjoyable.

Ground Zero gambled with a chicken caesar salad at £8.95 for her main course; one of the most simple yet relentlessly cocked-up salads ever created.

Saladishy caesar salad
The chicken was dry, but the rest of the salad prevented it from being a complete Fail Caesar

It was named after Julius Caesar, whose heavily pregnant wife asked him to make her something simple like chopped Romaine lettuce and garlic croutons in a dressing made with eggs, olive oil, lemon, Parmesan, Worcestershire sauce and anchovies, and he brought her some floppy iceberg covered in salad cream with a chicken nugget on top and passed the recipe on to the Greene King restaurant chain.

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There was a good amount of chicken breast, but unfortunately it was dry and didn’t have much flavour or seasoning to it. In contrast, the salad and dressing was excellent, with the tastes of garlic and parmesan very much in evidence. It also contained the often missed out, elusive anchovies that perfectly complement the sweetness of the crunchy Romaine lettuce. I also enjoyed watching my daughter try those salty little sea-demons for the first and only time in her life.

I ordered a regular sized poke bowl of grilled spiced tuna, sushi rice, teriyaki sauce, chickpeas, strawberry, seaweed, cucumber, shredded carrot, chilli and sesame seeds for £9.95.

Saladishy tuna poke bowl
A poke in the stomach is worth two in the eye

Most tuna steak is served pink inside as overcooking turns it into a lump of bitter tasting grey flakes that are not too different to tinned tuna, so I was disappointed that it was well done and dry. I mentioned it to a server, who immediately apologised and offered to redo the meal. I asked if just the tuna could be replaced, as the rest of the poke bowl was lovely. Though despite being fond of a strawberry, I’m not convinced it works with tuna steak.

The taste of sushi rice combined with teriyaki sauce, seaweed and sesame seeds made the entire bowl of healthy ingredients taste as good as any burger or pizza, but according to the menu it only contained 416 calories. The pani puri was listed as having 325, and the caesar salad came in at 456.

Unfortunately, when my tuna arrived it was overcooked again, though it wasn’t as dry and there was more spicy sauce on it than the first one, so the flavour was much better. I’d definitely have the poke bowl again, but next time I won’t bother with the tuna at all and just have the vegetarian one as it’s tasty enough without.

The same with the caesar salad and most of the other items on the menu because, like RK Dining in Plungington and Origin Bakehouse on Fishergate Hill, Saladishy manages to make vegetarian and vegan food that’s every bit as enjoyable as foods that contain meat.

When combined with the bonus of the dishes being healthy, the cheerful, friendly and helpful staff on the day of our visit (Ivanka in particular) and the rarity of a city centre restaurant that opens in the evening and doesn’t sell alcohol but instead offers smoothies and interesting non-alcoholic cocktails, Saladishy is a vibrant and welcome addition to Preston’s increasingly diverse collection of exciting, independent cafés and restaurants.

Read more: See the latest Preston news and headlines

Do you have a damp shed? Unburden yourself in the comments, we’re all friends here.

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