Wednesday, 3 May 2017

THE CROWN AND ANCHOR - Dell Quay Road, Chichester

After a few weeks off, me and Dad were very hungry, and keen to get back on the pub horse. The Crown and Anchor has been on our radar for a while now, so we thought it time to venture in to the unknown, like two brave pub warriors.

This is one of those rare pubs which oozes class and runs like a very slick machine. The location is perfect, with stunning views over Chichester harbour. There are, as you would expect, plenty of tables outside to make the most of this. Unfortunately for us, the weather wasn't quite good enough to warrant utilising said tables. Instead, we made good with an inside table by a window. It's a surprisingly light pub, with plenty of big windows to take in the view. There is also a log burner to warm the cockles when the cold wind blows. As you would hope, being near the sea, the menu is heavy on the fish. There are of course other options on offer for those who prefer food which used to have legs, and for those of a vegetarian persuasion, although that did involve mushrooms.

The staff were incredibly friendly and knowledgeable, able to tell us where the produce was sourced, including the samphire which is often collected from the edge of the harbour. I eventually decided on the sea bass with samphire and new potatoes, although I was so interested in the truffle chips, I swapped my potatoes for them. Dad went for the wild boar burger with shoe string fries. This was just over £13, which we thought was pretty good. My bass was more like £16, which we thought might be a touch expensive, but we shall come back to that in a bit.

This is a nice pub to be in, whether you are drinking, eating, or indeed both. The main attraction must be the location, rendering this an incredibly busy place when the sun is in full working order. It wasn't long at all until our food arrived and the serious business of food judgment could begin in Ernest. Dad's boar burger was good, and probably warranted its price tag, but my meal was not to be so easily ticked off. First of all, my food was delicious. The fish cooked beautifully, the sauce and samphire both lending their own twist, and the truffle chips were an interesting change from their simple cousins. Then we come to the nitty-gritty. The old price = quality portion squared conundrum. The price was, as mentioned earlier, around £16. The quality was without question, that just leaves the portion. Baring in mind, chips are made from potatoes, which are of very little worth, the rest of my food consisted of one small fillet of sea bass, a few mouthfuls of samphire and a tablespoon of sauce. Just to simplify, it wasn't very big. I could live with that at a lower price, but the two parts of the equation don't add up to us.

We do like this pub very much. The service couldn't be better, the food was very good and the location is priceless. Some of the food is priced fairly, some of it not so fairly. Perhaps there's a bit of a field of dreams phenomenon going on, if you charge it, they will pay. This pub will always be busy, simply because of where it is. This is not to say they don't deserve to do well. They are doing almost everything right. We would just suggest lowering a few prices to reflect the food served up, or up the portion size to match the price.

Atmosphere          8
Service                 9
Food                    8
Value                   6
Verdict                 4.5*


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