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“"What a difference a Chef makes"”

The Restaurant - Seaview Hotel
Ranked #4 of 11 Restaurants in Seaview
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$20 - US$41
Cuisines: Seafood, British
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Reservations
Description: Good, unpretentious food coupled with relaxed informal dining is at the heart of the Seaview Hotel. We are lucky to have our very own farm supplying beef, pork and venison as well as fresh vegetables and herbs. Alongside traditional crops we have planted a variety of heritage vegetables bringing some new colour and flavour to the table. We try to keep our food offering as 'local' as possible and work with a multitude of island suppliers, for example it's not unusual for our head chef, Bruce Theobald, to know when our fish was caught, by whom and on which boat. 'Newclose Farm pork is simply the best I have ever tasted. The animals are reared respectfully and sustainably by our farmer Adrian Lax.' - Bruce Theobald
Reviewed 16 July 2014

I have been frequenting the Seaview Hotel for fourteen years and regularly when under its hugely successful working ownership of the illustrious Nick & Nicky Haward.
But since those heady days, there has been a noticeable turnover in staff and management - both front and back of house. Even its corporate identity has changed at various intervals - largely for the worse. Chefs have come and gone and some who have come were received with a fanfare of trumpets. And this is where I come in. I reached the stage where things simply were not up to at least my expectations. Having said that, I do want to make it perfectly clear, that when it comes to food & beverage, I don't expect 'the earth'. But what I do expect is acceptable service ... good things from the kitchen ... prices that do not shock ... continuity ... and all of this in an agreeable atmosphere. Hardly demanding.

So having learnt that yet another head chef had emerged (mid March of this year) I set out to 'suck it and see at the Seaview Hotel'. What was the verdict? Did it suck? Not a bit of it.

I toddled up to it early yesterday (16 July) evening. Since the weather was balmy, my wife and I sat at a table on its front terrace. I went into the Naval Bar, which services it, and ordered-up.
Andrew attended to this with charm and competence. "Yes!"

Fish soup was, in a word, superb. Restaurant Perard at Le Touquet is famous for it and having had it there, I can confidently say that Head Chef Bruce Theobald's rendition of this classic dish gave Perard a run for its money. Served at the ideal temperature and,in the right sort of bowl, it was accompanied, just as it should be, by croutons, grated Gruyere cheese and Rouille. The last of these accompaniments was paler than that which I had anticipated but nevertheless tasted as it should. All-in-all, a triumph.

For our mains, both of us had the blackboard (in reality, a mirror) special of the day: fillets of cod with a crispy skin, Swiss chard, petits pois a la Francaise, creamed potatoes and a light cream sauce: all well plated and well balanced. In no way could it have been improved upon.

My wife made up for having skipped a starting course by finishing-off with a burnt Cambridge cream, seasonal fruit compote (served separately) and a trio of delicate biscuits. 'Deliciosa'.

The Island really does boast some extraordinarily good raw materials including magnificent tomatoes, juicy garlic, free range poultry and superior beef. Chef Theobald makes great use of it all, including from the hotel's own farm. Just as he does with all manner of wonderous catches from the sea. His credentials are first rate (two of them being London's Grosvenor House and the Capital Hotel, Knightsbridge). He joined the Seaview Hotel in mid-March and I implore the hotel's owner to ensure that he is well looked after: to lose him would be a tragedy.

Full marks for everything but certainly not for the unswept terrace. Why would you want to see a scattering of cigarette butts when you're tucking into this sort of accomplished cooking? Shall I throw in a little niggle? Please do away with the habit of tightly wrapping poor quality paper napkins around each knife & fork.

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4  Thank Barton-bonviveur
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Seaview-Hotel A, General Manager at The Restaurant - Seaview Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 18 July 2014

Thank you so much for your eloquent and detailed feedback - I almost cried :)

Bruce has been a real gem (if you can call a 6ft 2 rugby player a gem) and his style of unfussy, good quality food is gaining quite a following. The fish soup is a regular dish on the menu and chef is fastidious about getting it right. It is made with sustainable fish and a dish that perhaps sums up coastal life.

I hope that you continue to see improvements and thank you for being such a loyal visitor to the hotel.

Re the niggle - watch this space.

Best regards, Tracy Mikich

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Reviews (162)
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87 - 91 of 162 reviews

Reviewed 7 July 2014

Hearing news of a 'new chef' and new staff we revisited the Seaview with family for Sunday lunch.

Starters: The 'soup de passion' had no discernible tease of fish whatsoever. In fact tasted as though the stock had been burnt so left a slightly bitter taste in the mouth. Required all the rouille and LOTS of salt and pepper. I left most of mine - Very poor. Terrine was nice however.

Mains: Fish pie was dry and tasteless. Roast beef was ok but veg not as advised. The special 'Seaview Rock-pool at £25" was in fact three or four TINY pieces of fish, 2 small scallops, 4 tiny potatoes with a tiny jug of sauce. Honestly looked more like a starter than the Bouillabaisse main it appertained to be. All extremely disappointing on the food front. Poor quality, overpriced (£200 for sunday lunch for 4 adults) and lacking in flavour.

Plus point: The staff were great. Very pleasant lad served us and friendly bar staff. Such a shame as the place is so local to our family there and sadly wont return.

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1  Thank chrisw1973
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 July 2014

We went here for dinner, the staff are very pleasant, friendly and helpful. The food was to die for, the only unfortunate thing was we didn't have enough room for pudding!! Pleasant surroundings super little village north of the island!

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Thank Leswri
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 May 2014

we have stayed in Seaview village a few times always passed this hotel, finally went in . place is lovely , staff friendly. Had a bar meal excellent value. will be returning

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Thank Sue H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 April 2014

On a trip to the Isle of Wight, we couldn't resist visiting Seaview and the Seaview Hotel for a light lunch, having eaten there several times before. As always, we were not disappointed: we chose their soup and sandwich combo which was just right for a light lunch. The carrot soup was delicious and the sandwiches were fresh and tasty. We keep promising ourselves dinner next time we visit. Something to look forward to I think.

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Thank David B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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