Ati Manel Garfish in Spicy Olive Oil


Also known as needlefish, these are similar to sardines and anchovies in many respects but have their own distinct flavor profile and mouthfeel. The best way to understand the difference is to do a tasting, side by side with another species. Or better yet, pick a sardine, a sprat, an anchovy prepared like a sardine, and a garfish. A flight of fish, if you will. I sure will, if you won’t. These are more spicy (plus chilli pepper) than spiced (there’s no clove, bay, or pickled vegetables).

120g (4.2oz) tin

In stock

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Ingredients: Garfish (Belone belone) (70.8%), Olive Oil (26.5%), Chilli (1.7%), and Salt.

The terms “spiced” and “spicy” are used pretty much interchangeably in the tinned fish world, to mean two different things: with a hot pepper (or hot pepper flavor), and with cloves/bay/carrot/hot pepper. There are many examples of both terms being used to mean both things.

We are so frustrated by how widespread this confusing inconsistent usage is that we’ve gone through our entire product line to correct the incorrect ones such that our description of “spiced” or “spicy” will always indicate which it really is, regardless of the packaging. “Spicy” = with hot pepper flavor. “Spiced” = with the cloves/bay/carrot/hot pepper flavors.


  1. nrobinson (verified owner)

    I was super excited for this tin as part of my journey in trying canned fish other than your standard grocery store fare. These were a delight

    Whole fish, less heads and tails. Looks like something between a sardine and a mackerel. Wide range of sizes in the tin… one was twice as big or larger than others.

    Firm, almost dry but not quite. Holds together well. Toothsome, doesn’t fall apart easily when bitten into, kind of like chunked tuna.

    Flavor and Eating Experience
    Very rich and umami. Not a ton of spice flavor until you build up a bit of oil on the tongue… then you feel the capcasin and taste a bit of pepper. Not at all fishy. Not too spicy, though my tolerance is high. Spine gives a bit of crunch on the big ones but dissolves quickly. Pepper included has a nice jammy texture. Very nice on a cracked wheat cracker with dijon.

    Delicious! These might become a staple in the pantry. The price isn’t too bad as well.

  2. Hream McDan (verified owner)

    Liked these a little better than the regular Ati Manel garfish in olive oil, the spiced oil really brings a lot to the table. I’d say it would rank as a mild-medium heat that you notice but it definitely won’t make you sweat. Firm like non-salt-cured anchovies, texture very similar to the Patagonia anchovies (e.g. hybrid of sardine and canned tuna). They are more dry but again, not actually dry … didn’t mind the moisture level at all. Felt like the oil permeated these a little better than the non-spiced, but maybe it was just because I enjoyed the flavor more? Didn’t notice the crunchy spine as much this time but I can really appreciate the differences here between sardines and garfish.

    Will I convert over to only eating garfish? No. But are these worth getting every other month for a change of pace? YES, absolutely. Pretty darn good and unique tin at a solid price.

  3. Sarah Voorhees (verified owner)

    First time trying garfish and I am a fan! Opened the tin to 7 long skinny fish that were silvery and black and firmly intact. Fish was very firm and easily came out of the tin in one piece. Agree with other reviewers that the firmness/density of the fish could be interpreted as dryness but the fish is not actually dry tasting at all.

    The flavor was great, there is something different about the fish flavor profile itself vs sardines, mackerel, etc that I cannot put into words. The garfish in this tin was absolutely a mild and not fishy flavor and was very delicious.

    The heat from the pepper was minimal so I added some hot sauce myself and enjoyed on toasted bread. I will definitely order this tin again!

  4. Matt (verified owner)

    I had a friend share this tin with me a few months back and I made a mental note to order one on my next RTG shipment. These were even better than I remember! Tin came with 6 gorgeous fish, I felt a little guilty eating these the fish were that pretty. Fish were nice and firm, not too dry and well seasoned. I prefer my fish to be on the slightly saltier side and I thought these were just right. Definitely the best tin of Garfish I’ve had and for the price they are a fantastic value.

  5. Lunchtime Toothbrush (verified owner)

    An emminently enjoyable can. The garfish is firm, but rich enough to eat on its own or on a slice of baguette. The separate pieces are distinct and can be replated with out falling apart.

    I already know I’ll have to reorder this tin. Between the distinct texture, clean umami flavor, and warming spicy oil it stands out as a very happy discovery from RTG. The cuts of fish themselves are striking, which makes it a great can to share with friends that deserve a treat. I’d be hard pressed not to pick these over other fish at the same price.

