Mariners at Il Punto
Neptune Quay, Ipswich, IP4 1AXUntil comparatively recent times the word gunboat had colonial connotations that are fast fading into the dark shadows of Victorian imperialism. So with re-usage all the rage it may not come as a total surprise to find a superb relic of the maritime past, an imaginative and extremely well-presented floating survival, on the ancient waterfront of the historic port of Ipswich. Many of the original features of this fine and much travelled vessel, launched in 1899 in Belgium, are retained and so skilfully has the work been done that it is not always easy to disregard the feeling that you might emerge from the absorption of your meal, only to find yourself rocking gently off Dogger Bank or the German Bight.
Until comparatively recent times the word gunboat had colonial connotations that are fast fading into the dark shadows of Victorian imperialism. So with re-usage all the rage it may not come as a total surprise to find a superb relic of the maritime past, an imaginative and extremely well-presented floating survival, on the ancient waterfront of the historic port of Ipswich.
Many of the original features of this fine and much travelled vessel, launched in 1899 in Belgium, are retained and so skilfully has the work been done that it is not always easy to disregard the feeling that you might emerge from the absorption of your meal, only to find yourself rocking gently off Dogger Bank or the German Bight.
Everything is immaculate and shipshape, the brasswork gleams, the woodwork reflects the subtle lights from the boat-studded harbour scene outside and the cries of the seabirds remove any possible lingering doubts of authenticity.
This seamanlike precision translates very easily it seems into the all-important area of the galley where French brasserie food, which by no means ignores fish, is prepared with consistent care, taking full advantage of the readily available local excellence evident in all three venues of this lively and well-respected East Anglian group.
The menu is as traditional as the ship's ropework and could include starters of spicy Thai haddock fish cake with sweet chili, coriander sauce and poached egg, a salad of crayfish baby tomato with pepper, boiled egg and olive oil vinaigrette or fresh crab meat layered with avocado mousse and tomato jelly.
A breath from the past is invoked by the grilled venison steak with rich cranberry and red wine sauce. To follow, perhaps the roasted fillet of sea bass with mashed potato and Hollandaise will do very well.
The sea air may well have induced an even keener appetite than usual, in which case consider yielding to the firepower of a grilled Aberdeen sirloin steak with Roquefort sauce and French fries. And talking of planks a gang-plank-walking selection of puddings offers good brasserie style such as cappuccino cheesecake with coffee coulis or the almond and honey pannacotta with red fruit jelly and white chocolate mousse. However, cheese-eaters of any nationality may find even armed resistance fails in the presence of an overwhelming force of well-kept cheeses.
An attractive selection of house wines come by the glass, carafe or bottle and the mainly French list can hardly fail to satisfy the needs of the most demanding raider. Tableware and service are in keeping with the best traditions of the wardroom mess, bringing the final touches to a voyage of nostalgic excellence. They do lunches of breathtaking value and quality and on the upper deck the wine bar offers opportunities for relaxation and light snacks.
Extremely full details on Mariners, including a pictorial tour and menus, are available on their Website.
French, Modern European
: 12:00 - 15:00 19:00 - 21:30
Reservations: 01473 289748/226789
Neptune Quay, Ipswich, IP4 1AX [Map]
£12.95 (2 courses) to £15.95 (3 courses), Tues - Sat
£22.95 (2 courses) to £26.95 (3 courses), Tues - Fri, £28.95 (3 courses), Sat
(Avg Price is the average cost per person for two courses, coffee, half a bottle of house wine and tip/service)
REVIEWS OF Mariners at Il Punto
A Nixon (31 March 2009)
This is the best place to eat in the Ipswich area. Not a place to go too many times a year, save it as a special treat. Amazing food, great service and the boat is immaculate. I'm surprised Michelin haven't visited this place, because it is that good.
John (16 September 2008)
I ate there a few months ago dining on monkfish and red mullet, well what more can I say than delightful. Most definitely one of the best places to eat in Ipswich - I actually rate the ambience and quality so highly that I will be returning tomorrow to propose to my girlfriend. I think they have such a high class of service and quality.
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More Info for Mariners at Il Punto
- Children welcome
- Air condition
- Groups allowed
- Outside seating
- Cover charge
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