SEAFRONT restaurant Tom’s opened in Lyme Regis this week and is sure to add to the town’s growing reputation as one of the South West’s top food and drink destinations.
Tom Robinson, a former chef at London’s renowned East India Club, and his wife Chelsea share a passion for great food and high standards of customer service.
After a successful run over the summer at The Pop-Up Kitchen in Broad Street, which is proving to be a springboard for some of the best chefs in the area, the couple have now opened their family-run business in premises formally occupied by the Ocean View restaurant – a prime location on Marine Parade, offering inside and outside seating with stunning views across the bay.
The menu at Tom’s, which will change seasonally, showcases stunning seafood and the best of local produce, with a heavy focus on fish dishes along with varied meat and vegetarian options.
Ahead of the official opening before Christmas, I was lucky enough to be invited to their soft launch event and took my Dad along as my guest – the only person in my family as obsessed with food and eating out as me!
We were greeted with a warm welcome from Chelsea and maître d Rob Moretto, former manager at HIX Oyster & Fish House, and quickly noticed the changes following a simple but stylish refurbishment of the seafront restaurant, including a selection of local artwork on the walls.
If scallops are on a menu I will always choose them and my starter was no disappointment – perfectly cooked and served with cauliflower, girolle mushrooms and cognac (£12) – while Dad opted for the tasty crab and brandy bisque (£10).
Other starter options included the ‘G&T’ cured salmon with pickled fennel, cucumber and dill (£8) and the heritage beetroot carpaccio with whipped goats curd, pear and candied walnuts (£8).
Being just a few steps from the shore, I stuck with the seafood theme for my main, choosing the moules ‘Cafe de Paris’, served with a generous crusty white roll to soak up the delicious creamy sauce (£22).
Dad chose the peppered 8oz rib eye steak, which he described – and I can’t stress how a big a statement this is from him – as the best steak he had ever tasted! It was accompanied by fluffy chips, watercress, mushroom, tomatoes and Béarnaise sauce (£28).
Other fish options included sole meunière, pan roasted cod and the daily catch, ranging from £16 to £30, and the vegetarian option was spelt risotto with Jerusalem artichokes and chanterelles (£15).
Although already stuffed, there is always room for dessert and I opted the apple tart tatin with cinnamon ice cream (£6) – a perfect, warming choice for a winter’s evening – and Dad selected the indulgent chocolate and cherry parfait with Kirsch cream and griottines (£7). The menu also offered a selection of ice creams and sorbets and a celebration of British cheeses.
There is also a full children’s menu and the bar is stocked with a varied choice of wines, spirits, local beers and ciders and selection of favourite cocktails.
Tom’s will also be serving breakfast with lighter options including a selection of pastries, toasted sourdough or house muesli, as well as more substantial choices including a classic full English (£10), salmon and eggs (£10), garlic mushrooms (£8) and crab omelette ‘Arnold Bennet’ (£12).
Tom’s is currently open Wednesdays to Sundays, open for breakfast from 9am to 10.30am, lunch from 12noon to 3pm and dinner from 6pm to 9pm.