On my first visit to the Crate & Apple at Westgate, Chichester I went with Geoff and we met my cycling friend Linda. Whenever Linda and I meet up in Chichester we normally go to Artie’s Kitchen in Southgate – which was once Artisan Café – but I had told her about the new pub so we decided to give it a go. It’s owned by the people who had Wellies Café in West Stoke.
It has a nice atmosphere and decor. The bar faces you as you walk in, to the right are a couple of settees with newspapers and a few tables and chairs. To the left are more tables and also a raised area which is where we sat on our second visit. There’s even more seating at the back of the room past the bar and plenty outside at the front.
I didn’t want too much to eat – I can’t for the life of me remember why as that’s terribly unusual for me, perhaps I was feeling under the weather – so I decided to have just a starter and a dessert.
As we weren’t too far from the sea, I thought I should try something from it. Selsey is close by so I went for the Selsey crab risotto cake which was very nice indeed.
Fresh and lightly coated in breadcrumbs with a brightly coloured broad bean purée.
Geoff went for the sandwich, cider baked ham (without the wholegrain mustard) on fresh brown bread served with a handful of crisps.
For dessert I had the chocolate & hazelnut torte with salted caramel ice-cream. The chocolate was soft and gooey in the centre with a sweet pastry base. Smashing.
Geoff had the brioche & butter pudding served with custard in a little milk bottle.
Second visit –
I always get lost in Chichester. I can never remember which shops are in which road and always get the Marks & Spencer stores mixed up so I end up going backwards and forwards and end up walking for miles. I thought I was going to get to the Crate & Apple nice and early until I turned the corner and it wasn’t there! I wasn’t where I thought I was, I was at the wrong roundabout and the wrong end of the town centre, some 10 minutes away so I eventually turned up dead on time. Thank goodness for Google maps.
The burger was homemade and served in a brioche bun on a narrow wooden board (aagh!) much like the one at the Robin Hood Inn at Rowlands Castle. I keep forgetting to ask when I order a meal if it will be served on a board or a slate and ask for a plate instead. The burger was nice enough, although not as tasty as the Robin Hood’s. There wasn’t a lot of the Sussex Charmer cheese in it either 🙁 The chips were very nice though. My friend asked for crispy chips and I got some too.
I was going to have Eton Mess… but at the very last minute I changed it to the vanilla panna cotta (although my Italian friends always say it’s boring and too easy to make) …but then I wanted to change it back to Eton Mess… but thought I’d best leave it. Decisions, decisions, I could have eaten any of those desserts on the menu. Maybe next time I shall try the Eton mess.
The panna cotta was very nice, not boring at all. It wasn’t too set, nice and soft. The pomegranate jelly was subtle and the seeds on top were nice and crunchy. The shortbread was quite a large slice. It’s nice to have large portions of things but it was a little disappointing. I felt that it could have perhaps been a little thinner and crisper as this was way too large, thick and a little dry and gloopy. I took the rest of the shortbread home with me to eat later.
My friend has returned to the Crate & Apple several times with different friends and has tried a few of the dishes all of which she has enjoyed, especially the liver she had on her last visit. Of course, you don’t have to go for a meal, you can always sit and enjoy a beer or glass of wine. Although I’ve moaned about a couple of things here it doesn’t mean to say that I shan’t return.
Service 8. Very friendly
Return? Yes, no doubt we’ll return again soon.
Living life, loving cake