Ate here twice after the business became solely (pun) a place to eat not a seafood supplier from early in 2010. No coffee so do not expect a caff.
Last time we ate at the picnic tables overlooking the estuary, this time inside.
It is a pleasure to eat from the fried fish menu, but you should note apart from e.g. the "Colchester" oysters reared on the Island this restaurant buys in now from other suppliers who sell all over the UK.
Most of the seafood platter could have been bought in jars and from the freezer cabinet in any supermarket, but you could not match the price at home.
Dressed crab was good and is also available at a fishmonger.
Bread and fiddly small catering butter packs very poor examples of the cheapest budget.
Mass factory catering meets local oyster farming.
Just lazy, cheap and so unprofessional.
It can be a very busy place and impossible to find a seat if you haven't booked and you might have have to join the queue.
Seating is not that organised so be patient if you want to stay.
It is no longer run like the former business of 2010 as both a wholesale fish source and eating in.
Now a catering operation which will not turn away any customers if it can eventually seat them.
Quick turnover of covers is the business mission.
On our recent visit the queueing was annoying because the same line formed to pay for food or order on arrival.
Food is quite good and there are several staff preparing at the counter grill and prep area in full view.
Service is pleasant and friendly. Over-worked to the point of inefficient because there is a lack of a professional system.
The business needs organisation at front of house.
It is like a village Cypriot Taverna faced with experienced Tesco customers and it cannot cope.
The seating plan is not. Geddit?
Probably puts off repeat custom by people who have come from beyond Essex to enjoy the pace and peace of Mersea Island.
Now like the other local Mersea shambles of eateries which rely on local young staff who need harsh remedial training very badly.
If necessary we advise you book in advance and if you are expected to wait an hour to pay the bill, be tempted like us to just WALK OUT after leaving a note at the counter for the owners to contact you later.
Be prepared to be frustrated at the waiting.
Very popular because you might be standed on Mersea and, and as one of the the new co-owners told me, 850 covers can be typical in high season.
The business could teach TV cooks how to make money and lower standards at the same time.
Not much choice of alternative places or serious competition on the Island because there is insufficient talent.
Many visitors are poorly served in this area of the county.
Colchester area has declined while other Essex towns and villages created "gastro-pubs" and good value family eating out.
Wonderful local produce of fish, fruit and veg still available in abundance if you self cater!
We write as biased with local family resident on Mersea Island.
This is not a polemic, but better local food is available.
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