Wine me.. Dine me……
During the course of my recent ‘temporary relocation’, in the midst of all of the other nonsense, one of my primary concerns was, where on earth am I going to eat out?.
For 20 years I have had London on my doorstep and worked my way around its culinary delights, if a new restaurant opened , I was there, making the most of everything, every dish , every wine flight, soaking up everything it had to offer, and more often that not soaking up a little too much of what it had to offer!, usually ending my day with a little stop off at Claridges for a glass of something for the road…always Claridges, it was my little tradition. If it were a Sunday, the one for the road meant one for the road and train home, if it were a Saturday , it was the one before I disappeared down the rabbit hole, in the most elegant way possible of course, and always wearing the most fabulous shoes!.
Many of my Sundays have been spent whiling away the hours at the Oyster bar in Bentleys Mayfair, in fact one occasion even led to a brief dalliance with a very charming Australian man I met in there, who was also dining alone. It really was one of those movie moments where your eyes meet across a bar, one of those romantic tales that it would be perfect to tell the grandchildren about, only those romantic tales never tend to result in grandchildren, or even children, or even a lasting relationship, or even past three months, but he is lovely man and we do remain in contact from time to time, anyway, once again, I digress. I do that often, so just bear with me.
Back to The Restaurant.
The Times – ’Alfresco Britain: 20 best places to eat by the sea’
I had heard rumblings of The Seaview restaurant , but for whatever reason it hadn’t peaked my interest enough to go, my Southern snobbery had got the better of me and therefore, it wasn’t until last Saturday I paid them an impromptu visit with my mum and niece.
The location for a start is just fabulous, pride of place on the seafront, right beside the pier in Saltburn and just a stones throw from the beach, with views of the pier to the left and Huntcliff to the right, it is set across two floors and glass fronted, even from the outside I had a feeling that it was going to be something a little bit special. I was right.
As well as being a restaurant , they also have a takeaway hatch where you can have fish and chips to take away and I do believe that this has longer opening hours than the restaurant itself, and I get the feeling that this is their main clientele in the day time, and location definitely serves them well. However this restaurant is much much more than just fish and chips. Even the fish and chips are more than just fish and chips!.
As you go in through the main door there is no reception, nor are you entering directly into the restaurant, there is a sign that tells you they know you are waiting and will be with you shortly. I never trust signs like this and I was immediately bracing myself to have to search someone down, but I was wrong, almost immediately a lovely smiley waitress appeared and asked if we would prefer to sit upstairs or downstairs. My mum immediately suggested upstairs and we were told there would be a little wait. As we waited for what was no more than ten minutes, three people came down the stairs and one of the gentlemen as he walked past exclaimed ‘its worth the wait!!’
We made our way up the stairs and as we did the decor became more apparent, very clean nautical colours, with brightly coloured artwork and just lovely airy, welcoming feel. We were immediately taken to a booth at the back of the restaurant and I don’t know who was more happy about this me or my niece, I don’t care where you are or who you are or how old you are!….everyone loves a bit of booth action!.
So my London foodie anxiety had started to leave me, great location, friendly attentive staff, lovely fresh decor and of course the views, the fantastic views. It has to be said when I do find myself missing all things City , all I have to do is talk a long walk along our coastline and be by the sea and I am filled once again with gratefulness. Watching the sea for me is just mesmerizing and allows my mind to wander to the most wonderful thoughts, so to have the view whilst dining. What could be better?!.
We ordered our drinks and were given our menus, we were advised that there was of course the option of fish and chips but there was also a separate menu for lunch that we could also choose from. Curiosity getting the better of me I asked the waiter about the evening menu and he advised me that due to unforeseen circumstances the current chef had to relocate and therefore at the moment they were in the process of trialling a new chef , and the new evening menu would be released two weeks today. Which would make it the 12th May, but that we should keep an eye on social media and the website as it will be posted up as soon as it is available.
The gentleman waiter was very engaging and helpful and all of the staff I have to say were very attentive and friendly without being intrusive, this for me is so important, I would go so far as to say , the service for me is more important that the actual meal and at The Seaview, they got it spot on.
