There’s something slightly hipster about heading to a pop up restaurant, but visiting The Seagrass was a great excuse for this GF-er to visit an otherwise out of bounds traditional pie & mash shop; which has a forbidden air not just because of the pastry, but because of the usually steamy windows hiding crowds of locals for their lunch. We didn’t know quite what to expect as we trudged down the otherwise deserted Chapel Market on this rainy and dark Friday night.
The interior of the shop is fabulous – with old fashioned tiling and a welcome as warm as the cosy booths with narrow wooden benches. We piled in, armed with our hastily purchased BYOB to pick from a short menu with one ‘sea’ (fish) option and one ‘grass’ (meat, poultry, game) option for each course from the set £30 pp menu.
All of the menu options were naturally gluten free, so like most of my party I tucked into a rich, generous portion of thick crab bisque to start – packed with fresh crab meat, scattered with chorizo, and flecked with cracked black pepper. So good that my friend wandered into the (open) kitchen for a natter with the chefs about how they made it. To follow, an extremely large duck breast was served beautifully pink atop creamy mash and with studded with bitter tangs of marmalade glaze.
The atmosphere is chummy and relaxed. There’s something wonderful about eating good quality food in down to earth surroundings, and not feeling ashamed to tuck into your own (GF) lager; while chefs dance (!) around the kitchen and chat to the patrons. The ingredients are high quality and there’s no skimping on portion size – a hit with everyone in our group.
I had warned the chef (Iain) ahead by email that I needed gluten free, and delightfully they provided gluten free oatcakes as an alternative to have with the huge shared cheeseboard, and prepared a special amuse bouche of smoked salmon rillet on beetroot. The only minor slip up was serving this on the same platter as the others – I didn’t have a problem, but would be worth asking them to keep your portions separate as you order.
After some post-dinner discussion my friends awarded The Seagrass: 8/10
And for Gluten-Free Ability I give them: 8/10 too.
The Seagrass is open Wednesday – Saturday evenings. 3 courses are £30. BYOB – no corkage. Cash only.