What do you expect when you buy a whole fish ready cleaned? I would love it if they'd remove the gills, because IMO they make the fish taste bad and I always snip them out. But as a minimum, I expect it to be scaled and with the guts fully removed.
Does anywhere actually do this? I am so fed up with buying fish and getting it home to find I might as well have done the job myself - except they won't sell my uncleaned fish - and I'd have done it better.
(And yes, if I had a good fishmonger anywhere local, I'd use that).
I don't mind the gills or even having to descale a whole fish. What i do mind is when the fish obviously hasn't be descaled but has been portioned into individual pieces so that I have the take the skin off as it's impossible to descale a small bit properly. I like eating my salmon skin!!!
I don't generally buy fresh fish, but do know that Morrisons fish counter has a very good reputation for being a proper fishmonger (similarly their fresh meat is prepared instore by trained butchers) so I'm sure if you want the fish preparing and trimming in a particular way they would do it if you asked - maybe say 'could you remove the gills (and any other bits you don't want) please' instead of asking for them to be 'cleaned' in case different people interpret this in different ways?
I would have thought other supermarkets particularly Waitrose and maybe Sainsburys should be similiarly obliging, as long as they aren't too busy.
mind - fair enough, that's what I'm trying to establish. I didn't ask for it to be cleaned, I asked if it had been cleaned. I always feel a bit rude saying 'and what does that mean, oh, and can you do the gills too,' but it annoyed me that it seemed to me they'd left half the guts in.
I would also expect it to be scaled because good fishmongers usually do that as part of cleaning, but it doesn't bug me if it's not the norm - I just want to know.
peng - yes! I have no issue with doing it myself, but doing it when someone else has already had a go is much harder, and certainly if it's been cut up I think you're should expect it to be scaled. Scaling ought to be done before you take the guts out, really.