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Birds Eye Seaside Specials in Crispy Batter

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6 Reviews

Brand: Birds Eye / Fish

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    6 Reviews
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      13.12.2009 20:37
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      Not the perfect substitute!

      I do fancy fish and chips every now and then, but there's no nearest shop who offered that service in my place so I have to go for my frozen alternative, as you might be aware of my my previous review I'm fond of birds eye range so I chose their new seaside specials in crispy batter with two fillets.

      FISH
      2 Seaside Specials Natural Alaska Pollock Fillets in Crispy Batter.

      PACKAGING
      Birdseye packaging carries the same logo of Captain Birdseye and comes in a blue cardboard boxes with pictures of the fish, to reduce packaging and waste, the fillets are just placed inside without any plastic.

      TASTE
      It isn't greasy tasting but crunchy crispy tasty batter and the fish itself is soft, succulent, a bit fluffy and the flavour is subtle. I quite expected this kind of taste and texture which I think was better than a supermarket brand I tried.

      INGREDIENTS
      Alaska Pollock Fillet (47%), Batter, Breadcrumb, Vegetable Oil.
      Batter Water, Wheat Flour, Maize Flour, Wheat Starch, Salt, Baking Powder (contains Raising Agents: E450, E500)*, Mustard Flour, Vegetable Oil, Skimmed Milk Powder, Dextrose, Yeast Extract, Natural Flavouring. Breadcrumb Wheat Flour, Salt, Yeast, Dextrose, Vegetable Oil.

      Additional Info: E450 and E500 are the basic ingredients of Baking Powder, which is used to make the batter light and crispy.

      Allergy Advice : It contains fish, wheat, mustard, milk.

      NUTRITIONAL INFO
      Per Serving
      Calories 305kcal/15%
      Sugars 1.3g/1%
      Fat 14.0g 20%
      Saturates 1.9g/10%
      Salt 1.4g/ 23%

      I believe they also offered a breadcrumbed variety for a less calories and fat.

      PRICE
      2 pack/£1.79 Tesco
      £1.00 Asda on offer
      4 pack/ £3.99

      It's very cheap if you can get it for a pound, appropriate price just to ease my craving.

      PREPARE
      To be cooked from frozen, best oven baked at 200degrees for approx. 25minutes. Turn them halfway through the cooking time or until golden brown.
      I'll always cook frozen food very well done. I'm always worried about fish not being cooked thoroughly, quite horrible to have if that's the case so as a result it tend to be a little dry.

      CONCLUSION
      There's really no comparison with the freshness and taste from fish and chips at the seaside but these one will do if it's not possible to have. Actually, they should not be called seaside special because it's no way near to the word special. It's way different really but not too bad at all and mind you, it's good value. For me, I might have them again once in a while but I hope to have a fish and chips closer anytime soon, It's definitely much better.

      Thank you for reading ;-D

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        26.06.2009 10:00
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        ONLY A TWO-STAR PRODUCT...!

        I am regularly on the lookout for frozen fish based products, as my partner really enjoys this type of meal, being the huge fan of seafood that he is!

        It was whilst I was in my local 'Farmfoods' frozen food store that I noticed a box of fish by Bird's Eye. It appeared to be a new product, or it was new to me anyway, as the 'Seaside Specials' range by Birds Eye is one that I have not encountered before.

        The box had a picture of two 'fillets' of white fish that were contained in a crispy batter type of coating. It all looked pleasant enough, and as I was planning to make 'Fish and chips' for our evening meal later in the week, I opted to give these fillets a try.

        The cost of the box of two fillets was around £1.30, which I thought was very reasonable.

        When we chose to have the fillets (alongside chips and peas of course!), I removed them from the packaging and was immediately impressed by the look of them. The batter appeared to be very thick and crispy, which is my personal preference.

        The colour looked to be nice and golden, and the fillets were quite a generous size, although one was slightly smaller than the other. This was no problem for our household, as my partner's appetite is not as shrunken as my own, and therefore he usually has a bigger meal than me anyway.

