The Sportsman, Seasalter

Posted By Kerri

We took the day off work on Friday and went down to Whitstable for the last day of the oyster festival. Since we were so close, it seemed silly not to go back to The Sportsman in Seasalter for lunch as we had enjoyed it so much last year.

The menu seemed shorter than I remembered previously but that’s no bad thing, I often find it difficult to decide what to eat when I’m out so a short menu makes things much easier. It didn’t take us long to decide what to order and both of us opted for fishy starters. To Stephen’s delight, they had herring on the menu which they had marinated themselves. He enjoyed it but it was slightly too herring-y for me. I did enjoy the firm texture though which struck me as being very different to the tinned variety.

I ordered the slipsole in seaweed butter as I hadn’t had either before. I was surprised when the fish arrived without any vegetables and while I appreciated the simplicity of the presentation I would have liked something else with it to cut through the richness of the fish. The seaweed butter was very good with a hint of garlic as well as the salty, seaweed flavour but it didn’t hold my interest for very long.

Sticking firmly to the fishy theme, I ordered the thornback ray which is the same dish I had last year. It was as good as I remembered, firm and meaty with a rich, nutty flavour from the butter it was cooked in and an acidic sauce to balance it all out. Having eaten so much fish to start with, it was a bit of a challenge to get through such a huge portion but I struggled on with just a little help from Stephen.

Stephen’s turbot was supposed to be brill but unfortunately they’d run out. In contrast to my dish, the turbot was rather small and there definitely weren’t enough vegetables but it was well cooked and the sweet, salty bacon was a real high point.

Both dishes were served with some mashed potatoes and some crushed, new potatoes which were fine but mashed potatoes seemed too heavy for lunch on a hot day and I was really disappointed that there weren’t more vegetables available especially since they’re so abundant at this time of year.

In hindsight, I think we should have spent more time studying the menu and started with something meaty to dilute the fishiness. And perhaps I shouldn’t have eaten all the brilliant bread so quickly and saved some to go with my slipsole.

Jul 30th, 2010

3 Comments to 'The Sportsman, Seasalter'

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  1. Lizzie said,

    The dishes do seem oddly as if they’re incomplete, but they still look delicious.
    .-= Lizzie´s last blog ..Som Tam =-.

  2. Kerri said,

    They were good but not as brilliant as last time. An off day maybe or perhaps our expectations were just too high.

  3. That thornback ray looks stupendous. Not sure about the austere presentation of the others though!!
    .-= Jeanne @ CookSister´s last blog ..Choc-kit cookies – a taste of home =-.

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