FOOD REVIEW: La Galleria, East Street, Shoreham

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Delicious food and sterling service were the hallmarks of our evening at La Galleria.

The Italian restaurant, In East Street, Shoreham, was quiet when we arrived, at about 5.30pm on Saturday, and we found ourselves among the only diners. The beautifully decorated dining room soon filled up, though, and as it did, staff lost none of their friendly attentiveness.

To start, we ordered the bianchetti fritti (deep-fried white bait and tartar sauce, at £4.95) and calamari fritti (deep-fried squid and tartar sauce, £4.95), and shared both.

The former was delicate and tasty, the latter light and succulent, the batter crispy but not overly so.

Moving on to mains, I chose the pork belly with roasted vegetables (£13.95) from the specials board, and the husband went for penne filett (pasta with chopped fillet steak, onions, white wine, cream, chillies and a dash of demi-glace sauce, £12.95).

The pork was nothing less than amazingly good. It was perfectly cooked, the meat moist and tasty, and though I had to give half of it away, this was a reflection on the gigantic portion, rather than anything else.

The penne filett was swimming in a delicious sauce, with just the right amount of chillie to give it a kick, without taking over the dish, and the pieces of steak were tender. The food disappeared rather quickly, leaving only an empty plate and a contented diner.

Staff at the family-run business really made customers feel like valued guests, welcoming us all in with smile, and making everyone, families, large groups, and couples like ourselves, feel part of the La Galleria brood. We will be back.