And that is why, on a beautifully clear spring afternoon, it is about time a visit was paid to the well-known Southsea Beach Cafe on the seafront.

Perched on top of the shingle opposite Canoe Lake, the venue is a popular spot with locals and those who may have traveled a little further afield due to its prime spot for sea views.

But does this eatery have more to boast about than its location?

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The Southsea Beach Cafe burger, coleslaw and fries.

After this one visit, Dish Detective can wholeheartedly conclude yes, it does.

On previous attempted visits Dish Detective has foolishly not booked and been turned away as it is often busy for breakfast and lunch.

But this time they try again, on a Monday just before noon, and miraculously there is a table available.

Southsea Beach Cafe.

We are escorted to seats by the window, which is ideal. On this, a glorious sunny day, the sun is warming through the glass and we are treated to panoramic views of the sea.

A friendly waitress informs us we can either order breakfast now or wait a few minutes to order from the lunch menu.

After quickly scanning through the vast selection we agree to wait for lunch as the choices all sound delicious.

While waiting for our food we are brought drinks – a cup of tea and a lime and soda – to enjoy while taking in our surroundings.

The tabbouleh bowl

Those who know the cafe will know part of its charm comes from its rustic wooden hut aesthetic – with a section of part of the building covered by a temporary roof to be removed in the height of summer.

And beyond the walls is a balcony area, which is again used by diners during the warmer months.

When the clock strikes 12 we are able to order our meals.

My companion is very hungry and spends a while contemplating what to have, but ultimately she chooses the Southsea Beach Cafe burger £ 12, which comes with chips and homemade coleslaw.

In a feeble attempt to stay somewhat healthy I order the tabbouleh bowl (£ 11.25), however, I opt to have feta added on top and add a portion of rustic fries (£ 3) so I am fooling noone.

My companion also decides we need another side – halloumi fries (£ 4.50), so it’s safe to say health has gone out the window.

The food arrives quickly and is impressive. Straight away we know we have ordered too much – a regular, shameful, occurrence for yours truly – but at the same time it all looks too good to leave.

My companion is impressed with the burger, saying it is extremely tasty. The accompanying fries are light and golden, and make a very satisfying crunch when bitten into.

The tabbouleh is a work of art. It is traditionally made with finely chopped parsley, tomatoes, mint, onion, bulgur, and seasoned with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and sweet pepper. However, there are additions here including pomegranate seeds, which bring a delightful sweetness, and chunks of sweet potato.

The crumbly feta finishes it off nicely, and I in turn finish off the plate.

We share the halloumi fries, which are chunky and a lovely orange color from the fryer. The don’t come with any dips as they would do in some other restaurants but these don’t need any – they are certainly tasty enough on their own.

Despite concerns that we had ordered far too much we manage to eat a surprising amount of the food as it is just too good to leave.

Customers at other tables have ordered what looks like slices of homemade cake and although we are tempted it would simply not be possible to eat any more.

We agree we shall have to return another time for tea and cake – and we leave in agreement that the Southsea Beach Cafe is so much more than just a lovely view.

By admin

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