        I popped them into the oven as instructed to do so on the packaging. The smell wafting from the oven as they were cooking was certainly an appetising one. I checked on their progress at about the halfway mark, and they seemed to be sizzling away nicely. I turned them over, which is what I usually do with similar products, and this was done easily, without any damage to the fillets, and there was no evident signs of the batter disintegrating too easily - something which I have encountered with similar products in the past.

        When the cooking time was complete, I removed the fish fillets from the oven and served them onto the plates. The batter, I noted, was now a deeper golden colour and they looked very appetising indeed.

        My first cut into the fish was one that was met with a very loud crunch noise... the batter, it would appear was certainly crispy, as promised on the packaging. After cutting off a piece of fish, I popped it into my mouth to give it the 'taste test'.

        The fish itself was actually quite disappointing - I found it to be rather bland. The taste was rather more subtle than I would have liked. It also looked a bit 'grey' and this was a bit off-putting for me.

        The batter was delicious though - very crunchy and just the right texture. It did seem to drown the fish if I am honest, and it was probably a little bit too thick for the small piece of fish which was nestled inside.

        I ate my small piece of fish with much less enthusiasm than my partner, who thoroughly enjoyed his piece. What we both found though, was that towards the 'end' of the piece of fillet, the texture changed dramatically and instead of soft white flakes of fish we were left with hard chewy pieces, which were utterly disgusting and foul - yuck!

        I found this so off-putting that I abandoned my meal altogether after that, although my partner managed to struggle on, which was achieved by cutting off the 'end' of his fish and discarding it -i.e. he pushed it to the side of his plate and ignored it!

        For these reasons, I honestly do not know if I would buy these again. I found them to be reasonable enough otherwise, but I am not prepared to buy a convenience item such as frozen fish fillets only to then have to start messing about with it, by cutting off a section before they are deemed edible enough for me to put them on my plate!

        There are other frozen fish products available that I have bought in the past that do not have this problem, and therefore I would probably be more inclined to buy them in future, rather than this offering from Bird's eye.

        The nutritional information on the reverse of the box informs me that each fillet will provide me with 305 calories and 14g of fat, which I thought was really rather high considering the size of the fillets.

        The back of the packaging informs me that although care has been taken to remove all bones, some of them may still remain. There is also allergy information alongside the cooking instructions. There is no option to cook the fish by any other method other than to oven cook it.

        Only two stars from me - one for the crispy batter which I found to be tasty, although very thick, and one star because they were good value, although perhaps a kind of 'false economy' if I did not really enjoy them as much as similar frozen fish products.

        Not so much of a seaside special, as a special disaster! >:-o

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          20.05.2009 00:32
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          Worth a try, if only it's for the sustainability!

          Birds Eye is a famous brand that has been established for years. When i saw these in the supermarket, i had no doubts these would be good because of other items i'd had before. As usual im on a diet and wanted fish and chips without resorting to the chippy so had some of these with mccain rustic chips and tinned marrowfat peas.

          What Birds Eye say:
          2 seaside specials natural fillets in crispy batter.

          How much and where from?
          These cost me £1.99 for 2 medium sized fish fillets (240g). I bought these from Tesco. Other supermarkets sell them too and you can get these in a 4 pack for £3.99

          Cooking:
          Place on a baking tray and cook at 180 degrees/gas 6 for 25 minutes, easy peasy!!

          Nutrition:
          These are 305 calories per portion with 1.9g of saturated fat. You can buy these in a breadcrumbed variey that is less calories and fat.

