The Crab & Lobster is a 16th century restaurant with rooms (with a self-catering cottage attached) on Mill Lane, just a few houses before you reach the mud flats of Sidlesham Quay. It’s a lovely quiet area down there with some nice houses and a bench to sit upon and watch the water. Sidlesham, West Sussex is a small village on the Manhood (ooerr missus 😮 ) Peninsula.
I met my friend inside but my seat was in a draft coming from either the kitchen or the toilet area, I wasn’t sure which so we asked to relocate. It was Thursday at 1pm and not busy whatsoever but they seemed very reluctant to let us sit at a table for four. Although our original table was also a table for two, being square it appeared larger than the round one we now found ourselves on.
Anyway, once resettled we each ordered a glass of the Tinwood Blanc de Blanc, a sparkling wine which is rather expensive at around £9 (? or thereabouts) but as I happened to have cycled down Tinwood Lane only the day before I thought it rather apt, plus it’s nice to have local wine.
We could chose from either the set menu or the à la carte. The set menu was priced at 2 courses for £22.50 and 3 for £26 with no specials, which is rather expensive seeing as most restaurants around the area (and good ones at that) are all relatively cheaper, for example Crouchers just up the road from the Crab & Lobster which we visited only last week, priced at 2 for £15/3 for £19 (which was excellent once again with brilliant service) or Farmer Butcher Chef at Goodwood.
As we were half through our starter we noticed the table near us had a basket of bread and as we’d not been offered any we asked if we may have some too.
My friend Linda’s starter, the pork tenderloin, was lovely and tender (we had a taste of each other’s), alas no photo.
I had the skate terrine, tarragon aioli, crispy fennel which was nice.
My main dish was my favourite out of the three, Beetroot, parsley root & endive tart with tenderstem broccoli which was delicious! The tart’s pastry was perfect, with crisp sides and no soggy base. This was placed on top of perfectly cooked broccoli spears and a parsley purée. All very tasty.
No photo of Linda’s seat trout because trying to reach over the table to take one they came out fuzzy each time. Linda also enjoyed her dish.
After our plates were cleared a new set of knives and forks were placed before us which we thought rather odd as they certainly weren’t dessert sized ones, we looked at each other quizzically.
Eventually we gave up waiting to be asked if we wanted a dessert so we waved down one of the servers to ask if we could look at the dessert menu.
I didn’t want to get food envy so we both went for the chocolate dessert
The chocolate mousse could have been smoother and there was only a subtle hint of amaretto. Had I not known it was there from the menu then I would probably have not noticed. The brandy snaps were the best bits of the dessert. The presentation was very pretty.
We each had an espresso and like me, Linda likes little touches like petit fours with her coffee – even Loch Fyne give a small piece of fudge on the side of the saucer – but unfortunately not 🙁
However, a shot glass of smarties to share did come with the bill, hurrah! – which then got me hooked on Smarties for the following week, I’ve finally weaned myself off them but it was like going cold turkey (I would imagine 😉 )
We couldn’t quite put our finger on it, but something was lacking here. The service could have been much better, as I said previously we had excellent service at Crouchers and so too at The Parsons Table in Arundel recently, friendly (but not overly, nor false) and attentive. The food was nice enough at the Crab & Lobster, so too was the presentation and the location was good, although you can’t see the sea from the restaurant, plus it’s a long way down to Sidlesham on a rather busy (the top part of the road in summer would be I imagine) winding road. Apparently they do have fish & chips to take way which would be nice if you can bag yourself the bench by the water.
We took a look at the mud flats where there was a board showing the history of the area, a large mill used to be there but has long since gone, it’s bricks and flagstones used in local construction.
Would I return to the crab & Lobster? Unlikely I think. It was ok but not one I would want to hurry back to unless I find myself down that way I think.
P.S – there’s crab on the menu but no lobster 😉
Living life, loving cake