The Ship & Castle: Popular amongst the locals
Located opposite one of the largest and most famous naval dockyards in the world, this is a very nice pub for informal dining and lunches. The food is very good, there's plenty of it and it's reasonably priced. What's good about this place is that it isn't your average chain pub where you get a dry half of roast chicken with all the trimmings that taste like there were straight out of freezer and then through the microwave owen.
Two down sides of this place are that the stop serving food at 7.30 pm which is still quite early and it gets a bit loud in the evenings.
The pub was rebuilt behind retained facade, incorporating late 18th and early 19th Century buildings. In the centre of the pub is a pool table. The interior of the pub resembles the decks of a ship from the golden age of sail and there are lots of wooden partitions and pillars, which are a bit like masts. The walls are covered with maritime paintings that depict tall, naval shipping and several framed collections of clay pipes and knots. You can see the black lines of Britain’s first iron-hulled, armoured warship, the HMS Warrior, from the front windows - just opposite the pub.
Favorite Dish: Beef chilli
Full English breakfast
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Vatika: Haute cuisine with an Indian twist
Unfortunately Vatika has closed down indefinitely
Vatika is a restaurant owned by the Michelin-starred chef Atul Kochhar. It is pure haute cuisine with an Indian twist. There certainly are no curries on the menu. The short menu features dishes named after their two main ingredients such as 'chicken_corn' and spinach_lamb – many of which are locally sourced and delicately spiced and immaculately presented.
The restaurant is set in a plain yet extremely stylish outbuilding decorated entirely in sort colours such as cream and grey. There are three chandeliers which resemble wagon wheels and stacks of bottles from the vineyard. The windows are overlooking the vineyard.
To start with we were served freshly made bread rolls with four different tiny phials of spiced salts - almost like test tubes. There were several surprise courses such as pre-starters and something in between too. Service is meticulous, water is poured into classes gratis and they never go empty.
Vatika is a Sanskrit/Hindi language word for 'vineyard' or 'orchard'
Britannia: Lovely fish n' chips
Just down the road from Portesmouth Harbour near Victory Newsagents is the Britannia Fishbar. At the back is a cafe and waitresse's will come round and take yourt order. Entering the resturant is a small step, so it's not a wheelchair/buggy friendly doorway. Most of the meals are served with chips, cod and chips are £6 while steak pie and chips are £4.50.
Favorite Dish: Cod and chips.
Gunwharf Quays: Santa Fe: Eat New Mexico
Santa Fe specialises in southwest American cuisine, 'a fusion between New Mexico, Native American, colonial Spanish and pioneer settler'. This sleek and stylish eatery is spread generously over two floors so there is plenty of space to dine inside or al fresco. Occupying two levels, with the main bar on the ground terrace and the restaurant on the upper terrace, Santa Fe caters for a broad spectrum of customers. There is a lunch and dinner menu with meals such as cornmeal coated salmon and rack of lamb with green chilli mash. Wraps and quesadillas are served at lunchtime. The menu features a glossary of terms used and vegetarian and healthy eating options.
Roast bar & restaurant: Cantonese Roast food and drinks
It is quite interesting that the bar serves Chinese food!! But for me, a Hong Kong people, I found that the food is quite authentic. As I know, the owner and chefs are from Hong Kong as well.
Here is a very "Hong Kong style" promotion - meal set with rice/noodle and drink at the lower price.
1130-late, 7 days a week
Take away available
Favorite Dish: Triple Roast (Duck, Chicken, Honey Pork) (7 pounds)
Vegatable Pancake Rolls (4 pounds)
Deep Fried Chicken Wings (5.5 pounds)
Kung Po Chicken (5.5 pounds)
La Tasca: Delicious and not too expensive
It's a Spanish restaurant. The staff are friendly and down to earth. The decor is enthusiastically over the top olde worlde Spain and the food is delicious. It's good value for money. It's usually packed however but when it's sunny there's a balcony where you can watch the boats and ships sail by.
Sapori: If you like Italian, don't eat here
It's not often that we get to spend time with family having a nice Italian meal and we didn't get the chance at this restaurant in Lee-on-the-Solent either.
Our table was conveniently placed right next to the front door so each time someone came in or out we had a blast of cold air to keep us awake. We needed this frequent icy jolt because the waiting times for service resulted in one, or all of us, slipping into a coma.
Once the food arrived, I immediately vowed to return to Italy (where I have spent some lovely holidays) and inform the local eateries that they have not been cooking their own cuisine correctly. Sapori claim authentic Italian cooking and so I can't wait to tell our European friends that the real way to serve ragu alla spaghetti is lukewarm, overcooked, watery and with all semblance of taste removed.
Favorite Dish: The napkins, which were warmer, and tastier, than the food on the menu.
