FOOD REVIEW: Fancy Coffee, Royal Jaipur, Jidapha and Café 33

The new year is often a time for new beginnings and fresh starts – an opportunity to get rid of the old and welcome in the new.

So, to get into the spirit of the season, the reporters at the Herald and Gazette decided to break away from their old favourites and bring in the new year with a new choice of lunchtime venue.

Fancy Coffee on High Street, Worthing, may often be overlooked for its slightly-out-of-town location, but it was well worth the extra five-minute walk.

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The atmosphere inside the venue was cosy and welcoming, and the café offered a range of paninis, sandwiches, jacket potatoes and salads – accompanied by the option of a well-brewed coffee.

Our reporter Catrin Shi opted for the Mexican panini, a mouth-watering combination of spicy beef, peppers, chilli, tomato and cheese.

Although possibly too spicy for those with a more sensitive palate, the warming lunchtime choice was exactly to Catrin’s taste.

At £3.40, the Mexican panini may seem slightly dear, however, the portion size was not to be sniffed at, and offered a filling and satisfying lunchtime choice.

And what’s more, the cheese inside the panini was properly melted – there’s nothing worse than a lukewarm lump of cheese for lunch.

In addition to her lunch, our reporter also opted for an Americano coffee with milk, which was flavourful and rich – for £1.40, Starbucks couldn’t have topped it.

Multi-media content editor Sheena Campbell left her salad box behind to plump for a curry from the Royal Jaipur’s lite-bite express menu in Brighton Road, Worthing.

Customers are asked to choose a curry, two side dishes and a drink from the menu, which costs £4.95 for a takeaway.

Our reporter chose the prawn dupiaza, accompanied by an onion bhaji, pilau rice and a lemonade, and was pleasantly surprised by the generous size of the portions – offering great value for money.

In addition, the dupiaza was well-flavoured and the prawns tender, with the onion bhaji being crispy and lightly spiced, without being greasy.

The lite-bite express menu is available Monday to Saturday from 12.30pm until 2pm, and is a good option if you are looking for a filling, value-for-money meal.

Reporter Alex Therrien decided to visit Jidapha’s Thai restaurant and café, in Bath Place, Worthing, to try something exotic for lunch.

The restaurant offers a wide range of Thai food, as well as standard English café fare, but Alex decided to have the Beef Tornado, at £5.50, which combines peppers, garlic, onions, mushrooms and rice with beef.

He felt the cost of £5.50 for a meal-sized portion offered good value, and the dish had the right balance between spice and flavouring.

Not wanting to be left feeling bloated or short-changed, our reporter felt the dish was the perfect-sized portion – something few places manage to get right.

Full but not stuffed, our reporter would gladly return to Jidapha’s in the future, either for another take-away meal or to have a sit-down eating experience.

Deputy content editor Katherine Hollisey-McLean headed down Warwick Street to try out what Café 33 had to offer. In the spirit of the season, she opted for something she had never had before – a meat pizza panini.

And we’re happy to report it was a good choice, as the panini had a bit of a spicy kick and was nice and warming on what was a cold day at the office.

Not yet having started the new year healthy eating kick, it was washed down with a slice of the café’s finest lemon and blueberry cake, which can be summed up by saying it was a tasty delight.