Fish and chips
Price pp £11
Locals come back for Traditional cod and chips
You’ll find resolutely untrendy Ossie’s on an unprepossessing residential road set back from the seafront, but don’t be put off. Settle in at one of the formica tables and tuck in to a pile of fresh fish and crunchy golden chips. There are also pies on offer, and all-day breakfasts. Portions are huge and prices keen.
Fans call the no-frills chippy near the beach “the best in town”.
Address 205 Tankerton Road, Whitstable CT5 2AT
Phone 01227 266600
YAMA’S THAI EATERIE
Price pp £12
Locals come back for Yama curry with mango
A gem on Margate’s narrow high street bills itself as an Thai-English cafe. Ignore the English part, and plump for one of the authentic Thai dishes. There are creamy coconut curries, noodles and stir fries fragrant with holy basil. If you fancy a beer or a glass of wine, there’s no charge to bring your own. It’s closed on Sundays.
A “tiny BYO cafe” with a “busy, fun atmosphere” and “amazing Asian food”.
Address 121 High Street, Margate CT9 1JT
Phone 01843 312178
COGGINGS & CO
Price pp £17
Locals come back for Beefburger with mushroom tapenade and Harvey’s rarebit
Sussex beef, generous portions and an array of toppings make Coggings & Co the go-to place for burger-lovers in Brighton. There’s a scotch bonnet chilli sauce for those who like a kick and, on the side, crunchy triple-cooked beef-dripping chips — also available in a veggie version to accompany your lentil burger.
A “solid addition to Brighton’s burger scene” in a “smartish” setting.
Address 87-93 Dyke Road, Brighton BN1 3JE
Phone 01273 220220
Chichester, West Sussex
Price pp £17
Locals come back for Duck Paradise — duck with pak choi and tamarind sauce
A modern restaurant nestled on one of Chichester’s historic streets offers undecided diners a taste of Thailand in the form of “tapas” – small set menus, offering groups of regional dishes. Try the Koh Samui, which includes tom yam mussels. “Express” lunch dishes of Thai classics for £7 include curries and lemongrass drunken noodles. Expect to pay slightly more in the evening.
An “authentic” town-centre spot with “a perfect mix of spice and flavour”.
Address 5-6 St Pancras, Chichester PO19 7SJ
Phone 01243 533280
THE REGENCY CLUB
Price pp £17
Locals come back for Lamb chops marinated in aromatic herbs and spices
The singer Lily Allen is a fan of this colourful restaurant, which is so big it even brews its own lager. It’s a raucous place with a long bar, and is often packed with commuters, local families and sports fans watching games on the flatscreen TVs. A charcoal grill churns out stellar cuts of meat, including moreish chicken wings, and there’s an expertly spiced selection of seafood, meat and vegetarian curries.
The Regency Club, Queensbury, Middlesex
“A welcome antidote to the growing pretentiousness in Indian cooking.”
Address 19-21 Queensbury Station Parade,Edgware HA8 5NR
Phone 020 8952 6300
Price pp £17
Locals come back for Crispy cereal king prawns
If you can’t decide what to eat in Oxford, plump for Zheng, where eight chefs turn out authentic Malaysian, Singaporean, Sichuan, Cantonese and Shanghainese dishes. The divided focus might worry some but it works brilliantly, with vibrant flavours – don’t miss the rendang beef.
“A pan-Asian menu is executed just about to perfection.”
Address 82 Walton Street Oxford OX2 6EA
Phone 01865 511188
Price pp £17
Locals come back for Pork belly, loin and ham
Former Fat Duck manager James Bainbridge and his brother Tom opened their gastronomically ambitious pub two years ago. Game pie contains venison, pheasant and pigeon, and Tom, a self-taught chef, has fun with original dishes such as a crab and orange creme brulee or potted rabbit and carrot cake.
“What a hidden gem”; “a high-quality restaurant in its own right”.
Address Watton Road, Datchworth SG3 6TB
Phone 01438 815 550
Hove, East Sussex
Price pp £18
Locals come back for Scallops and smoked bacon
A neighbourhood newcomer that serves shellfish (almost exclusively, although there are fries and one or two salads) alongside bottles of craft beer. The brainchild of Aussie Nick Jerrim, the Urchin stocks more than 100 different beers, and the fresh seafood features innovative flavour combinations.
A “first for Hove” that’s “well executed” and “excellent value”.
Address 15-17 Belfast Street, Hove BN3 3YS
Phone 01273 241881
Price pp £19
Locals come back for burger with cheddar
You’ll find the Coach just down the street from Tom Kerridge’s Hand and Flowers, and it’s run by the same team. Come for breakfast – a stellar full English – afternoon tea, lunch or dinner. Food is served as small plates, which include the retro (chicken kiev) and the inventive (a mushroom “risotto” where cheese replaces rice). There’s a no-bookings policy, so turn up and take your chances.
“Uncomplicated” cooking, but the realisation is “spot on”.
Address 3 West Street, Marlow SL7 2LS
Frederic Cafe Bistro
Price pp £20
Locals come back for duck with plum sauce
Dordogne-born Ulric Allsebrook believes in good food, good wine and good company. You’ll find the first two here, and you can provide the latter yourself. As well as breakfasts and lunches, there are bistro classics in the evening, and a wide (mostly French) selection of wine. It’s a family affair – Allsebrook’s wife Sarah makes cakes and puddings, and it is named after one of their children.
A “jolly, bustling bistro” serving “freshly made dishes at very good prices”.
Address Market Buildings, Earl Street ME14 1HP
Phone 01622 297414