My partner and I took a visit to the beautiful Salthouse Harbour Hotel and Restaurant situated on the Ipswich waterfront to try out their early bird three-course meal menu.

We arrived on a very hot Friday evening in September at 5.30pm. It was very inviting with people sat outside enjoying a glass of wine whilst overlooking the wonderful Ipswich harbour.

We went into the restaurant passing through the very modern and chic lounge bar, where we were warmly welcomed to our table.

Ipswich Star: The space had many talking points says reviewer Charlotte Bond.The space had many talking points says reviewer Charlotte Bond. (Image: Charlotte Bond)The main restaurant area had some quirky features including a unicorn head and a metal sculpture in the corner of the room which was certainly a conversation starter. It was spacious and easily accessible to those who needed a bit more space.

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We were offered the early dinner menu and the al a-carte menu. We opted for the early dinner menu which includes a starter, main and dessert complete with a cocktail for £29 if you arrive from 5-6pm. The menu was very seasonal and had an array of summery dishes.

My partner and I both opted for an Aperol Spritz cocktail which was very refreshing on a hot day. Other choices on the cocktail menu included passionfruit bellini, a porto tonico or a small glass of rose. Our drinks arrived after a 10 minute wait, which gave us a chance to look at the food menu.

Ipswich Star: Oaked smoked salmon and seafood rillette is among the starter offering.Oaked smoked salmon and seafood rillette is among the starter offering. (Image: Charlotte Bond, Newsquest)


We then ordered our starters, main course and dessert all at once. I went for the Oaked smoked salmon and seafood rillette with pickled cucumber and my partner opted for the crispy pork belly with Thai coleslaw, soy and chilli dressing. The dishes arrived promptly and were well presented.

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My fish dish was the perfect light starter, the salmon rillette came with some thin and crunchy melba toast which was a great accompaniment with the fish. My partner really enjoyed his crispy pork belly.

As someone who is not usually a fan of pork belly, he is now a convert, he said it was crispy and melted in the mouth whilst the coleslaw was very creamy and light.

Ipswich Star: The beef brisket main was a delight.The beef brisket main was a delight. (Image: Charlotte Bond)

Onto our mains, we both decided to order the beef brisket with crispy polenta, confit tomato with red pepper chimichurri.

We both enjoy having a meat dish for a main, however the other two options were tempting.

You could also choose from a seared seatrout with butter beans, charred courgette and salsa verde or Toscani, artichokes, wild mushrooms and sundried tomato pesto.

The main course arrived very quickly after we finished the starter. The dish was colourfully presented with the yellow polenta and red peppers.

Ipswich Star: An Aperol Spritz on a hot Friday evening.An Aperol Spritz on a hot Friday evening. (Image: Charlotte Bond)

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The beef brisket had been cooked slowly as it wasn’t tough or chewy, each mouthful was quite tender and hearty. The dish elevated the cheaper cut of beef with the delicious accompaniments. The jus was rich in flavour and the tomatoes were sweet.

I very rarely have polenta and it was a nice change to have something different. We both cleared our plates, and they were swiftly taken away by the front of house staff.

Ipswich Star: For dessert our reviewer chose a dark chocolate mousse with salted caramel For dessert our reviewer chose a dark chocolate mousse with salted caramel (Image: Charlotte Bond, Newsquest)

We then moved on to our final dish, dessert. I decided on the dark chocolate and peanut mousse with salted caramel and my partner went for the duo of cheese, crackers, grapes and chutney.

The mousse was presented as a dome shape covered in chocolate ganache with a thin sponge base and a smear of thick salted caramel on the side.

The mousse was light with a small but delicious peanut surprise in the centre, this rounded off my meal nicely. The quantities didn’t leave me feeling horribly full, I was just right.

My partner’s cheese duo came with generous slices of brie and cheddar cheese. He said the chutney accompaniment presented in a small jar was great with the crackers and grapes but a couple more crackers wouldn’t have gone amiss.

Ipswich Star: One of the offerings is a cheese dish.One of the offerings is a cheese dish. (Image: Charlotte Bond, Newsquest)

Overall, for £29 you got a lot for your money especially as it included a drink within the price. I think this was a top notch deal.

The Salthouse has a reputation of being one of the more upmarket restaurants in Ipswich so to be able to experience a more sophisticated restaurant setting for an affordable price is a bonus.

I thought the service was good, we had a lovely welcome from the waiter who took our drinks order, and we were presented with our dishes in a polite manner.

The facilities were very clean and had plenty of hand soap and towels for you to use.

The Salthouse is situated in a wonderful location too which I think adds to the experience.

Would I visit again? Yes, I would. Overall it was an enjoyable experience and it wasn’t too expensive for a lovely evening out.

Our food reviews are always independent.

They are the opinion of the reviewer based on their experience of the venue when they visited.  

The establishment is not aware of our visit, is not informed we intend to write a review, and bills are paid by the reviewer. 

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