          OK, what did i think?
          Firstly something to address is these fillets are pollock, which is a type of white fish that is in plentiful supply. I am interested in sustainable fish, so im glad these weren't cod, as they are in short supply. I didn't really notice much difference in the taste. When you are eating fish in batter, this does limit the flavour somewhat. The fillets are not very thick, i would prefer them a little more chunky. The batter isn't greasy tasting and is quite light, crisp and thin. I much prefer this to the chippy as usually the batter there is too thick and makes me gag. I would have liked a little more seasoning in the batter though. After cooking for the allotted time on the packet (25 mins) the fillets were perfectly cooked. As the fillets are only thin i did think they were a little dry and would have liked a juicier texture. I would probably buy these again just because of the pollock factor hehe! I think this sustainable fish thing will really start to catch on and i hope to me more less popular fish in products like this. Enjoyable enough, but i would like them a little thicker and juicier.

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            14.11.2008 18:10
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            Not a substitute for cod. The brown bits put me right off.

            ***What Is This Product? ***

            First of all, this is not cod. Birds Eye are known for their fish products and I have always associated them with cod fish fingers and frozen, crumbed covered cod portions. This is pollock and it isn't what I expected from a manufacturer with such a good reputation.

            Pollack, or pollock (both are correct) is a type of fish from two distinct species. It is also known as coley, or Boston blue fish and is a much cheaper and more available alternative to cod. Pollock is supposed to be a white fish but it is a strongly flavoured one.

            In UK it has traditionally been seen as the poor man's alternative to cod and used very commonly for cat food. However, it has become more widely available as frozen fish for human consumption because of the over fishing and depletion of cod and haddock reserves. It is also cheap.

            This is the fish used in McDonald's fillet of fish sandwiches. They chop it all up and reform it so it doesn't look the same as these grey, brown and off white fish portions do.



            ***Packaging and Pricing***

            Birds Eye Seaside specials come in packs of two and are normally priced at around £1.79 for a box but I bought mine on offer at Tesco for £1. To be honest I was pleased that I hadn't spent any more on them.

            The packaging is in the usual Birds Eye colours of blue, red and white and there is a picture of a fishing net on the front. The fish is shown on the front as golden, crispy looking fillets of white fish served with chips.

            Even the texture of the fish is depicted like the flakes you find inside a cod fillet. My point here is that there is nothing on the front of the box that says it isn't cod, so the ordinary shopper would most likely assume that it was.

            Nutritional information is available on the front of the box, and a small blue information box states that this product contains no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives. Another box says 'from whole fillet'. I made be misreading this but it sounds like a strange statement. Isn't all fish without bones a full fillet, or from a fillet?

            The usual customer service details are on one end of the box and there is more information about the product on the back. It tells you how wonderful Alaskan pollock is.


            ***Nutrition and Ingredients***

            This product is just 47% Alaskan pollock fillet and the rest of the weight is made up from batter, breadcrumbs and vegetable oil.

            The batter includes wheat flour and starch, salt, mustard and turmeric and the breadcrumbs are made from wheat flour, yeast, salt and dextrose.

            The combined weigh of the fish portions in this box is 240grms. Only 47% is fish, so you are actually only getting less than 114 grams of fish for your money. At £1 a box that's expensive but at the full price of £1.79 it is, in my opinion, too expensive.

            Each fillet gives you 265 calories, 9.9 grams fat and 1.4 grams salt. This doesn't seem quite as nutritious as it did at first, when you look at it this way.


            ***How To Cook***

            It says on the box that you should cook these fillets on a baking tray in a pre-heated oven (200 degrees centigrade). They should be cooked from frozen for around 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Turn them halfway through the cooking time.

            I actually found that they needed a further five minutes as the outside coating was still soggy but ovens do vary.


            ***Taste Test***

            I was very disappointed in this product. I had expected fresh, white fish is a crispy coating but when I cut into the fillet I was completely put off. The fish was dark grey in colour around the edges. Upon inspection I found grey and brown bits of fish inside the fillet.

            It didn't flake the way that cod does and it certainly wasn't 'white fish' as I know it.

            The smell was quite strong too and this put me off. I didn't expect a fish portion to smell so 'fishy'. I couldn't eat it and ended up giving it to my dog. (He enjoyed it but I am uncertain as to whether he actually tasted it!)

