I was away for Mother’s Day so Helen kindly said she’d take me out later in the week and she’d pay. Hooray!
We decided to have lunch at The Deck in Emsworth as Helen and her boyfriend Carlos had been there recently for a drink and an amazing piece of cake.
The Deck is set within Emsworth Yacht Harbour off Thorney Road with a fairly large free car park some short distance away. The cafe is one flight of stairs up – I’m not sure whether there’s a lift or not – and so you get a nice view of the marina and the boats. Not quite so great if you’re a dog with vertigo – apparently there was one on Helen’s visit.
We’d booked a table for 1pm and there were several people inside but it wasn’t full. Unfortunately it wasn’t warm enough for us to sit outside, whereas Helen and Carlos were lucky as they had gloriously hot and sunny weather, what a difference a week makes.
The decor is simplistic and looks good. Two huge mirrors are hung on the wall opposite the deck letting in even more light with a few plants and candles are dotted around. Good music played in the background, not too loud nor intrusive.
We were shown to our table and given a menu and ordered a large glass of Merlot each.
We decided to share everything we ordered and were really tempted to have the lobster but thought it would be best to wait until a really lovely hot and sunny day to enjoy it on the deck with a glass of white wine, or two. So with the money saved on that, we ordered a starter.
First up were the shell on garlic prawns. This came served with sourdough bread which was amazingly fresh. I’m not a great lover of sourdough but this was very fresh and bouncy. The prawns were piping hot and tasted amazing. We used the sourdough to mop up the sauce the prawns were in. Yum.
For mains we shared the roasted aubergine stuffed with sunblushed tomato, feta cheese & spinach and the tempura battered hake fillet.
Both were very good indeed. However, we were rather glad that we were sharing the dishes as the aubergine was rather rich tasting. I’m wondering if it was the sunblushed tomatoes as I’ve had them in something recently and thought them a little overpowering. I wouldn’t hesitate to share it again though. The pine nut salad served with it was nice, the dressing slightly sweet.
The dish came served with sweet potato fries which were excellent.
The fillet of hake was lovely too, coated in a very light batter. The fish was a little watery but cooked beautifully and thankfully hadn’t made the batter soggy. The chips it came with were very good too and nice to dip in to the garlic mayo’ it came with.
Dessert time, yay!
There’s a cabinet with several cakes in, some favourites with the locals such as chocolate brownies and sometimes a couple of different ones. The scones looked rather good. There was also a dessert board with homemade ice creams too.
We ordered sticky toffee pudding with Bailey’s ice cream – no salted caramel ice cream left unfortunately which was our first choice – and the lemon, raspberry & pistachio tart with raspberry ice cream. There were a couple of other ice creams available which weren’t on the menu such as rum & raisin and another which I don’t recall.
Our favourite dessert out of the two was the STP which was served hot with plenty of lovely caramel sauce, blueberries and strawberries to garnish. The ice cream was fantastic, so creamy.
The tart was ok but lacked in taste apart from the raspberry sauce. If it didn’t have that then it would have been rather bland. Perhaps it was meant for people with not such a sweet tooth as us. My husband, Geoff probably would have liked it. Again the ice cream was superb. Apparently the chef’s mother makes the cakes, desserts and ice cream.
When Helen visited she’d ordered a slice of pear & almond cake and it must have been the end of the day or something because they ended up with a slice each at no extra cost, how nice for them. She said it was the best cake ever! We were hoping they’d have the same cake today but alas, they did not.
An espresso each ended our meal. The place has a good ambience and we felt very relaxed (it wasn’t the wine, honest), we didn’t feel rushed whatsoever, we were in there a good 3 hours.
Look out for news of The Deck’s events on their website or Facebook page. This evening they had a pizza & prosecco night, they’ve recently had a Thai night and of course Mothering Sunday. Some evenings they have 2-4-1 on cocktails from 6pm.
We were most impressed with The Deck. We loved the ambience, the staff and service was really good, the food great and will both certainly be returning. I believe that they book just a few tables out and the rest is for walk-in’s so if you happen to phone to book a table and they say there are none left go along anyway as you might get lucky.
Return? Certainly will be
Overall 9/10 (Carlos gave it 10/10, especially the company 😉 )
Living life, loving cake