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Muddy Reviews: 81 Beach Street, Deal

We've found a foodie hot-spot in one of Kent's most fashionable seaside towns, introducing 81 Beach Street, a fine-dining restaurant in Deal...

Want to learn more about a foodie hot-spot in one of Kent’s most fashionable seaside towns? Especially with The Open taking place in that corner of Kent this week. Discover more about 81 Beach Street, a fine-dining restaurant by the beach in Deal which we sniffed out – just for you – so get your booking in quick! 

LOCATION 

You are off to the right start here in terms of location as 81 Beach Street is situated within a beautiful period building and is located on Deal seafront and, as we all know, Deal is fast becoming one of the top destinations to live in Kent according to Sunday Times – every year!  

Nothing beats that feeling of eating fresh fish when you have the sea, where it was caught, bobbing up and down right in front of you. We recommend the tables upstairs for an even better view, plus the room is stylishly done and a really good place for a large group booking with your ‘exclusive’ access to the sea-view!  

Deal is increasingly known as a destination for foodies – and many of the local favourites only open from Wednesday onwards but 81 Beach Street is open every day so have that handy bit of info up your sleeve!  

THE VIBE 

There is relaxed bistro vibe here and interestingly the team decided to take on some key learnings during Covid-19 and have maintained spacing between tables for additional comfort and safety – plus it means that you can enjoy your chats in peace without unwittingly following fellow diners’ conversations.  

Local art, which is up for sale, decorates the walls and this changes on a three-month basis to keep it fresh. We were big fans of the copper-wire lampshades throughout the space and funky-looking bar. The restaurant is also deceptively larger than you think so there are lots of lovely nooks for a meal regardless of size of your party.  

You could easily come with a big crowd, including kids, and not feel on top of people or for a cozy date night especially if you get a table by the window. We were there for lunch mid-week on a Wednesday (it was very busy and buzzy) but we’d love to come back for an evening experience.  

THE LOWDOWN 

81 Beach Street has been operating in Deal for the past 17 years so they know their local produce and suppliers. Its Catch of the Day is one of their most popular dishes and their fish comes in fresh every day from Jenkins – the local fishmonger in Deal and you will find the same deal for their meat and veg. Head Chef, Mark McEachran, has been at the helm for the past ten years and you get the impression that there is a strong family-feel in the kitchen/back of house and we heard that they closed the restaurant for the Euro Final as a thank you to the team for working so hard. Nice touch.  

SCOFF AND QUAFF  

As we have already mentioned, provenance is key here and the menu readily adapts to the seasons. You will also discover that the team make many of their own herb oils which come with their breads so a thorough process all round.  

Unsurprisingly, given the location, fish is a hero dish at 81 Beach Street, so we opted for Potted Crab & Paprika Butter with Char-grilled Kingsdown Sourdough bread as a starter to share which has a spicy side-kick from the chilli and was a very tasty way to kick-start the foodie proceedings. 

For mains, we chose Red Onion & Goats Cheese Tart Tatin with Sweet Potato Wedges, Sweet & Sour peppers, Spinach, Basil and Balsamic alongside the “Catch of the Day” which was Plaice served with dill crushed potatoes, pickled fennel salad and lemon which seemed to be on everyone else’s plates around the restaurant.

The fish is served whole with bones so will appeal to those dedicated fish fans, but you could also go for something like Grilled Seabass Fillet if you want someone else to do the hard work for you! As you can see, the Tart Tartin was a very eye-catching and delicious affair!  

The dedicated Vegan menu got a big tick from us with plenty of choices including Thai-style rice cakes served with sweet chilli jam and roasted cashew nuts as well as its Salad Bowl packed full of foodie goodness including Roasted Turmeric Cauliflower, Sweet Potato, Sun Blushed Tomatoes, Rocket, Pickled Fennel and Char-Grilled Bread.  

They’ve got the kids sussed here too as they can feast on a main, pudding and soft drinks for just £7.95 with typical children’s pleasers such as cod goujons and baked cookie dough with vanilla ice-cream to keep them happy and occupied.  

Pudding was a BIG highlight and I do believe we had the jauntiest dessert in Kent. Raspberry and panacotta terrine served with toasted almonds and raspberries. Summer on a plate!  

On a quaff note, the wine list is extensive with a big focus on local wines as well as French wines. Well, the coast of France is approximately 25 miles (40 km) from the town and is visible on clear days. Since this was a driving day, we gulped down our Kingsdown (local producer) sparkling elderflower and apple juices.  

OUT & ABOUT   

You could easily while away a few days in Deal taking in local cultural attractions such as Walmer Castle, hanging by the beach or just mooching around their huge range of indie shops. First stop, Hoxton Store (owner Alison Whalley ran Hoxton Boutique in London’s East End for over 12 years) for gorgeous homeware and vintage style lighting. If you love retro, you’ll go mad for Mileage, a vintage emporium selling cinema chairs, disco balls and everything in between! 

One of Muddy’s finalists for Best Art Gallery is Don’t Walk Walk which prides itself on its ‘punk rock’ ethic (Noel Fielding exhibits his work here) and you will definitely pick up something a little different here for your home.  

ANYTHING ELSE? 

The Exchange, Deal

If you are staying for a few days, consider Keepers Cottages for the best accommodation options in the area and Deal Pier Kitchen should also be on your radar for the best brunch in town!  

THE MUDDY VERDICT   

GOOD FOR: It’s a real crowd pleaser and would appeal for a lunchtime gathering with family and equally a fun and foodie-filled destination for a date night.  

NOT FOR: 81 Beach Street could be a fab cocktail spot to enjoy the sunset over the sea but sadly the bar is too small to accommodate that side of things, so this is more of a foodie place, than bar spot, but they do a mean Aperol Spritz if you are really hankering for something a little bit jazzier than wine.  

THE DAMAGE   

The set-menu is fantastic value for those looking for fine-dining at a fair price as it is £11.50 for two courses or £14.95 for three. We opted for A La Carte and our meal (two soft drinks/one starter/two mains/one pud) came to £51.55 which we think is bang-on in terms of food quality and quantity.  

81 Beach Street, Deal, Kent, CT14 6JB, 81beachstreet.co.uk, Tel: 01304 368136, us@81beachstreet.co.uk 

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