I just love it when somewhere that you visit regularly yields a hidden surprise. Having often called at the Sea Fish Restaurant, Cromford Road, Ripley on late nights of press week to enjoy the excellent fish served there I have never looked beyond the take away counter, so asked to visit and sample their lunch time menu left me curious.
Checking the menu on line first, I realised that I had under estimated the services they had to offer. Using the rare opportunity to have lunch with my daughter; children at school, this was a rare treat.
Entering through the door marked ‘Restaurant’ I was really surprised to see a comfortable, light and spacious restaurant with a modern seaside theme and comfortable clusters of seating.
On the menu, alongside a variety of fish were chicken and vegetarian dishes. After being served with drinks from the bar, we chose mushrooms in breadcrumbs and Scampi in breadcrumbs for our starters. These were served with a small mixed leaf salad and dip, they were delicious and just right for a lunch time starter. Priced from £2.65, even the combination platter of scallops, scampi and white fish goujons is only a reasonable £4.69.
My daughters choice of chicken in Italian herbs was from the salad section of the menu and was presented on a huge bed of salad with her own choice of dressing, it had a generous amount of chicken pieces and diced peppers, tomato and thin slivers of red onion among the salad ingredients. Although tempted by the Tuna steak, I eventually chose the sea-bass. This was grill seared and coated in a caper vinaigrette, the sea-bass had a lovely fresh, light taste with a crispy skin, the two fillets were perfect for a summer lunch. From a choice of chips, mashed potato and jacket potato I chose the latter. Again this came with a mixed leaf salad .We commented again on the reasonable pricing of each dish, even the sword fish steak, rather than the exaggerated prices charged by many restaurant’s for their fish dishes.
The Sea Fish Restaurant has a surprisingly large outdoor seating area with rattan furniture and deep raised flower borders separating it from the road, giving you the choice of alfresco dining. A grassy ramp leads to a well equipped and tidy children’s play area to the rear, so ideal for family meals too. The licensed bar serves Guiness, Peroni and Largers on draught or you may choose from the wine list.
We didn’t intend to miss out on sweets and were rewarded with one of the best carrot cakes I’ve ever tasted. Not too sweet or heavy, with a dollop of cream and drizzle of toffee sauce, we shared this and both enthused over it.
Also worth mentioning is the 5 star hygiene rating the restaurant has and which I always find very reassuring, so the kitchen is as clean as the face it presents in the restaurant. The staff too were most pleasant with friendly smiles, accommodating all our requests.
So I strongly urge you to look beyond the take away counter to the restaurant beyond, there are few seafood restaurants in our area… and this is very much worth a visit.