If you call anything to do with food a Temple, it has to be good right? When the kings of the North East fish and chip scene open their new restaurant in a local landmark, Colmans Seafood Temple, then you know it’s worth a visit.
If you have ever taken a trip along the coast at South Shields then you really can’t have missed the Gandhi’s temple at Gypsies Green. When the news hit that it was being turned in to a fish and chip shop, the reception was less than stellar but Colmans have truly created their own temple.
With a nod to the original 1930s architecture seen from the road, a large and airy dining room has been added which affords the dinner perfect views of the beach and sea.
Colmans have an awarding winning past, dishing out hot fish and chips since 1926. Expanding in to a new restaurant was a logical choice and they’ve kept it local. Not to leave anyone out, there’s a takeaway service downstairs for beach goers too.
We visited Colmans Seafood Temple on opening weekend to sample their Bank Holiday fixed menu. With a limited but respectable selection on offer we managed to have lunch and watch the grim storm approach land before the rain started. Definitely food with a view.
Service was friendly and rapid despite having just opened and our waitress was on the ball with recommendation.
Starting with Oysters (£2 each), they were meaty and substantial and fresh – the most important part! In lieu of starters, they whet our whistle before our mains. The batter on the crispy Oyster was light and didn’t overpower. I’d have liked Tabasco to go with the natural oyster but that’s my preference.
The Fish and Chips (£8.75) was a very deceiving portion. The chips were crisp, fluffy and gloriously golden while the batter was impressive. I know you’ll be reading this and thinking it’s “just” fish and chips, how can you rave about them, but when you get that perfect batter and the perfect chip it makes a world of difference. Very filling, we shared a side of Mushy Peas (£1.5o) to go alongside.
Keeping it safe, I went for the Scampi (£10.95) and I couldn’t manage the full lot. Unheard of! Served up with more crispy golden chips and a dressed salad, the scampi was generous and packed full of langoustines. Clearly battered on demand each ‘scampi’ was hiding more than one tasty treat inside. The fresh in house tartare sauce was the perfect accompaniment for both the scampi and gratuitous chip dipping.
If fish and seafood isn’t your thing, they do offer a vegetarian salad and burger from the main full menu.
It did get slightly on the expensive side if you are looking for that classic fish + chip supper with a side of peas and bread but truthfully, you get what you pay for quality wise. I thought the £2 bread was grossly overpriced for what we got but it’s a restaurant, I wasn’t expecting 2 slices of Kingsmill.
Overall for our first visit to the Colmans Seafood Temple, on opening weekend, we couldn’t have been more impressed. My Mam has done nothing but rave about it about. A great addition to the dining options offered within the tourist trap sea front area.