Angelica Campion gets Pescatarian

We have discovered the best restaurant in Hastings. It’s next door to the worst restaurant in Hastings (in my opinion)*. So, it’s important not to go in the wrong door by mistake. More of this later.

The Funkin’ Barstewards
PICTURE: Sara-Lou Bowrey

Like many new age weirdos, I don’t eat meat but do eat fish, however the fish option on a restaurant menu can be expensive or disappointing. I am always looking for good fish dishes.

Hastings Borough Council just launched its own Fish Brand -a sustainable premium product- at the Hastings Seafood & Wine Festival last week, where many food stalls sell small portions of seafood dishes from local restaurants. It’s a bit of a scrum, but worth the effort to elbow your way to the front of the stalls. The quality is generally great but this year I had some very greasy sprats that stayed in my gullet forever.

Luckily, I could wash them down with a bottle of Ortega from the Biddenden Vinyards stall. They make gluggingly-good local wine and cider and will sell you wine by the bottle, uncork it and give you a couple of plastic glasses. Voila!

Now we’re ready for the afternoon’s main attraction in the marquee, The Funking Barstewards. If you were even a teensy bit alive in the 1970s you will appreciate the greatness that is Them. Hideous wigs, very wide trousers, platform boots and the best live covers of disco classics you will ever hear. If they grace the likes of Hastings again don’t miss them.

There are more fish and chip shops in Hastings than people and The Kings Fish Bar in St Leonards is the winner for me. They also do a version with No Batter for the gluten free-ers and the health conscious. Also in St Leonards is The Gurkha Chef, a Nepalese Indian restaurant that does a yummy authentic dry cooked salmon dish as well as the usual Indian delights.

A few doors down from the Gurkha there’s an upmarket kind of place – we went there once for Sunday lunch and had to tell the waitress that the potato cubes in the fish bouillabaisse were uncooked and inedible. The chef said we were mistaken, that’s how they were supposed to be.

Nothing like this happened in Nazar, the best restaurant in Hastings (in my opinion), on the seafront at the America Ground. It’s Turkish and the back half of it is in a cave. Eight of us went there for a double birthday and we really thought we were in Turkey for two hours. The friendliest waitress in the world, Tuba (Too-bar), allowed us awkward customers to order fish kebabs that weren’t even on the menu. My starter of Patlican ezme (smoked aubergine) was perfecto. We wolfed a free birthday cake pudding and rushed off to The Albion, the pub of choice in Hastings for live music. Playing were Keith & Harry Osborn, an overly talented father and son duo who I don’t know, never met before, and was not in a band with the dad, in London in 1988.

As for the worst restaurant in Hastings (still in my opinion)*. When we went there some months ago it really was the most horrible meal I’ve eaten in a long time (other experiences can be had).

Nazar Barbeque Restaurant: 1 Claremont, Hastings,
Kings Fish Bar: 16 Kings Rd, St Leonards-on-sea,
Gurkha Chef: 20 Grand Parade, Saint Leonards-on-sea

*(This is not necessarily the opinion of the Hastings Independent Press).
*(yes it is, I’ve been there-ed).

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