For ages a friend living in Shoreham by Sea has been telling us about his local fish restaurant and saying how great it is – and what about meeting for lunch? So, the other weekend that is exactly what we did.
Low tide at Shoreham
It was low tide as we crossed the footbridge spanning the River Adur leading from Shoreham town to Shoreham beach. Some small boats leaned almost drunkenly on their side in the mud waiting with others for the tide to sweep back in and float them free.
After a few minutes’ walk down rather uninspiring Ferry Road we stopped beneath a block of flats and outside a rather unassuming, almost modest-looking restaurant, bearing the name ‘Into the Blue’.
It’s a family run restaurant
Its door opened onto an attractively interesting, informal and simply furnished dining area along with a bar and open kitchen.
Even though it was early in lunchtime service the restaurant was already busy. Even so we were swiftly and charmingly greeted and shown to our table, water and menus appearing with seamless efficiency.
It turned out that Into the Blue is a family run restaurant with Jacqui front of house and David master-minding, and very hands-on, running the kitchen.
It is chiefly a fish restaurant but we spotted steak and a vegetarian option on the menu – and very good they sounded too. But we are both sea food lovers.
We both love seafood
And what a choice we had – monkfish, dover sole, mussels, bouillabaisse, a fishy tapas platter to mention but a few.
In the end one of us chose moules mariniere as a starter. They looked fat and wonderful and I am told they were indeed meaty and wonderful, as was the broth at the bottom of the tureen. I opted for the tempura prawns served with a sweet chilli dip and coleslaw – gloriously crisp batter and good-size prawns – scrummy.
For his main course Mike opted for the tapas platter and whilst he found the patatas bravas a bit salty for his palate he demolished everything else with gusto. My Dover sole was a splendid size and oh my goodness beautifully cooked. Served alongside it was a mixture of fresh and imaginatively cooked vegetables including kale with a hint of chilli.
Chips are a weakness of mine and these irregularly cut potatoes were triple cooked, crunchy outside, soft inside – just as I like them – and well worth their extra £3.25 supplement. Our main courses were £18.50 and £19.50; our starters in the region of £6.50 each. We ordered a bottle of very acceptable house white wine for under £17.
David rightly believes whenever possible in using local suppliers for his quality ingredients, usefully listing their names on the web site. Whilst our meal was on the expensive side it was worth every penny.
There are, we hasten to add, less pricey options, but we were celebrating. Fish and chips are in the region of £11 and there is a fantastically priced two course menu at £12.50.
No room for dessert
We toyed with the idea of dessert – naturally all home-made.
They sounded great, but we were both full and in any event I had spotted affogato on the menu – for me the combination of vanilla ice cream with espresso coffee poured over it is hard to beat.
Into the Blue, the website tells us, is reputed to be the finest seafood restaurant in Sussex.
From the wonderful ingredients used, through to David and his colleagues excellent cooking, to say nothing of Jacqui and her lovely colleague Milly’s charming service – we most certainly are not going to argue.
And we are planning on an early return. www.intothebluerestaurant.com