FROM the outside Gino’s doesn’t look like much.

It is handily placed around the corner from the railway station but from the street it looks a little like somewhere Del Boy would go into in Peckham in Only Fools and Horses.

And when you walk through the front door you find yourself in a slightly strange long corridor which made me wonder if I’d gone in the right way.

But then you find yourself in a delightfully bright restaurant.

At the end of that corridor there is a lovely bar area that provides a relaxed spot for an aperitif or digestif. It’s always good to see Peroni on tap too.

I was not expecting the place to be so big.

There’s a large dining area on the ground floor and we were led down a flight of stairs with snazzy floor lights, a bit like a nightclub.

The downstairs dining room is bright and airy though it only has frosted windows so no view to the outside.

The whole place is sparklingly clean.

I really enjoyed my fried king prawns with chilli and garlic.

It would have been better if they had already been de-shelled as it was a bit messy.

I asked for some bread to mop up the tangy white wine sauce and got four chunky pieces of crusty bread.

But I saw on the bill that I was charged £1.20 for the pleasure.

Why are we so tight when it comes to bread in this country? Elsewhere, particularly in France, you get as much bread as you like at no extra cost.

As the Gourmand often goes there to enjoy its gastronomic delights it always galling to have to pay back in Blighty.

In Gino’s Italy I’m sure the bread is free too, though it’s been a while since I was there.

The garlic mushrooms were a tasty winner with my companion. The garlic bread was good too, with chunky slabs of bread.

They have a good choice of steak and fish at Gino’s but as an Italian it obviously has a strong selection of pasta and pizza dishes.

The pizzas do have names like The Godfather and the choice looks a little bit safe. It did not appear like the menu would have changed very often either.

But if that’s true there’s probably good reason for that – they seem to have found a winning formula at Dino’s. We were there on a Wednesday evening and it was packed.

The charming and helpful staff said it was not always that busy on a weekday and they had been surprised a little that night.

But Gino’s is obviously booming and they deserve the success.

My silky pasta parcels full of cheese and with a cheesy sauce were really smooth and tasty. Simply done but very well cooked.

My companion’s salmon in an olive oil and balsamic dressing was perfectly cooked too and the sauce really worked. A good balsamic with salmon really making a nice combination.

For dessert I always like to test the creme brulee as that is an easy dish to mess up – too often I’ve been brought out a dish that has been sitting too long on the side.

But this had obviously been given its

golden crispy topping that very minute and the warm surface and cream below was a delight.

The salted caramel cheesecake was devoured quickly too.

On the way out, in the warm dusk with night falling, Gino’s suddenly looked so much more appealing from the outside.

  • The Gourmand pays for all his meals.

Gino’s, Claremont Road, Seaford

Food: ★★★ (out of Five)

Service: ★★★★

Atmosphere: ★★★★


Garlic bread: £2.95

Garlic mushrooms: £5.45

Gamberoni piccante: £7.50

Salmone balsamic: £12.75

Capelletti formaggi: £8.25

Creme brulee: £4.95

Salted caramel cheesecake: £4.95

Peroni pint: £4.10

Glass house red wine: £3.75