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“Expertly cooked food, good service”
Review of Boathouse - CLOSED

Boathouse
Price range: $65 - $65
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Business meetings, Local cuisine, Romantic
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Breakfast, Lunch, Delivery, Reservations
Description: There are few more attractive places to eat in Cambridgeshire than looking down the river Ouse as you enjoy a meal of fine British cuisine supplied with the Boathouse’s unique European twist. The inners of the restaurant calmly reflect the tranquillity of the riverside setting, but whilst you relax you can also peek at the chefs hard at work in the open plan kitchen, perhaps cooking up the locally caught eel which often features on the Boathouse’s a la carte and light lunch menus. Service is friendly and efficient, the wine list is extensive, and the Boathouse is delighted to host occasions ranging from a quiet lunch on the riverbank to a cheery evening feast.
Reviewed April 19, 2013

I've eaten here a couple of times, and very much enjoyed my meal. The portion sizes are reasonable, and there is a proper chef in the kitchen, making some great food. The pork scratchings are really worth trying, and I enjoyed my steak and kidney pudding too. Why anyone would go to a soulless yet pricey chain restaurant in the town when, for almost the same price they could get such excellent cooking here, remains a mystery.

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Thank Flying_and_Eating
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviews (171)
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52 - 56 of 171 reviews

Reviewed April 14, 2013

This was the second time we have been to the Boathouse, but this time as a four. Our friends had already arrived and ordered the pork crackling and apple cause, which is a must if you like crackling! Before we ordered, Jennifer brought a board of the meats on offer on the night, persuading two of us to opt for the Butler Steak, which was excellent. But the other five choices looked as good. The accompanying vegetables were tasty too. Our waitress, Claire was always on hand to assist and we were also joined later by Storm. So we had the service of three members of staff....all friendly and helpful. Because we added to the cost with wine, it wasn't the cheapest night out, but the steaks, at £20, we worth the price, though you do have to add the cosy of the side orders. The Cock in Hemingford is closer for us, but the Boathouse is well worth the drive, and superbly located on the river. Recommended :-)

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Thank SteGreenall
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 7, 2013 via mobile

We visited on New Years Eve expecting another great meal in a fun local restaurant. Food was v.disappointing and uninspiring. My husband had the duck parcel to start. Which has been on the menu for at least the last 7 years we have been visiting the Boathouse! Come on guys there must be other starters you could introduce. The menu is too safe and predictable and i'm sorry i cant get excited about sausage and mash for an evening out. They need to have more specials and promote the Steak evenings. The website is poor and difficult to navigate. Come on guys we want to support local Ely businesses, but you need to up your game or we'll all be lured to the chains of Prezzo and Wild Woods.

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Thank Louise K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oliver T, Owner at Boathouse, responded to this reviewResponded April 9, 2013

This review is three months old and we have done a major review of the food there since. We couldn't however take the Duck Parcel off......far too popular. I think the food was in need of an overhaul and it has had one. It seems to be going down very well and so I hope you will be tempted to continue to support your local restuarant rather than the chains! Thanks for the comments....

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Reviewed April 7, 2013

The Boathouse is owned by the people who have the Cambridge Chop House - a restaurant we always enjoy and after deciding on a stroll along the river at Ely instead of Cambridge, eating at the Boathouse seemed the perfect choice. We were not disappointed. Arriving at 12:30 we were disconcerted that, from the outside it seemed there were very few customers but on going in, being made comfortable at our table and taking in the surroundings it became apparent that there were several tables already occupied with families tackling delicious looking bread and hors d'ouevres. Charming and attentive waitresses handed over menus, advised us of the chalk board fish specials and of the Sunday meat specials and got drinks organised. We decided to forego starters in favour of a selection of amuse bouche. The fish knobs just had to be ordered and turned out to be lightly cooked white fish in the lightest ever batter with tangy tartare sauce. The lemon mayo with shell on prawns was fresh and lemony, the haggis fritters were full of flavour and the pork crackling crispy and lovely. The idea of the fish mains is that you choose from the 3 fishes on the list and select one of the offered sauces and sides. I had the gurnard with a green herb sauce but was undecided as to the right side. I went with the salad in the end and on reflection, should have had the crushed potatoes but that was down to me, not the kitchen. Main courses were beautifully presented and very tasty.
By virtue of having had salad with my main, I would have like to have had some cheese to follow but the waitress confirmed the cheese was in the fridge so we decided to go for a pudding - a chocolate brownie tart affair. If I was being super critical, the pastry was overcooked and slightly burnt on one edge but the brownie was excellent. I'd like to comment on my husbands pudding choice - the fruit crumble, but he fought off my attempt to sneak a taste saying that it was too good to share!
The menu is different to the other restaurants in the group, it is less formal and has a sense of fun about it. The decor is light and airy and makes the room feel informal.
By 1:30 the place had filled up which is surely a testament to its popularity. We will certainly recommend the Boathouse to friends and we hope to return many times (and will be ordering the cheese course at the start of our meal!!)

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Thank suemissb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 6, 2013

We travelled an hour & a half from our home to Ely for a day out. I had a quick look online the night before at restaurant reviews, as we were taking my 80 year old mother-in-law with us & wanted somewhere nice to eat. The reviews for the Boathouese were excellent - & we were not disappointed. I'd seen a picture of crackling with apple sauce as a starter - so had decided on that before we got there! We had the 4 for £10 morsels starters - we had 2 of the crackling, haggis with beetroot & whisky mayonnaise & fish knobs with dill Mayo - all scrumptious! We all had fish specials of the day for mains - I had gurnard with White wine & herb sauce, my husband had Lemon sole with salsa verde & my Mum-in-law had mackerel with dill hollandaise. All 3 were cooked to perfection & delicious. We shared 2 desserts of creme brûlée & sticky toffee pudding with butterscotch sauce & vanilla ice cream, all washed down with a superb White wine 'Odyssee', recommended by our waiter. Coffee finished an excellent meal. The only problem was we had such a leisurely lunch (nothing to do with slow service, it wasn't, the service was spot on) and we were enjoying the whole experience so much, that we ran out of time to go & visit the Catherdral as planned!! Oh well, we'll have to go to the Boathouse again - & leave more time for our visit!! Enjoy!

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Thank JCT68
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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