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Pretty surroundings, pretty awful food
The Steamer Inn (Shanklin, Isle of Wight)
Member Name: magenta23
The Steamer Inn (Shanklin, Isle of Wight)
Advantages: The nautical theme, location, sea views, comfortable
Disadvantages: The dreadful food
The beautiful Isle of Wight town of Shanklin has a gorgeous section of the coast of which there are many hotels, pubs and restaurants ready to offer the locals and tourists alike a good meal to go with their sea views.
On our recent stay in Shanklin, the daily ritual of walking up and down the promenade looking at menus to decide where was going to serve us dinner that night brought us to The Steamer Inn. Located about ½ way along Shanklin's seafront, it was easily the most interesting looking establishment form the outside, with an appropriate nautical theme.
On entering I was pleased to see the nautical theme continued, on the inside of the doors two busty mermaids framed the sea view through the windows. As you walked in there was a giant compass above you and all sorts of treasures dotted around the place, many with a local boating theme.
It was a busy Tuesday dinner time when we visited and we were unable to get a seat with a view, still, a comfy booth next to a large map of the Isle of Wight's shipwrecks kept me interested while we waited for our food.
We arrived for a reasonably late dinner and most of the huge selection of specials were sold out. Unlucky for me, but a good sign of the popularity of the food. About 80% of the specials were seafood, so I was a little disappointed we hadn't arrived sooner as they all sounded very appetising.
We had also heard about this place from the many tourist papers and guides we'd stuffed our bags with which recommended it as a good place for food on the island. With slightly high expectations, I was hoping for a good meal.
Specials nearly out, we set to work through the fairly extensive menu. Being by the sea, I decided to have Fish and Chips as it seemed appropriate for such an establishment, my other half, true to form picked a burger. The food was reasonably priced, we thought. Mains between £7-£12 on average.
The food came very quickly and the portions were generous, however the quality wasn't there. With such an array of fresh fish on the specials board, I was disappointed and a little angry to find my fish ordered from the main menu was processed and bland. The batter was also very dry. My peas looked as though they had been boiled to death and were a grey green colour rather that the bright green they should have been. Many of my chips were scorched and brown. I was starving hungry as had been a busy day so I ate it. Had I have wanted to wait for a new one, I would have sent it back. The burger was also bought in and processed. Expecting a chunky handmade burger, instead my other half got a flat two flat McDonald's style patties, oozing with grease.
We sat for a while after the meal, discussing how maybe the vast majority of their food is specials and maybe that's where they get the good reputation from and that the core menu is not such a priority. We noticed that there were also number of pudding specials so in the name of research, obviously we let The Steamer try and redeem itself by trying a pudding.
We chose a jaffa sponge pudding with chocolate sauce to share. Puddings are priced around £5 each, which is a standard sort of price. The pudding came and was a gorgeous looking pool of chocolate sauce with a little hill of sponge in the middle, it looked good. The sauce was quite tasty but got very sickly after a few mouthfuls, the sponge was very heavy and sticky and we couldn't manage even half of it between us. So maybe the special weren't so special either.
Overall, I can't honestly recommend this place. The look of it I can't fault but the food leaves a lot to be desired, especially for the prices. If you are staying in these parts I would recommend The Waterfront Inn (see separate review) over this any day.
Summary: My worst meal of the holiday
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