[Weymouth, Dorset] Sea Beats

It’s a small, very casual seafood place situated centrally on the Esplanade. They’ve won awards. Not just local awards but, recently, the national “Food Awards” which seem to depend on how many votes from the public a restaurant can drum up. Here, they were up against big hitters like the Magpie in Whitby and the Wells Crab House in North Norfolk. Now, we’ve eaten at both of those restaurants and I’d have to say that, if Sea Beats was a worthy winner on the quality of its food, then we must have visited on a very, very bad night. Our meal was not a patch on the quality of the other two places.

We went for dinner on the day of the Queen’s funeral and there was an apology that, as it was a bank holiday, they hadn’t been able to buy any fish for “specials” and, indeed, a small number of items on the main menu were also “off”. As was my partner’s first choice of one of the three white wines offered by the glass,

We both ordered the crab pate to start. It was delicious. A generous portion with a very crabby flavour – you only had to look at the colour to know they’d used a lot of brown meat. There was no evidence of the advertised chilli which would have added another dimension. There was a salad garnish which, truth be told, had seen better days. It really had no business being served. But what really let the dish down was the poor quality bread. It was like those half-baked baguettes you get in the supermarket to finish at home. Pappy texture with no flavour of its own.

Monkfish is a favourite of mine and I’m always going to order it. It came roasted and was fine. There’s a chicken flavoured sauce which was also OK. On the other plate, a thick fillet of cod. It was advertised as coming with a cider, mustard and bacon sauce. There was certainly bacon but the flavour of cider and mustard was missing. It came with simply boiled potatoes. There should also have been roasted vegetables but they’d run out and offered a salad instead. Yep, more of those leaves on their last legs.

For dessert, we both ordered the “crumble of the day”- red berries topped with crumble and served with ice cream. It was OK but custard would have been an improvement. We commented on that to the server (as did a guy on another table). The server said it’s easier to just scoop ice cream, rather than make custard which, I’d suggest, says much about Sea Beats.

Coffee was fine. And was not charged for in recognition of the menu’s limitations that evening (nor was one of the desserts). So, fair play to them on that score but a disappointing meal for all the other reasons.


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