Review: Dining out at The Pier, Harwich

PUBLISHED: 11:29 05 September 2016 | UPDATED: 11:29 05 September 2016

EXG SEP 16 Dining Out

EXG SEP 16 Dining Out

Archant

The Pier in Harwich closed in January and reopened again in May after an extensive £1.5m reinvestment and refurbishment.

EXG SEP 16 Dining OutEXG SEP 16 Dining Out

The 1860 listed building now offers a bright, shiny new interior with balcony dining, offering extensive views over the estuary of the rivers Stour and Orwell and the Ha’Penny Pier.

You also have a great view of the nautical comings and goings from the quay across the road. The new interior, designed by Geraldine Milsom, has plenty of nods to its industrial neighbour, Harwich Port, with its stripped back lighting and copper-topped tables.

EXG SEP 16 Dining OutEXG SEP 16 Dining Out

The restaurant is open from 12noon and operates a 40% booking system, leaving 60% of the tables for walk-in trade. The menu features plenty of fresh fish, although there are some meat and vegetarian options. Burrata and cuor di bue tomato with purple basil, capers and cracked coriander seeds is the current vegetarian starter.

I chose to start with san Daniele ham served with handmade mozzarella, Cavolo nero pesto and bruschetta. I was also swiftly served with a homemade granary roll and butter.

EXG SEP 16 Dining OutEXG SEP 16 Dining Out

My table, as most do, overlooked the watery vista and patchwork of countryside beyond, which I found fascinating as I enjoyed the mix of flavoursome ham and creamy pure white cheese. The staff, of which there seemed plenty, were courteous and knowledgeable about the dishes on the menu.

The wine list is predominantly European with some Prosecco-based cocktails and there are also craft beers and cask ales on tap too.

EXG SEP 16 Dining OutEXG SEP 16 Dining Out

Main course at The Pier for me was fish pie-luxe. Prettily topped off with piped mash, beneath lay lobster, hake, scallops, prawns and salmon. The fish was complemented by a creamy light dill sauce with chopped leeks, much less weighty than the traditional cheese sauce and allowing the individual sea food flavours to come to the fore. It was presented with its own white card, ‘choirboy’ ruff surrounding an earthenware dish.

Although I’d read the sides on the menu, which included a broccoli hollandaise, I forgot to order any extra vegetables, which I think would have only increased my enjoyment of this super fish dish.

EXG SEP 16 Dining OutEXG SEP 16 Dining Out

The call of the sea I could ignore no longer, so I decided to take dessert on the balcony – enjoying the walnut ice cream with caramelised French walnuts. Described as ‘seriously good’ I couldn’t disagree. There were plenty of crunchy, caramel undertones and textures.

With a cup of particularly smooth filter coffee finished, I had to reluctantly drag myself away from the sunny balcony and its spectacular sea views.

Useful to know:

The total bill came to £37.75 for three courses with a glass of house wine and a coffee.

This is an independent review, featuring a restaurant selected and experienced by our food and wine editor. The restaurant was not told it was being reviewed.

Table Talk:

Table Talk with diner Scarlett Coughlin, her mother and father and also her grandmother.

Where do you live and what do you do?

I live on the other side of Colchester and I’m studying Equine Management at Writtle College.

What did you choose from the menu?

Salt and pepper squid starter and hake for my main course.

Why were you at The pier?

We’ve dined there before it was done up, so we thought we’d go back to see the changes. I thought it looks really smart and nice now.

Describe your dining experience in a phrase.

Smart but still very relaxed; it’s a light, fresh-looking restaurant with some excellent views over the water.

How would you rate the value for money?

I think it’s good as its really nice food.

Worth visiting again?

Yes, we will return again.

What was the best part of your visit?

The service was really good and the views are superb.

Book a table

The Pier

The Quay

Harwich

CO12 3HH

01255 241212

www.milsomhotels.com

Side Orders:

Three more restaurants with a fresh face

The Willows Inn

The Street

Cressing

BRAINTREE

CM77 8DQ

01376 741436

www.thewillowsinncressing.co.uk

We say: You’ll find plenty of modern twists to the interior and the men here, but despite an extensive renovation, the heart of this country pub still remains.

The Griffin Danbury

64 Main Road

Danbury

CHELMSFORD

CM3 4DH

01245 699024

www.thegriffindanbury.com

We say: This renovated, rustic-chic pub serves unpretentious seasonal food and changes its guest beers weekly.

Royal Hotel in Southend

1 High Street

Southend on Sea

SS11JE

01702 899 222

www.royalhotelsouthend.com

We say: This listed property built in 1791 was once a popular haunt of royalty and aristocracy. A sympathetic restoration of this jewel in the crown of Southend now boasts a ground floor cocktail bar and lounge, with a restaurant in the first floor ballroom.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Essex Life visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Essex Life staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Essex Life account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Food & Drink

Yesterday, 08:56

Treat yourself to a pint of real ale surrounded by fresh sea air and coastal views at any one of these 12 glorious Essex pubs

Read more
Friday, November 16, 2018

Being home to so many wonderful places to eat choosing where to go for dinner can often be difficult. With that in mind we’ve picked 20 of our favourite places to help you decide

Read more
Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Stephanie Mackentyre continues her tour of Essex’s best eateries by stopping to eat at Dedham’s Sun Inn with her pooch

Read more
Friday, October 26, 2018

CyclesUK are a leading independent bike retail chain based in Essex and they have held a public vote to find the cafes that local cyclists love. The results are in and these are 10 of the best cycling cafes in Essex

Read more
Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Looking for somewhere special to enjoy a festive lunch with family and friends?

Read more
Tuesday, October 23, 2018

A hearty portion of pie and mash has been an Essex dining staple enjoyed for generations. We pick 15 places to go for a tasty portion of this local favourite

Read more
Tuesday, October 16, 2018

As an enduring British institution, it’s incredibly important to get your Sunday lunch right. Here are 12 pubs in Essex that know how to deliver precisely what you require.

Read more
Tuesday, October 9, 2018

The Essex Life Food & Drink Awards for 2018 took place on September 27th at Down Hall Hotel

Read more
Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Advances in agricultural technology have meant that the harvest scene across the county is much different today than decades ago. Hannah Salisbury from the Essex Record Office looks back at times gone past

Read more
Friday, September 28, 2018

We reveal the winner for the Chef of the Year award. Sponsored by Allstaff Employment

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy


Follow us on Twitter


Like us on Facebook

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Local Business Directory



Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search