What typifies the English seaside more than fish ‘n chips with a view of the ocean?
When Suzanne and I visited The Beach Deck on Eastbourne’s Royal Parade, it was an overcast day at the beginning of April. We arrived quite early for lunch and it surprised me just how busy they soon became, considering it was Monday lunchtime. Luckily we’d reserved a window table, looking out across the pebbles to the sea. Rustic wooden chairs, painted in light grey and white, complemented the bare wood tabletops and flooring and white and muted green walls. With plenty of natural light streaming in through the large windows and patio doors, the overall effect is bright and welcoming.
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I immediately liked the atmosphere and the staff were friendly and helpful. And I was very pleased to see that all their food was made from locally sourced ingredients wherever possible, and sustainable, locally caught fish.
Glancing at their menus, the breakfasts looked particularly tempting, from the traditional full English, £7.95, or Builders Bacon Buttie, £3.90, to eggs Benedict, £7.50, or smoked salmon with scrambled eggs, £7.75.
Fish ‘n chips with a sea view
We were there at noon, however, and initially we were going to have just a main course from their lunch and dinner menu. But then Suzanne spotted one of her favourite starters, gravlax, their own gin and beetroot cured salmon with capers and horseradish cream, £6.75. I, in turn, succumbed to their lightly battered calamari with salad and tartar sauce, £6.95. And I’m so glad I did, as they were possibly the best calamari I’ve ever had.
From their range of stone baked thin crust pizzas, paninis, meat and fish main courses, I opted for their Beach Deck Battered Cod, a huge, lightly battered, moist and flaky piece of cod served with homemade chunky chips (just how I like them), garden peas and tartar sauce, £11.95, and a glass of house wine, £4.50. My fish was excellent, although Suzanne’s catch of the day looked so good that it did rather give me a touch of food envy.
“Given the sea views, I felt that ‘catch of the day’ from the specials menu was appropriate. I was delighted when it arrived. The fillet of plaice was beautifully moist and came with a dressing of sundried tomatoes and black olives. A vibrant serving of buttered curly kale, mangetout, green beans and broccoli with roasted new potatoes was the perfect accompaniment.” Suzanne, The Travelbunny
All The Beach Deck’s fish is from Southern Head Fisheries and, being just next door, it’s easy for them to bring their fresh catch straight to the restaurant.
While we both had fish, The Beach Deck’s meat and poultry dishes are reputedly excellent too, with meat supplied by Gunne Butchers, a family run butchery. Now in its fifth generation, it is one of the South East’s finest suppliers of quality meat, game and poultry.
Despite some delicious sounding desserts, such as Baileys crème brûlée or plum crumble baked cheesecake with vanilla ice cream, both £5.50, neither of us had room for any more.
Vegan, Vegetarian and Gluten options
The Beach Deck also offers extensive gluten free breakfast, lunch and dinner menus. And it was good to see vegan as well as vegetarian dishes clearly marked on the menus, although on their lunch and dinner menu there were only two vegan starters, a meze sharing platter, £8.75, or beetroot hummus with crudites, £3.95, and one main course, a nutty vegan moussaka, £8.95.
The excellent food from head chef Lee Griffin and his team, a wonderful beachside location, good, friendly service and a pleasant atmosphere, all add up to make an extremely good restaurant and, having tried it for myself, it no longer surprises me that it was so busy on a chilly spring Monday lunchtime. Whenever you go, I’d recommended booking a table in advance. I’d love to make a return visit for breakfast or perhaps afternoon tea one day – their cakes looked at extremely tempting.
For more information visit TheBeachDeck.co.uk.