Food review: The Fludyers, Undercliff Road East, Felixstowe
PUBLISHED: 19:00 26 December 2018
The Fludyers is a cosy stop for a hearty Sunday roast on a cold winter's day, says our food reviewer and eating out expert Emily Cotton.
After a busy weekend away, not wanting to cook for ourselves on our return, my boyfriend Ryan and I decided to visit The Fludyers for a well deserved Sunday dinner. Despite the cold, windy weather outside, we headed to Felixstowe and were delighted with the choice of hearty meals that were on offer.
Despite not being a typical Sunday lunch starter, I chose cod goujons and tartare sauce to begin, which were golden and crispy on the outside and had delicious chunky pieces of white fish inside. The tartare sauce was thick and creamy too with, what I believe to be, either dill or parsley added in for extra taste.
For starters, Ryan chose cauliflower cheese, stilton and wilted spinach soup with fresh bread from the specials board. He said the cheese soup was packed full of flavour without being overbearing, although to me, it was a little too much… I’m not sure I’d have been able to eat a whole bowl of what simply tasted like melted cheese. The soup however was complemented by a small white baguette which definitely tasted as if it was freshly homemade.
For my main course, I decided upon venison sausages, creamy mash, seasonal greens, caramelised shallots and gravy from the main menu. When I was first brought over my plate I was shocked by the portion size; two large sausages sat on top of a very generous portion of mash potato and plenty of veg. I think I only managed half of my meal due to its size, and I think one sausage would have been plenty – even for those with larger appetites. The creamy mash, although very tasty, was, too, very filling.
Ryan chose The Fludyers’ standard roast dinner for his main which was also on the specials board; this was topside of beef, seasonal vegetables, cauliflower cheese, roast potatoes, Yorkshire pudding and jus. I thought my main course was large, but when his arrived it knocked my sausages and mash out of the park! The beef was beautifully cooked and the roasted carrots and parsnips were (possibly) the highlight of the dish. He also said that the flavours of his main were not sacrificed in favour of a large portion size and that he’d definitely wanted to visit again for more.
For dessert, although rather full, I chose the dessert I’d been eyeing up since the menu was first given to me when we walked in… the white and dark truffle chocolate tort. This dessert was up there with some of the best I’ve ever tucked into. The sponge layer at the bottom was soft and fluffy, while the layers of mousse in the middle were thick and rich. To top it off there was a slab of thick, smooth chocolate on top. Sprinkled on top was also a handful of freeze dried berries which were both a tasty and aesthetically pleasing touch. I’d visit again just for this!
As well as the standard desserts menu, we were also handed a separate ice cream menu. On this there was a great choice of ice creams and sorbets including classics vanilla, strawberry and chocolate, as well as more adventurous flavours such as bubblegum and candyfloss. Ryan opted for three scoops; salted caramel, honeycomb and, in my opinion, an odd third accompaniment, banana. While the scoop of banana ice cream had a powerful odour like that of foamy banana sweets (which I could smell across the table!), the other two flavours were more subtle. Ice cream was priced at £2 a scoop, and therefore, for a decent portion you’d be looking at £6+. We both thought that the price of this dessert was a little steep, and that if you were paying it you might as well opt for a more indulgent, handmade dessert.
With a bar alongside its restaurant, The Fludyers has a wide variety of alcoholic and soft drinks available to diners, including a large selection of wines which were available to view on a designated wine menu. The bar also has plenty of real Suffolk ales and makes the most of having local breweries, such as Adnams, on its doorstep with a choice of many local beers and ciders.
Things you need to know ...
We made our way through the bar to the restaurant and from there were showed to a table by the window and given both the restaurant’s main menu and a small specials board. The staff were friendly and smiley throughout our visit and were sure to check on us during our main course to check everything was alright with our food – we weren’t checked on during our starters however the waiting staff were walking about during that time therefore if we had any issues, we’d have easily been able to get someone’s attention.
We even noticed them subtly keeping an eye on the tables through a window to likely make sure they were on hand if needed. Our plates were cleared away promptly after we had finished and after our desserts we were also offered tea or coffee. When we were ready to pay our bill however the waiting staff had seemed to have disappeared. My boyfriend did, however, grab the attention of a man in a shirt who we hadn’t seen before and had been talking to another table to ask, who was happy to help out.
When we arrived at 6pm we were the only ones in the restaurant; however, in its defence the restaurant had only just opened, and by 7pm a few more tables had arrived. The atmosphere was relaxed and cosy, which was perfect for the miserable weather outdoors, and would make guests feel at home whether they were dressed up to the nines or in casual attire straight from a walk along the beach.
Starters on The Fludyers’ main menu range from £4.50 to £6, while main courses are priced between £9.50 and £14. I believe, especially for the portion size you receive, that these prices are very reasonable. I was a little shocked that on the specials menu for the day was a beef wellington that cost £28. While I understand that this is likely to cost a little more than the other meals on offer, at around £15 more than most meals, it was a lot more. I would have loved to have ordered this, but the price put me off. All desserts on the main menu are priced up at £6.50, except ice cream which was £2 a scoop. In my opinion, the latter is a little pricey for what it is. For three courses for two people we spent just under £60 in total.
Location and parking
The Fludyers is situated on Felixstowe seafront, close to Old Felixstowe. While the hotel and restaurant doesn’t have any obvious parking of its own, the road outside is free to park on for any duration at any time of the day.
The beef roast dinner is definitely worth going back again for as the roasted vegetables were delicious, however the white and dark truffle chocolate tort was by far the best dish I ordered. A rich chocolate dessert just can’t be beat!
All in all, we really enjoyed our experience at The Fludyers. The food was delicious (and very generous in size), the service was friendly and the atmosphere was wonderfully relaxed, perfect for a Sunday evening.