Belated Review of Rick Stein Winchester

Well, it’s been so long since my first visit to Rick Stein’s new restaurant in Winchester that I’ve actually been back a second time to enjoy it. In case there’s any of you still wondering about whether or not to book a table I’m finally getting around blogging about my recent visits.

Myself and the OH are big fish and seafood fans so, it’s fair to say we were excited about this new restaurant. My first thoughts were how different it looked from Jamie Oliver’s Union Jack’s that had previously occupied the site and even more radically different from the days when it was a Pizza Hut! It is hard to believe it’s the same space, it’s such a cool, calm and welcoming layout. There is comfy seating by the doors if you need to wait for a table, or if like me you like to sit and have a drink before your meal. I found this a lovely area to sit and sip a bellini, they had other classic cocktails on the list too (which I’m sure I’ll try on my next visit!).

The menu is simple but exciting I found, I could have easily enjoyed anything from it but on my first visit a settled on a classic fish soup served with rouille and parmesan. I just love these kinds of fish soups that you get on a Mediterranean holiday and this one didn’t disappoint. There’s something very satisfying about customising your soup by adding lots of cheese and garlicky rouille! A word of warning, it was very filling by the time I’d had bread too. I could have easily eaten it as a main course!

Crisp Garlic Bread Croutons, Rouille and Parmesan

Crisp Garlic Bread Croutons, Rouille and Parmesan

IMAG1110

Delicious rich fish and shellfish soup

I opted for the filled of hake for my main served with spring onion mash and soy butter sauce. It certainly was a sizeable fillet of fish (or maybe it just seemed that way after polishing off my soup and extra bread!), everything on the plate was light and delicately flavoured. It was just delicious and a clean plate was left behind.

Fillet of Hake with spring onion mash and soy butter sauce

Fillet of Hake with spring onion mash and soy butter sauce

I thoroughly enjoyed the meal, as did my dining companion, I was incredibly full though (my own greedy fault!). So I remembered this on my next visit and opted for a lighter prawn and crab cocktail to start with, which was lovely, although I did look longingly at other diners enjoying the soup!

On my second visit they had a special main course of a Lobster Thermidor, which I couldn’t resist (it’s lobster and there’s cheese after all!!). This was a good size and not too huge – just right for me.

The special - Lobster Thermidor

The special – Lobster Thermidor

My dining companion on the other hand did not go for something so small…

Fruits de Mer

Fruits de Mer

A rather large seafood platter, featuring a huge crab! It was thoroughly enjoyed and I did help out a little of course – so yes the whole thing was demolished.

I must also mention the sides, they were so good and probably partly why I filled up so much on my first visit! In particular the roast pumpkin with chilli oil was just gorgeous – I could eat a whole plate of it.

So there you have it, my experience at Rick Stein Winchester. After visiting a few times, you can’t accuse me of not being thorough with my reviews! I really enjoyed the food, the wine, cocktails and the atmosphere so would recommend it to anyone who likes fish and seafood. There are couple of non-fishy and veggie courses for those you who don’t do fish but really the fish is the main attraction here.

Have you been? Let me know what you thought if so.

xXx

Advertisements

Another Top Hidden Gem…The Plough, Sparsholt

Well The Plough at Sparsholt is hidden in the literal sense of the word, in that it’s a bit off the beaten track out of Winchester, but thanks to its consistently good fare everyone seems to know about it. It’s one of those places that always delivers excellent, hearty food. It’s a real gem of a country pub, serving Wadworth ales and lots classic tasty dishes. There’s a cracking selection of more adventurous dishes too, such as the fabulous pan fried fillet of hake with king prawns and creamy leeks that I enjoyed last night (…the start of a diet breaking evening!).

image

The Plough on sunny day

What I really love about The Plough is the dessert menu…I’m actually not much of a sweet-toothed person but this place has all my favourites on one chalk board. There’s gorgeous New Forest ice creams – perfect for when you can’t manage a proper pudding! And I love their selection of classic desserts like bread & butter pudding, creme brulé, sticky toffee pudding…and this…

image

Treacle Tart with Clotted Cream

 

The Plough’s treacle tart with clotted cream is to die for! It’s simply gooey, gluttonous heaven on a plate…so good!

Have I tempted you to take a taxi out to Sparsholt yet? …do it! The Plough always delivers!

Great night…diet totally ruined…back on track on Monday xXx

Pescatarian Week One

Well, so far so good…mostly anyway. I haven’t caved and eaten any meat other than fish, but there’s been a few times where I almost slipped up. Nearly ordered a croque monsier in a cafe yesterday!

Easy to forget they contain ham...

Fortunately there’s been some fabulous fish dishes this week to keep me on track (none of which were made by my own hands I’m ashamed to say). Save for one attempt at Oeufs en Cocotte (of course I’ve been watching Little Paris Kitchen!), this week flew by with two meals out and cous cous or soup providing the rest of my meal time sustenance.

Great meal at The White Horse in Otterbourne this week

Wednesday evening saw me dining at the newly refurbished White Horse in Otterbourne, my second visit since it’s recent change of hands. It did not disappoint – the choice of fishy dishes made pescatarianism a delight. I was tempted by a crab and chilli risotto, but in the end settled on a fish cake to start which was absolutely beautiful and well complemented by parsnip flavours. I followed this with a really good hake chowder and perfect poached egg on top – all in all absolutely delightful!

Must remember to take the photos before I start demolishing the food...

I was lucky enough to be taken out to dinner again this weekend to my favourite local haunt the Bugle Inn Twyford, where I enjoyed a lovely dressed crab with a new potato and pea salad, accompanied by crusty bread – a classic that you just can’t beat in my book!

Lovely bit of crab

So it’s been a busy but food-filled week…today’s guilty indulgence was a vat of salted popcorn (my favourite!) at the cinema with a good friend, perfect way to finish the week.

That’s all for now – I promise each week won’t be solely focused on pescatarian diet updates!