Boasting a plum location right on the promenade and close to the pier, Urban Reef is a trendy mix of informal café, deli, bar and restaurant spread across two floors.
The location is not only enviable because of its accessibility though, as Urban Reef also comes with the added benefit of grandstand views over Poole Bay and the artificial surf reef. This is quite the place for watching the world go by, featuring a deck out front which overlooks the water and is perfect for a spot of alfresco dining when the weather is playing ball.
Inside, you will find a laid-back, rustic-chic eatery on the ground floor, and a showstopper of an upstairs dining room – a Conran-esque concoction of modern-retro furniture silhouetted against a plumb-level horizon through huge windows.
What’s best about Urban Reef though is its lack of pretentiousness. The cooking here does not try to be clever and instead relies on a please-all repertoire that is built around crowd-pleasers with a sunny nod to the Med. If you are visiting for dinner, tuck into the likes of fish in a beer and turmeric batter served alongside helpings of chips and mushy peas, or a filling fish pie. Desserts meanwhile see banana tart topped with caramel and cardamom cream, while those of a savoury disposition can choose the Dorset cheeseboard, served with appropriate crackers and condiments.
Urban Reef is open all day however, and also does a good line in breakfast fare. Stop by from 9am to start your day with a vegan fry up, or fluffy pancakes crowned with maple syrup and crispy bacon. Come lunchtime, you can expect to try filled sandwiches that are served alongside mixed leaves and Tyrell’s crisps, while Urban Reef’s drinks list encompasses a range of international wines, alongside 2-for-1 house cocktails.