Having made a name for themselves at The Wild Mushroom in Westfield, Paul and Rebecca Webbe decided to breathe some new life into Rye by opening this exciting fish and seafood venture, aptly named Webbe's at The Fish Cafe.
The setting is an unusual and rather beautiful old listed building, constructed of brick in 1907 and the first of its kind to be completely fireproof. On the ground floor is a café where all is bright, modern and minimalist, with pale wood, piscine contemporary artwork and terracotta walls plus an open-plan kitchen. Upstairs is a smart and slightly more formal dining room used solely for evening meals.
The kitchen gets much of its fish from the local South Coast ports, and the rest is from the London markets. Expect sharp modern dishes with a strong European slant and a few Asian add-ons. Mediterranean fish stew with tomato and basil and black squid risotto share the billing with cod, aubergine and courgette tempura with Thai dressing and steamed fillets of lemon sole with cauliflower purée and Indian spice sabayon. Seafood platters are a big attraction and there's beer-battered cod and chips if you fancy something unfussy.
If fish is not your thing, the menu also lists organic lamb from Wickham Manor Farm (perhaps served with ratatouille filo parcel and dauphinoise potato) as well as, say, char-grilled chicken Caesar salad, while vegetarians could go for butternut squash ravioli with thyme butter sauce and caramelised root vegetables. To finish, take your pick from desserts such as raspberry crème brûlée or chocolate pot with orange biscuits.
Also featured in: AA Guide, Michelin Guide, Harden's.
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