  6. Peter Oneill (verified owner)

    Most beautiful fish I’ve seen in a tin. They were perfectly intact. Firm texture makes they easy to take out of the tin without breaking apart. Great texture and flavor. Will definitely be a regular order.

  7. Mike Turpie (verified owner)

    My first garfish experience. Also first Ati Manel product. Cool packaging. No intense fishy aroma on opening the tin (a plus for me). The fish are beautifully shiny with intact skin in the orange oil. They are quite firm, and pleasantly salty. However, there is zero discernible heat. I eat the peri-peri at the bottom of the tin. Is it a dud? Since I was expecting heat, and disappointed, I proceed to put drops of Tabasco on each fish. Now we’re talking. I will get garfish again, and won’t hesitate to try other Ati Manel products. I agree with others that the elegant appearance of the fish adds a lot to the appeal. Love these fish.

  8. UncleOscar (verified owner)

    Firm-texured fish with a mild, delicious flavor. Slightly spicy from the oil, but not too hot at all. I have really enjoyed the other garfish I’ve tried, and these are right up there. It currently seems to be the only spicy garfish available on RTG, and I almost always prefer the spicy/spiced version of sardines and the like. Overall, I really enjoyed these. Could be an all-time favorite for me.

  9. A. Pearson (verified owner)

    I really like these tasty little fish darts.

    On the opposite end of the texture spectrum from something like a sprat, which I think makes them an exceptional choice for eating directly out of the tin and are interesting enough to be part of a ‘cuterie spread. They’re on my “order again” list.

  10. emosberger (verified owner)

    This is my second tin of garfish (first was the Conservas de Cambados) and I was rather happy with it. Cracking open the tin I was presented with a mild spicy aroma and four slender fish darts. The fish were very firm and the taste seems to be a sardine and mackerel crossover. The pepper heat was mild but lingered a bit. Only negative is that that the salt content was high for my palate and overpowered some of the other flavors. Had two of the garfish on their own then had the rest with some rice and chili crisp.
    Overall a very satisfying lunch but a bit too salty for my liking, I’ll stick with the Cambados garfish in the future.

  11. luke (verified owner)

    Very firm and clean tasting. Had a little tinned fish party last night and these were a real hit with the folks who had never partaken and were a little hesitant. But these went over better than most of the standard sardines. I got a chance to try them
    Too and adored them for their robustness. These are rich and really accessible.

  12. TinnedFishStoner (verified owner)

    These were very tubular, 4 shiny fish were in this tin along with a little pepper. I didn’t realize there was a pepper in here until I opened it (to be fair I didn’t read the ingredients lol) but I LOVE the little peppers in tins so it just made the experience better for me. These were very flavorful and satisfying, not fishy at all so I could see somebody who is a little more hesitant on sardines enjoying this since the spice and the pepper also give the garfish some flavor to make for a really fulfilling meal. These I will definitely get again at some point as I have discovered that I am a sucker for spiced tins and I would definitely recommend these to others.

  13. Chris Therrien (verified owner)

    This was my first time trying garfish and I can say I’m now a fan.

    The can held four large, lovely, shiny tubular mid-sections of fish with their heads and tails cut off. The olive oil they were packed in was pleasant, of nice quality and medium spicy. The fish were firm, yet moist. They filet easily with a shard knife and don’t fall apart. Some reviewers note the meat is similar to Patagonia White Anchovies and they’re correct. The meat is dark, and has a flavorsome, umami taste. Somewhat reminiscent of smoked trout, but without the smokiness.

    I didn’t find that these fish needed any additional condiments, which is good, however this may be the saltiest fish out of a tin I’ve eaten. I’m fairly sure this applies to the fish and not the oil. Were they brined? Naturally salty? Who know? For this reason I’d recommend eating these with something to absorb the saltiness.

    By chance, I had heated up some Palirria Gigantes White Beans in Tomato Sauce (found on RTG website) to enjoy as a side dish and found that the creamy beans in their sauce married perfectly with the fish and it’s oil. Eaten with a crusty baguette, it made for a delicious meal.

    4.45 fish out of five ????????????????9/20

  14. Irina (verified owner)

    This tin was my first time trying garfish and I will definitely be trying more in the future. My tin had four pieces, but I’m guessing that there is some size variation because some reviewers said their tins had seven and my tin was packed pretty tightly with just the four!

