Restaurant review: Bistro on the Quay

Where I ate:
Bistro on the Quay, Wherry Quay, Ipswich
Situated on the waterfront, Bistro on the Quay is a lovely little restaurant, ideally placed with scenic views, a lively atmosphere and a great selection of food and drink. It was my first visit to the Bistro and with expectations high, having eaten at a number of restaurants on the docks, I wasn’t disappointed.
I would definitely recommend booking and booking early, the restaurant soon fills up – and it’s only open from 6:30 to 9:30 in the evenings. While we booked for 7, there were very few empty tables and with the weather as it has been (maybe not so much this week), it’s bound to be a popular choice, especially with so many options for pre-dinner drinks.
From the outside, it looks as though the restaurant would be cramped and narrow, but that isn’t the case at all: it’s spacious with the tables a reasonable distance apart and there are so many corners, it’s as if the restaurant has been split into sections. The decor was minimalist and neutral; I loved the canopies that were draped from the glass ceilings and the mix between leather and velvet chairs.
What I drank:
A small glass of Pinot Grigio Rosato
I was really impressed with the wine list, which was extensive (I mean four choices of rosé is pretty good!) and although the glasses were only small (175ml) and started from £4.25, I was pleased with my choice. It was cold, crisp and fresh and really complemented my choice of main course. Bottles ranged between £15.95 (reasonable, imo) and £41.50 – you could even buy by the smaller glass 125ml.
What I ate:
Grilled fillet of cod in tarragon butter with new potatoes and samphire, followed by tropical taster platter (mango sorbet on a lemon shortbread round, griddled pineapple soaked in rum, passion fruit brûlée and white chocolate & coconut mousse).
The Bistro has a fixed menu as well as a la carte options, with the former starting at £10.95 for a main meal and additional £4 for other courses. I couldn’t decide what to have (the bang bang chicken starter portion sounded good, as did the duck breast) but finally decided on the grilled cod from the fixed menu. It was lovely and fresh and very light; served with new potatoes, green beans, broccoli and samphire, with tarragon butter. I couldn’t manage all the potatoes and don’t think the dish really needed them – the fish was more than enough in itself.
I was tempted by two of the desserts on the fixed menu – vanilla crème brûlée and a gluten free chocolate mocha cake. In the end, I decided to choose the tropical taster platter from the main menu, something else I had my eye on – it also contained a mini brûlée so it was a win-win situation. As soon as it arrived to the table, I knew I had made the right decision and couldn’t wait to sample everything... although it was definitely a case of eyes bigger than belly syndrome! I ate the pineapple first which was surprisingly cold – and very boozy! The mango sorbet was a little sweet for me and the by time I tried to finish it, it had turned to soup. My favourite was definitely the mousse, which was lovely and light – the perfect consistency; while the passion fruit brûlée was the perfect ending, although there’s no way I’d have managed a full-size one.
At £50 for two – five courses and three drinks – I’d definitely recommend eating at the Bistro on the Quay and think the amount we paid for the quality of food is more than reasonable. With so many places to go for pre- or after-dinner drinks, it’s perfect for relaxation and the quayside boasts some beautiful views.

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