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“What a shambles...”
Review of The Steam Packet

The Steam Packet
Ranked #18 of 96 Restaurants in Littlehampton
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$8 - US$26
Cuisines: British
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Description: We are a family run business, specialising in home cooked foods. We are a variety of fish dishes, as well as some continental favorites. We are a little French or Oriental by design, so please expect some garlic or chilli to be present in meals. We cater for gluten and dairy free, and will also assemble vegetarian dishes to suit. We have a good wine list with a selection of both French classics, and new world. On Friday evenings we provide Dinner/Jazz events. These can be popular, so please book in advance.
Reviewed 25 June 2014

We went to the Steam Packet with a couple of German friends last Saturday evening. It was a disaster! Drinks were ordered and they were OK but when it came to ordering food it all went sadly wrong. First, the waitress (also the manager it transpired) managed to knock a nearly full glass of lager shandy all over my wife as she was laying up the cutlery for us. OK, accidents do happen and she was absolutely mortified poor girl. They were very good about clearing up and drying my wife! Even the shandy was replaced.

But, in all this chaos the order got forgotten in the kitchen and nobody spotted that people all round us were getting their food long before we did. After about 30 minutes I raised the matter with a young guy behind the bar - he checked in the kitchen and informed us that the order was lost. He promised to ensure that it would be top of the list for the chef, and meanwhile he offered to replenish the drinks at no cost. So far so good. After a further 15 minutes or so nothing had materialised so I raised the problem again with him. Off he went into the kitchen again and immediately we were confronted with a woman (no apron or protective clothing) who said (in her Polish accent) that she was the chef and she was so so sorry she had lost the order – much wringing of hands at this point. She promised that all meals would be with us in 5 minutes. About 15 minutes later a man came out of the kitchen holding our German friends’ dinners, but he didn’t seem to know which table they were for. .Well, we got that sorted, and then my wife’s and my dinners arrived. They were both “old school fish and chips with mushy peas and tartare sauce” to quote the menu. Oh no they weren’t! Yes, they were fish and “chips” but no peas or tartare sauce. Instead there was the tiniest bit of salad with the end of a lemon sitting on top (but not enough to get juice out of) sitting next to a great pile of shredded lettuce. No dressing on the lettuce or salad, just naked, limp greenery. It tasted as though it was beginning to ferment, and reminded me of a poor imitation of Korean Kimchi. The chips were virtually inedible as well; they were not the usual crisp golden delights we all love but near-black limp tepid bits of something unpleasant. At this point we noticed that our friends’ sautéed potatoes were missing also. A quick wave to the lad again and he got them out in about another 5 minutes; they turned out to be surprisingly good. One of our friends asked if she could have a slice of brown bread and butter to go with her veggie dish. She got a piece of thick-sliced wrapped loaf with no butter. At this point the lad came over and offered us a glass of wine each “on the house”, refused all round. The fish wasn’t bad but was very small and extremely poor value at £9.95. Our German friends faired much better, pronouncing their meals as very good. Lucky them!

The final insult came when we asked for the bill. The manageress apologised about the problems (“the kitchen staff is new”) and offered to knock something off the bill. This she did but only £5 in total which was probably the cost of the 2 missing tartare sauces! What an insult! We were sof ed up we just left at that point to the final communication from the lad – “see you again soon”. Oh no he won’t!!!

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4  Thank David P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (140)
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116 - 120 of 140 reviews

Reviewed 18 June 2014

Its always a bit of a risk as a 'tourist' walking into what looks like a local pub, but we were warmly greeted by a friendly barman and felt really welcome.

The food was fresh, served quickly and very good... of course I had something healthy and then just 'had' to steal one of my husbands chips because, in all honesty they looked amazing, and didn't disappoint.

Really reasonable and a fairly good wine selection.

Worth the walk out of town to find it to eat or just enjoy a drink.

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1  Thank Katielaa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 June 2014 via mobile

Really friendly staff were very welcoming.
Food was of a high standard and competitively priced.

We'll definitely return

2  Thank Delwyn G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 May 2014

We made a stop in Littlehampton and were lucky enough to find this great pub situated by the river. It had a lovely warm atmosphere with very friendly staff. Being a non-smoker, I was pleasantly surprised to find it had 2 beer gardens to keep both groups happy. Unfortunately, the weather didn't cooperate and we retreated inside when the sun turned to rain. We grabbed a table by the window on the river side and had one of the best pubs meals we've had for quite a while. The wine selection was good and at a very reasonable price. We will surely return again next time we're passing through.

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2  Thank Kim R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 May 2014

Nice to see this little pub open again after being shut for such a long time. Great atmosphere and good food at a brilliant price! We will be visiting again when we are in the area!

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2  Thank Kayaker661
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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