Beachside Grill at Saunton Sands
WE HEAD TO DEVON TO TALK TO THE LAID-BACK & LOVELY BEACHSIDE GRILL AT SAUNTON SANDS
Beachside Grill is part of a larger hotel complex called Saunton Sands, it’s the type of art deco, seaside establishment Hercule Poirot would visit for some sea air and R&R to ‘stimulate the little grey cells’ with an old fashioned sense of class and charm. A well-dressed doorman greets you on the way in and as you round the door to reception, the Tardis that is Saunton Sands unfolds before your very eyes.
Saunton Sands is more resort than hotel with two swimming pools, a spa and a club for kids. The hotel has a fine dining restaurant with the formality of cruise ship dining and a less formal Lounge but they aren’t what I’m here for. I’m here for dining option number three: Beachside Grill.
The final dining experience is in a separate building from the hotel. You leave the set of Hercule Poirot, walk past a manicured lawn, through a white picket fence and down a hill towards the beach (yes, it is really as delightful as it sounds) until you arrive at the surf shack style Beachside Grill overlooking the sea. This restaurant couldn’t be more different to the formal dining experiences of the main hotel. Here, you can work up an appetite surfing the Devon waves, ditch your surfboard and re-fuel at this laid-back beachside restaurant. The relaxed, uplifting sounds of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and George Ezra drift into the air whilst the décor is comprised of colours and textures that mimic the surrounding beachside in beautiful speckled ceramics, driftwood and the odd nautical touch. There’s something calming about being surrounded by people that seem content with life and when you look out over the view of the sea with a glass of wine in hand, you realise why. This is what the staff at Beachside Grill emanate. They’re a Hell of a lot of fun, generous in humour as well as extremely kind… and boy do they know about food!
Grilled lobster, lip smacking sirloin steak, marbled and juicy ribeye, seabass, halloumi, chargrilled veg, grilled seabass and grilled jumbo shrimp warm your cockles after a day on the waves. It’s surf and turf heaven.
“SYNERGY AND THE BEACHSIDE GRILL WORK HAND IN HAND FOR THE STYLE OF SERVICE WE’RE DOING AND THE FAST TURNOVER OF CUSTOMERS WE HAVE HERE IT’S LIKE IT’S MADE FOR US.”
- Dez Turland
BEST OF ALL, THEIR MEAT AND FISH IS LIGHTLY SMOKED IN THEIR HOME MADE SMOKER & THEN CHARGRILLED ON A SYNERGY GRILL – AN APPROACH TO GRILLING THAT NO OTHER RESTAURANT IN THE OFFERS.
I caught up with Dez Turland, Development Chef Saunton Sands and Jake Bawn, Head Chef Beachside Grill to find out the ethos behind the restaurant as well as find out what they think of their Synergy Grill.
Why choose Synergy over other grills on the market?
Jake - Size really. With the volume of customers we gethere, it can be quite busy. We need a grill that can cope with the pressure of it and our Synergy Grill is perfect.
Has anyone noticed you’ve switched grills?
Dez - Everyone knows we’ve got one down here now. We based our entire place around the Synergy Grill.
Is it reliable?
Jake – It’s the most reliable bit of kit I’ve ever had.
Dez – Here it can be quiet one minute and the nextminute we’ve got 100 covers in so we need somethingthat’s reliable, easy to maintain and easy to clean at theend of a busy day.
What are your plus points about your Synergy Grill?
Jake – We’ve got an SG1300 which has three burners. We like that the burners turn on independently. In themorning we usually turn one or two on and then stickthe third one on when it gets busy. It only takes about15 minutes to heat up.
Dez – It’s really easy because when you get busy there’sno waiting to light charcoal. We did look at variousoptions when we were choosing a grill. The idea ofthe Beachside Grill was a grill restaurant with a newidentity. We looked at different types of grills. Synergy came out top. It ticked all the boxes for everything we want which is quick, instant heat, great flavours,easy maintenance, easy service and a good price which always pleases the bosses. It’s not as expensive as other grills. One we did look at was double the price and it wasn’t practical to put it in. Synergy ticked every single box for us.
Has it helped business?
Dez - Our Synergy Grill provides a faster cooking time. The quicker you cook something, the higher theturnover of customers, the more you can do which keeps the bosses happy. If you’ve got a grill that takes an hour to get hot and once it’s hot it takes longer to cook something on and then all of a sudden there’s a queue of people all wanting steak, you’re introuble. The quicker you can get those steaks cookedand get the tables turned over the more profit we make. Plus high heat and great gas consumption means our bills are lower.
Jake - It’s not like we do two services for a few hours at each time, the grill is on from 7am until 9pm which was again, not mentioning the brand we looked at but with them you had to put in the charcoal, light it up and they would only burn for 3-4 hours and you have to keep topping it up, turning it over. It wouldn’t have really been practical and I think it churned out 450 degrees of heat which would’ve made our kitchen insanely hot.
Dez - We looked for something that was appropriate for what we were doing and Synergy was the best on the market. Synergy and the Beachside Grill work hand in hand. For the style of service we’re doing and the fast turnover of customers we have here it’s like it’s made for us. We could carry on looking for a grill for 5-10 years and I don’t think we’d find a product that suits us better.
AT THE END OF THE DAY, WE’VE GOT CUSTOMERS THAT COME BACK AND BACK AND BACK. WHAT COULD BE BETTER?
As Hercule Poirot would say, ‘Bon!’.