20:00 September 29, 2022
I always say this, but the food scene in Ipswich is always buzzing with new openings left, right and centre.
One of the newest city additions I’ve been dying to try is Arlingtons. Located on Museum Street, it was once a popular restaurant that thrived before the lockdown – but sadly closed last year.
Fortunately, former Moloko co-owner Zoe Cutting took over the Grade II listed property, opening the doors to Arlingtons new look a month ago.
I ate at Moloko last year – and really enjoyed the experience – so was looking forward to seeing what this place had to offer.
I always look at the menu online before I eat anywhere, and what particularly jumped out at me were the two and three course menus for £20 and £25 respectively.
Not only could you choose from a handful of dishes, but it came with a cocktail (either a peach bellini or an Aperol spritz), a glass of prosecco or a pint of beer included in the final price. Available between 5 and 8 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, it’s great value if you ask me.
I met my mom after work on a Wednesday afternoon and we went. When we arrived and walked inside we noticed how pretty the decor was. At the entrance there is a floral phone booth (perfect Instagram fodder) and a door to the bar (this was however closed when we visited).
The restaurant is located upstairs (there is also an elevator), with a private dining area to the side, just before you head into the main dining room.
And what a gorgeous space it is. The high ceiling with a central skylight allows natural light to flow in beautifully, and the string lights give the whole thing a warm and cozy vibe. As a food critic, it made my job easier when taking photos.
Now let’s move on to food.
I ordered the crispy fried goat cheese (served with red onion marmalade), while mum opted for the wild mushroom fricassee served on grilled sourdough, and we both drank bellinis at the Peach. However, before our starters arrived, our waitress, Eleanor, came to the table with free soup starters. She said the chef was trying out a new recipe, and we were more than happy to oblige and give her a taste test.
Made from Mediterranean vegetables, zucchini, peppers, shallots and seasoned with pepper and garlic, it was delicious, warming and really packed a punch. I’m definitely hoping this gets added to the menu as a seasonal starter this fall/winter, as I would definitely order a full size portion.
My goat cheese was amazing. Coated in what I believe to be panko breadcrumbs, it had a nice crunch when you bit into it. The cheese itself was smooth and creamy, and the side of sweet red onion marmalade was perfect. You couldn’t have asked for a better starter.
The wild mushroom fricassee served on toasted sourdough was plentiful. Filled with an assortment of freshly picked mushrooms and served with a few greens and an edible flower, this is the perfect starter if you’re feeling autumnal. And again, it would look good on your Instagram feed.
I have to say that the place itself and every dish that was served to us passed the photogenic food test. Each dish was beautifully presented and tasted as good as it looked.
For main I had the beer battered haddock fillet with hand cut fries, pea mash and tartar sauce, while mom had the chicken roulade with goat cheese and tomatoes reddened in the sun, new potatoes, salad and a honey and mustard dressing.
I’m a sucker for restaurant fish and chips, and this piece of haddock was crispy, not greasy at all. My only complaint was that the fries were too thick and seemed slightly undercooked. If they were cut a little thinner, and maybe cooked two or three times, they would be perfect. Other than that, nothing to complain about.
The chicken roulade was delicious – the honey mustard dressing was especially fantastic and the chicken was not overcooked. My only suggestion would be to get rid of the salad and maybe swap it out for some cooked veg such as broccoli or honey roasted carrots as the salad was hot (because it was next to the hot chicken and apples earthen).
By this point we were both quite full but had opted for the three course menu and ordered all of our dishes from the start so we knew we had to commit.
I opted for the cheesecake of the day served with ice cream, and mum had the Eton mess. Both servings were generous – my cheesecake was creamy, smooth and topped with fresh raspberries, strawberries and blueberries, while mum’s Eton mess was dreamy. Lots of fresh fruit, meringue and whipped cream.
In total we both ordered three courses for £25 and two half pints of San Miguel (£2.60 each) so our bill came to £55.20.
All in all, Arlingtons is a great restaurant and I highly recommend it. It’s great value for money, the portions are just right, everything looks good and the service is top notch. Will definitely go back – maybe I should go for brunch next time as I spotted Oreo French Toast on the menu and it’s something I definitely have to try.