FOOD REVIEW: Boulevard Café, The Strand, Goring

A little oasis is how the team at Boulevard Café describes this fantastic gem in Goring-by-Sea.

Step into its art deco styled interior and it is very much a case of feeling right at home in this stylish, yet laid back venue.

Set within the bustling parade of shops in The Strand, it enjoys trade from a regular customer base of those who are looking for something a little out of the ordinary.

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The friendly welcome and service from manager Majed Jazairi – whose family are one of several originally hailing from Syria and now settled in Worthing – pictured, was highly commendable.

So, too, is its not-inconsiderable lunch menu, which has plenty for even the choosiest diner to select from.

Being pretty much vegetarian, I sometimes find it a struggle to find a lunch that is in any way inspiring, yet the food here was genuinely first rate.

As a starter, I was offered a well-presented selection of delicately spiced tapas, which proved to be a cut well above your average offering.

The combination of humous, mushrooms, falafel, plus a side of finely-cubed potatoes, was all done to a really high standard.

In truth, I felt pretty full before the main course even arrived – which was a generously-portioned halloumi kebab with peppers, onions and additional salad garnish.

The dish was immaculately cooked by chef and owner Nasser Tawil, who clearly takes real pride in his work.

My mother, who joined me for lunch, opted for a plain omelette, which was met with equally strong approval.

There are, of course, plenty of meat options, too – including a seasoned, marinated lamb in Eastern spices, and a number of chicken dishes. Lighter options, such as several salads in several styles, and jacket potatoes, are also on the menu.

Our food was washed down with some fine Moroccan tea, served in a decorative golden pot – which proved a talking point and something that helps this place offer a dining experience with a difference.

To its credit, the venue’s prices are all comparatively reasonable. This is particularly the case with its intriguingly named sandwiches, such as the Swiss Tony cheese option, Camel Ride humous falafel wrap, and the Godfather salami sandwich (which are all just over £3 and are available as a very good value £5.95 deal, with side salad garnish, drink and mini-dessert).

The quality of the food was matched by the venue’s ambience, aided by a mix of well-judged continental and world music, making it the kind of place you would be just as happy stopping off for a morning coffee or having a family lunch.

This is definitely somewhere I’d recommend to friends, but it’s just a shame it is only open during the day. There would more than likely be a market for people whiling away an evening here.