Review: Fish is a staple at The Last Anchor, on Ipswich’s Waterfront
Ok I admit it, I got lost.
Yes I have a smart phone and I know how to use it, but my ability to input a postcode wasn’t the problem; it was the age-old skill of map reading that was.
After 15 minutes of (very) fast walking I managed to find The Last Anchor. You could say it’s on the waterfront, but, as I know very well, it isn’t on the University’s side of the water.
I don’t know what I was expecting but it’s not a “normal” restaurant building; it appeared, at least from the outside, to be a structure more likely to be used as a village hall. But, on arrival, all my fears were dispelled.
A mid-week 7.30pm booking was a good pick: not too busy, not too quiet. There was enough background noise not to have any lingering silences but no loud groups dominating the airwaves.
Based on a marina, fish was on both menus available. But those who appreciate a hearty steak or a vegetarian burger were still catered for.
The staff were friendly, attentive and perfectly willing to repeat lengthy dessert menus at will.
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To the orders. I plumped for Thai green scallops, which were every bit as sizzling as described. My friend went for rosemary baked camembert with a balsamic reduction and homemade chutney.
The scallops were outstanding – powerful, rich flavours with crunchy broccoli and cashew nuts in the mix.
It was lamb shank for the main for me, complete with mustard tickled mash potatoes, syrupy red wine gravy and a side of steamed veg.
On the other side of the table was a halloumi and flat mushroom burger with caramelised onions, red cabbage, coleslaw and chunky chips.
It was at this point we came to the at-first difficult, but usually easy decision to take on dessert.
I was heading for the treacle sponge when Guinness was mentioned. This included anyway in a pudding is a sure winner for me, so the black stuff-inspired brownie was eaten, with no crumbs left.
Although glowing with my helping I couldn’t feel a little envious when seeing the mini desserts platter. Substantial helpings of four, yes four puddings; it was a triumph in non-selective eating.
The Last Anchor prospers from its location – not too far from the town centre and close enough to waterfront bars for pre-drinks.
Tables are offered inside and out, with ones open to the elements benefiting from clearer views of the impressive yachts and pretty setting.
And if the walk from town is too much, there’s also adequate parking nearby.
The benefit of being on the waterfront is not just aesthetic; The Last Anchor can also deliver a different catch of the day fresh to the plate.
Locally-sourced food is obviously important for the restaurant, a point reinforced with bread sourced straight from the adjacent Anchor Bakery which offers “gourmet dough for supermarket prices”.
A visit to The Last Anchor is something I would definitely recommend. Extensive menus, delectable food and a calming atmosphere means it’s one to keep in my mind when thinking of a restaurant to book.
The Last Anchor is open for breakfast and lunch every day; with evening meals served Monday to Saturday.
It has recently launched its new autumn menu which complements the permanent a la carte offering.