The restaurant was full upstairs, and there was a good atmosphere, a good buzz and before we knew it our food arrived. We had ordered three portions of Cod and Chips, they do also have Haddock on offer, but today we decided on Cod. Two medium portions and one small portion. I was torn between really over indulging and ordering a large portion, but I am glad I decided on the medium. My niece who is 7 and has a great appetite managed to nearly finish her portion and my mum and I finished off ours leaving the table feeling like we had both had just enough. There can be a tendency when you are having something that is perceived to be ‘naughty food’ to over indulge and I also notice that in the North East the portion sizes of food are much bigger than in the South but here at The Seaview, they got it just right.
The batter on the fish was cooked to perfection, light and crisp, the fish inside was flaky, juicy and not in the slightest bit overcooked, I wasn’t disappointed with any part of the meal, nothing was over greasy or overcooked , everything tasted just right. I was sold!. Its only fish and chips you might say, but you would be missing the point. Being someone who eats out regularly and over the years has become very hard to please. Its more than just a plate of fish and chips, it’s when everything comes together. That’s when the magic happens.
Needless to say, the whole experience was an absolute pleasure and my mum and I had already decided we would definitely be coming back for the launch of the new menu. I think my mum was more relieved than I was that there is now more than one restaurant in the area where we can go that I wont spend the whole time preparing for the worst, and she doesn’t have to sit and listen to me witter on through the entire meal!, and then cringe at the end when I give ‘constructive criticism’.
Just as we were about to leave I saw someone being delivered a crab dish which looked fabulous, I knew immediately that this was going to see me coming back earlier than the two weeks I had planned, and less than a week later I made my return.
Once again the service was impeccable, friendly , relaxed. The sun was shining, a lovely afternoon to spend by the seaside and it was also a Friday so although the sun had brought a few more people out , the town itself wasn’t as busy as it could have been, which for me was just perfect. I am sure if it had been a weekend, getting a table on their lovely terrace would have been harder work than it was on that day, but as the gentleman customer said to us initially, ‘its worth the wait’. Anyway as luck would have it, I was straight away whisked upstairs to a large table in the sunshine overlooking the sea.
I ordered the crab dish, and had I planned to write this I would have asked more questions about the dish and the menu itself, so excuse the lack of detail, however I am not sure what more I could say other than it was delicious. The Fresh Whitby crab came with a salad, alioi mayonnaise, bread and I ordered a portion of fries. I was deliberating on if I should order chips , but the waitress informed me that if I didn’t want chips they also did skinny fries, so, that being the case, it would have been rude not to!.
The crab was clean, fresh and it was a good size portion with just the right balance between white and brown crabmeat. The salad was really tasty, It had a light, delicate, fragrant taste to it, and I couldn’t work out what the taste was, but it just went with the whole dish so well. I sometimes find that salad can be treated as somewhat of an after thought and dressings can overpower rather than compliment, but it certainly wasn’t the case here.
There is just something about eating seafood whilst overlooking the sea that cannot be beaten… quite unlike eating fish goujons in the London Aquarium , which I have had the unfortunate experience of doing once after a trade exhibition, and I remember feeling quite traumatized that we were surrounded by fish watching us eating fish!. It was very off-putting to say the least!!.
Anyway, eating seafood by the sea just feels wholesome, clean, fresh and those words are what I would use to describe the food and the experience at The Seaview Restaurant.
Finding this restaurant has shone a light on what I thought were going to be very dark culinary times for me!! , so thank you to all at the The Seaview for that, you have found yourself a new regular!, therefore I thought it only right to repay the favour and shine the light back on you by way of writing this.
I would like to say that The Seaview Restaurant is a hidden gem along the North Yorkshire coastline, but it isn’t hidden at all , it takes the prime spot! it has also gained the accolade of one of the 20 best places to eat by the sea alongside some stiff competition, you can have a read of the article as it is framed on the wall in the waiting area.
I can assure you, it most certainly is worth the wait!.
Thanks for reading