    I tried these as recommended and had them on crackers in a “flight” compared against some sardines – the Pinhais spiced sardines and King Oscar cross-packed sprats. I would say that these are firmer and saltier than the sardines, with a flavor almost like a cross between sardines and anchovies. They are flavor-packed, salty, and umami while still maintaining a smooth and balanced flavor, and I would definitely recommend to someone looking to try garfish.

  15. Stacy Rosenfeld (verified owner)

    I’m so glad I tried these! This was my first garfish experience and it was super tasty! There were four pieces of fish, completely in tact, with perfect skin, soft bones and flaky but moist flesh. The oil was a nice golden color with a small piece of pepper in it. I enjoyed these on sourdough with butter, bruschetta, olive spread, pickled onions, salsa espinaler, salted butter, olives, pickles and fresh cucumbers and radishes. I’ve only had one tin of sardines and one ton of garfish, but so far the garfish take the cake for me. Will 100% buy again and if you like sardines, you’ll love these!

  16. josephraa (verified owner)

    I had this as part of a seacuterie spread with family, including several tinned fish newbies. None of us have had garfish before and we were all pleasantly surprised. Def a favorite tin for the night and 100% something I would order again. All of us agreed that we liked the garfish better than regular sardines. Skinnier and more firm, wonderful appearance and plenty of flavor without fishiness. I’m not really sure how to describe the flavor and can’t compare to other garfish yet, but I know I already want more!

  17. packer.71 (verified owner)

    Like others have said, this is a wonderful tin. The biggest caveat is that these boys are SALTY. You might need to eat them with something else (on bread, crackers, etc.), otherwise they might be overwhelming in terms of salt. The meat is quite firm, lovely, and the olive oil is perfectly smooth, and warm. Would definitely get again, but needs to be eaten with something else!

  18. toolndie (verified owner)

    There are four fish in this tin. Long, sleek bodied fish in great condition, with no damage. They have vibrant silver skin and the flesh has a beautiful rose pink color. The fish are immersed in a deep gold oil, with a whole red pepper in the bottom of the tin, and yes I ate that pepper and lived.
    The fish are firm, with an excellent bite. They are a slightly drier fish, drier than mackerel but nowhere near as dry as tuna. There is very good “fish” flavor, more towards a mild mackerel end of the spectrum. You get a hit of heat, which lingers on the palate, and the salt level here is fairly robust, but not offensive.
    A very tasty tin which I had with some Organic Triscuits (bit of a salt overload with those), and some homemade Pickled Green Tomatoes.

    Don’t let the spiciness scare you, as it is no more than what you experience from a mild to medium hot wing at the pub.
    Due to the salt level I recommend having this tin with low salt sides, maybe a piece of toasted artisan bread and some pickled vegetables to cleanse the palate.

  19. Tiffany Lin (verified owner)

    loved these! they reminded me of the Nuri spiced sardines, but with a more firm texture while still breaking apart nicely. they have juuuuuust a touch of heat and are less fishy than most tinned sardines, so could be a good one for those averse to very fishy flavors. the olive oil that the fish was packed in was also delicious — make sure to soak up every bit of that with some crusty bread.

  20. Dani Elle (verified owner)

    I heard the hype – and I bought em. I felt they were just good; not great, but good. They’re tender, the spice didn’t hit me as strongly as I thought it would, it’s more of a subtle kick, but nonetheless, I liked them. They’re not bad by any means, just didn’t wow me on the first try. I might give them another shot, see if they grow on me.

  21. Cody Edwards (verified owner)

    These were really good. Moist but the firmness and saltiness kept tricking me into thinking they were dry, if that makes sense . Well seasoned with a nice touch of spice. I really liked the oil. The length and slenderness was fun too.

  22. tarynmgawronski (verified owner)

    I went into this tin with zero expectations, having never tried garfish before. I like tins that look like fish and these were a great addition to the table spread! I didn’t get much of the spice flavor, so if you are afraid of spice, i wouldn’t let that keep you from trying this tin. They are salty, but I think that makes them a fun tin to try different pairings with! I ate mine with crackers, cream cheese/boursin, pickled red onion and the fish.

  23. Doug Westney (verified owner)

    5 fish in an orange oil. Good aroma. The fish were firm and meaty. Ther is a mild afterburn from the spice,not at all unpleasant. The fish were firm and meaty
    Salty. A nice change from sardines but I would rather eat sardines.

  24. an.heetae (verified owner)

    I honestly had no idea what to expect with garfish but I will say I am now a big fan. It is firmer than most of the fish tins I’ve had but melts as soon as you take a bite. Overall, a lot more briney tasting than other tins and the spice was mild. I would say a 7/10 but very enjoyable!

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