            I didn't like these at all. They are, in my opinion, a cheap alternative to good white fish like cod and they are packaged to look the same.

            If you are buying Birds Eye Fish products, don't just go by the packaging and the brand, check the box carefully if you don't fancy ending up with grey and brown fish.


            ***Would I Buy This Again?***

            No I wouldn't. I don't even think I could eat this fish if it was given to me free of charge. I was disappointed and it has made me a lot more wary of trusting the Birds Eye brand.

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              26.10.2008 11:19
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              a good all round piece of fish

              I've been buying this fish for the last few weeks because it's on offer at 2 packets for £2. Usually this retails at £1.79 for a packet of two portions of battered fish. I would find this quite expensive for just two portions.

              Birds Eye is a renowned make for fish products and the name attaches itself to a quality standard of fish. I have always grown up thinking this was the best fish you can buy, and whilst I know it's not necessarily the case, I do like to buy their products when the price is right.

              The packaging comes in the form of cardboard boxes with pictures of the fish on the outside with the captain Birdseye. Most Birdseye packaging carries the same logo of Captain Birdseye. There isn't any other packaging inside the boxes and the frozen fillets are just placed inside. This is doing good to reduce packaging and waste.

              The fillets come battered in good sized portions. They are shaped like an elongated triangle, much like a lot of frozen fish fillets you buy are. I always assumed they were cod but they are in fact Pollock. I had been eating them for a week or so before I realised that so I was pleased to find that Pollock doesn't taste too different from cod in the grand scheme of things.
              Being frozen they will need to be cooked from frozen to be eaten at their best. A 200 degree oven for 25 minutes usually sees these fillets done to perfection.

              I usually find the batter falls off slightly when being placed onto a plate. I think this is due to me over cooking them slightly, but I'm always worrying about fish not being cooked through properly.
              The taste test is always the pass or fail for me. Compared to other portions of fish, these fair really well as the fillets flake apart nicely as you cut the portion.
              I find that the batter isn't as crispy and fluffy as I would like, it can be ever so slightly chewy if I do over cook it, but the majority of the time it is crispy and dissolves nicely against little resistance in my mouth.
              The fish itself is always light and fluffy and the flavour is subtle and fresh. I always find the portion is enough for an adult as long as it is coupled with a potato dish and vegetables or chips etc.

              Compared to proper fish and chips from a takeaway this fish won't compare at all, but if you compare it to a supermarket own brand then it comes out on top for its flavour and size. I don't think it's worth the money for just two portions and in that instance I wouldn't be buying them in the future.

              A portion of fish in batter will provide you with 305 calories and 14g fat

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                31.05.2008 00:43
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                Really tasty bit of fish

                Birds Eye Seaside Specials

                This is a relatively new product from Birds eye and in my opinion is one of their tastiest. Seaside specials are frozen fish in crispy batter and are marketed to taste just like fish from a seaside chip shop. Now I wont pretend that they taste like the chip shop but they are not bad at all.

                The specials come in a blue coloured box with a picture of the seaside and fish and chips wrapped in newspaper. This had my mouth watering to start with. Each box contains two fish and the box costs approx £1.99 depending on when bought. I purchased my box for £1 introductory offer from Tesco.

                The taste of the fish is great. It has a crunchy crispy and really quite tasty batter and the fish itself is soft and succulent. There is plenty of tender white fish and comes in a good size portion. It is one of the best frozen fish I have tasted.

                Each portion (1 fish) contains 47% Alaskan Pollock (which seems to be the main ingredient in fish fingers just now too). Each portions contains 305kcals and 14grams of fat. Which in my opinion is an awful lot for a piece of fish!!

                To cook the fish it must be cooked from frozen and is best oven baked at 200degrees for approx. 25mins.

                Overall-
                A really good tasty bit of fish, but far too high in fat for me.

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