Chips at the Dolphin

I’ve been going to the Dolphin fish and chip restaurant for around 30 years. When I sold chickens to farmers in Lincolnshire I would make a detour two or three times a year to walk round Sutton and then have lunch at the Dolphin.

We have been most years, either with the kids or just as a couple. It was always OK rather than outstanding, but has always been a pleasant place to eat. Over the years various owners have made improvements, though this has been accompanied by the occasional lapse, and in the last few years, they seem to have been selling off household goods to raise cash. It did start to look a bit like a jumble sale, but when we visited on Wednesday it was a lot tidier.

It has also grown an assortment of notices prohibiting various sorts of behaviour. I can’t give examples as I didn’t really read them. I prefer my food without too many petty rules.

Haddock Special at the Dolphin Fish Bar, Sutton on Sea

Haddock Special at the Dolphin Fish Bar, Sutton on Sea

The Haddock Special was £9.95, not £8.95 as stated in various reviews, and tea is not included in that. The chip portion was sufficient, though not generous, and the peas were also served in a smaller pot than we remember. That wasn’t the worst thing though, they were a bit tasteless too. All in all, not the best “special” we’ve had.

You can’t order at the table now either. It’s not a big thing, but it is a sign of the erosion of standards of service.

Finally, on that subject, when someone asked for tapwater they were told it was 50p a glass. Now, the law states that only places selling alcohol have to provide tapwater free of charge, and they are, it seems, allowed to charge for service and use of the glass. As the Dolphin doesn’t serve alcohol they don’t need to offer free tapwater, but on the other hand, it’s another nail in the coffin of customer service.

However, if you have a dog with you, you are welcome to bring the germ-ridden fleabag into the eating area, where I have no doubt it will be provided with free water, and if that’s not enough you can even buy frozen lactose-free yoghurt for your dog.

Frozen yoghurt for dogs - what next?

Frozen yoghurt for dogs – what next?

The staff were quick, efficient and reasonably cheerful, though they were arguably too efficient in clearing tables. I finished before Julia, as I come from a family of predatory snackers and speed is the best defence against food theft. The way they whipped my plate from the table was undeniably efficient, but felt like they were trying to get rid of me as soon as possible.

So that’s the report – declining portion size and a couple of queries over peas and service. It’s clean and efficient, and the food is generally good, but not so good we can’t find somewhere else equally as good. We will probably do that next time.


Wall tiles – Sutton on Sea

17 thoughts on “Chips at the Dolphin

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  3. beatingthebounds

    My Mum and Dad favour Steel’s in Cleethorpes. Long while since I’ve been there so can’t honestly recommend it.

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  5. Clem

    I finished before Julia, as I come from a family of predatory snackers and speed is the best defence against food theft.

    I too descend from a lineage with this habit. Though as the first born in my natal grouping I must confess a certain responsibility for carrying on the tradition with such professionalism. I can only hope my younger sibs will miss your clever posting – else I may somedat find a Christmas present of a T-shirt emblazoned: Predatory Snacker.

  6. Laurie Graves

    Wow! Charging for tap water. That seems a bit much. As for dog germs…I don’t recall ever getting sick because of a dog. However, I have caught many nasty bugs from people. 😉

      1. Laurie Graves

        So true! Their systems are hardier than ours are. Same for cats, who are constantly grooming themselves.

    1. quercuscommunity

      Yes, that seems a good idea, though I feel that if you and Jackie find yourselves in Sutton on Sea the quality of the chips will be an insignificant problem next to the quality of the navigation. 🙂

  7. myfoodhunt

    Excellent post Simon! I am pretty sure we always eat at Tonys when we want Fish and Chips at Sutton on Sea. I enjoyed your brusque appraisal of the place but evenire that you still scoffed the lot 👍

    1. quercuscommunity

      The chips were OK (and somewhat sparse) and the fish was good so it wasn’t too much of a sacrifice. As for the peas, the portion was so small I’d finished them before forming an opinion. 🙂

      I will act on your advice next time we go.


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