Restaurant review: Steak Lobster & Co, Felixstowe
- Credit: Archant
Emily Cotton dined on locally caught, fresh fish at this seaside restaurant.
I briefly looked through the restaurant's website and online menu before my boyfriend and I visited; the website states that its beef is dry aged for a minimum of 30 days while all of its lobsters are caught and sourced straight out of the Felixstowe sea by local fishermen, therefore I was expecting good things.
On the Sunday afternoon we headed to the Felixstowe restaurant (which I had only found out existed a few days earlier), I selected the crispy squid for starters, which came served with salad and a sweet chilli dipping sauce. I've had squid plenty of times when dining out, but this one had to be up there with the best I've tasted. This squid was thick, yet far from rubbery. Often when biting into a battered squid, I've found it chewy and hard to bite through the meat, pulling the whole thing out of the batter, but this wasn't the case. The batter was also perfectly fresh and crispy.
For starters, Ryan chose the duck and orange pate with garlic croutes. The pâté was served cold with a very thick layer of fat on top, usually a good indicator that it would be full of flavour. After using a fair amount of force to cut through the fat, the pâté was very smooth and while Ryan said he was not blown away by the taste, the garlic croutes were perfectly crispy and the accompanying sweet chutney complemented the dish well. The only criticism we had of this dish was that there were not enough croutes for the amount of pâté served. "It was so moreish and I almost found myself eating the remaining pâté with my fork," Ryan said.
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For mains I chose the pan fried coley with spring vegetable risotto. When the dish arrived my initial thoughts were on its size. I thought the portion looked small and I wondered if it would be enough to fill me up - but I soon realised how wrong I was thinking this. The dish was very filling and I was actually unable to finish the whole thing. As for the meal's taste, the fish on its own had no real flavour, which disappointed me slightly, but the risotto's strong umami flavour made up for this. Although not a criticism, likely only my personal taste, I believe it was this richness that contributed to me being unable to finish my meal.
Ryan opted for half lobster and chips with garlic butter sauce. As Steak Lobster & Co's lobsters are locally caught, they seemed to be a little smaller than their continental counterparts, but regardless it was fresh and delicious. In all honesty, the garlic sauce was a little lacking in taste however. The dish had also been well-prepared by the kitchen staff meaning it wasn't too fiddly to get the meat out of the shell. The chips were thick and cooked all the way through.
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For dessert, I opted for the Mars bar cheesecake. This choice wasn't on the restaurant's main dessert menu - instead was on its Sunday set menu - yet we were told it was available to us too. The dessert came in a small jar, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on a wooden board underneath. The chocolate biscuit base crumbled apart at the (slightly forceful) touch of the spoon, while the thick yet silky topping melted in my mouth. I'd recommend this to anyone with a sweet tooth!
Lemon meringue pie was Ryan's choice of dessert, which he later stated as the highlight of his meal, saying it was by far the nicest version of this dish he had tried. It's easy to get the proportions of this dish wrong, but this was the perfect mix of pastry, lemon filling and meringue topping - and it melted in the mouth!
We had two soft drinks - a coke and lemonade - however the restaurant offered a wide range of drink options including wine, beers and many more soft drinks.
We visited on a Sunday afternoon around 4pm; we hadn't booked a table, but when walking in the restaurant was empty and we thought we'd be okay. A family had walked just ahead of us and we heard them being told the restaurant was fully booked at 6pm, therefore they might not be able to help unless the family were okay with being out by then. The family said this was fine however, and a waitress took them upstairs, leaving us in the doorway waiting to be seen. Another waitress came over to us and said a similar thing, yet the staff managed to find us a table too. We finished and left just over an hour later therefore it seemed odd to me that they would almost turn away customers two hours before they had tables reserved if it was possible for us to be in and out in half the time.
As the restaurant was quiet when we visited, the atmosphere in the restaurant was calm and relaxing. There was music playing in the background too, although the playlist in question could have been a little longer as we noticed the same songs playing multiple times during our visit. The lighting throughout the restaurant is quite poor, therefore if you're seated downstairs away from the main window at the front of the building as we were, it is rather dark. I think this issue was only where we were sitting however, as upstairs there was plenty more natural light making which I imagine would make your dining experience a more pleasurable one.
Our meal - two starters, two mains, two desserts and two drinks - came to a total of £51.15, which I thought was very reasonable. I actually expected it to be a lot more. Without us realising however, between us we'd selected a starter, main and dessert from Steak Lobster & Co's Sunday set menu, on which three courses was an extremely inexpensive £18.95. As it wasn't just the one of us that had selected these three dishes (the pate, risotto and cheesecake), we were grateful to see they had still been put through the till this way. Unless you're really going all out and ordering both steak and lobster, other dishes are adequately priced too. Starters are around £5-£7, while mains such as burgers and those from the 'sea' or 'grill' cost in the region of £12 - £14. Desserts are all charged at £6.50.
Location and parking
Steak Lobster & Co is situated along Felixstowe's seafront, on Undercliff Road. The restaurant doesn't have its own car park, however there is plenty of free parking along the road outside, and along the adjoining Sea Road.
Although my dessert was pretty much perfect, my highlight was my starter - the crispy squid. I don't think I've had a squid dish before where the meat has been so thick. I think Ryan's highlight however was definitely his dessert.
Food at Steak Lobster & Co is delicious and tastes incredibly fresh. The prices, especially if you're dining on the set menu, won't put you out of pocket either. I'd definitely recommend this restaurant, but I'd book in advance if I was planning on visiting again - just in case.