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Las Iguanas: Ugh
Never let a 14 year old select the restaurant for 5 adults is the lesson learned from our unfortunate visit to Las Iguanas. Putting it bluntly, it was terrible.
Freshly prepared, authentic Latin American food was their claim. The 14 year old ended up wanting the burger and chips, whilst the adults struggled through rather poor fajitas, burritos etc – the goat curry was sent back when it turned out to have 2 pieces of goat about the size of dice. Totally underwhelmed and unimpressed with the whole experience.
Sad, considering we had so many other options at Gunwharf Quays.
Favorite Dish: Nothing
Restaurant 27: Global French
Restaurant 27 opened in November 2009. It is owned by Kevin Bingham who has worked as a chef at various Michelin Star restaurants. The restaurant sources its ingredients locally such as the sea bass.
The cooking can be characterised as 'Global French' with a blend of classic French cuisine with the modern flavours. The menu changes every six weeks as the staff aim to make it ever better and better. We had the summer menu and the restaurant manager told us that there would be a new one probably by October.
The restaurant is smallish, there is seating up to 30 people. There is a huge flower arrangement in the middle of the dining room with some impressive and beautiful flowers in it. The furniture is classic, brown and there are many modern works of art (photos, a canvas with squares on it as well as several sketches of waiters at work at the one end of the room. The windows are covered with white blinds and small red curtains.
To start with we were served two rounds of pre-starters consisting of Bloody Mary cubes (almost like marmalade, but both sweet and salty at the same time), haddock on crisp bread and tar tar on a bit of cherry tomato. All very delicious. After that we received a pizza shot consisting of tomato soup & cheese. Very clever. And after the pre-starters, there were one freshly made bread roll and a slice of bread each with seaweed butter. I didn't enjoy the seaweed butter that much, but the bread was lovely.
I ordered seared tuna with brown shrimp and potato & caviar tartar for a starter, which was great. I also enjoyed my sea bass with scallops, but I was not too keen on the ragout ravioli it was served with.
Before the dessert, there was one more additional course which consisted of pineapple, red chili and whipped cream like cheese, which was also lovely. The dessert was lovely, but extremely rich. I had chocolate marquise and chocolate ice cream with slightly minty taste. It was lovely, but the portion was a slightly too big compared to for example the crème brúlée my fellow diners had.
Three course menu £37.00
Dinner start times are between 7pm to 9.30pm from Wednesday to Saturday
Sunday Lunch start times from Midday to 2.30pm
Montparnasse: Lovely French cuisine
Montparnasse offers gorgeous French food made to perfection. The restaurant is fairly small and intimate, perfect for candle light dinners. My partner's colleague recommended getting a table from down stairs and he was definitely right. It was much nicer than the small landing they have at the end of the dining room.
I thought the service was very friendly and efficient. The staff were able to make recommendations and always introduced all the dishes before we started eating them. There was a surprise pre-starter and petit fours also with coffee. We were absolutely stuffed by the end of the dinner, but it was all absolutely lovely.
There is no conventional a la carte menu with separate mains and starters, but you choose either two or three courses from a set menu. In 2010 the two course menu cost £29.50 and three courses £34.50. A few quid supplements apply for certain dishes such as scallops and steak.
Open Tuesday to Saturday for Lunches and Dinners
Favorite Dish: Seafood and meat dishes in this restaurant were one of the loveliest I have ever had in the UK. I had scallop and chorizo starter which was really lovely, the lamb for main course was also gorgeous although maybe a bit small. Desserts were perfect too. Overall a very enjoyable experience.
They also have a pretty extensive wine list with lots of great wines from all over the world.
Classic & modern French dishes at affordable price: Brasserie Blanc
Brasserie Blanc was opened in the spring 2009 in Portsmouth. It is housed at the base of a tall skyscaper modestly named No 1 Gunwharf. The building itself is apparently called 'The Lipstick' by the locals due to its shape. There is also a large terrace for dining 'au frais'.
Brasserie Blanc is owned by Raymond Blanc, a French chef who moved to the UK in the 70s. According to him, Brasserie Blanc offers 'French classic and modern dishes made with fresh, seasonal ingredients at affordable prices'.
He says on the brasserie website that his restaurant 'is not a place for refined haute cuisine and three course meals. Rather, Brasserie Blanc is a place for relaxed enjoyment where I can offer you simple, high quality food that comes as close as possible to the meals that my mother prepared for me at home in Besançon'. So it is not the haute cuisine, but hearty, delicious French food.
He has written various cook books and hosted TV programs on national television. In his book, 'A taste of my life' published in 2008, he tells the story of his childhood in rural France, his early experiences in England and his search for culinary perfection. In 2007 Raymond Blanc was awarded an order of chivalry called The Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) by Her Majesty the Queen in recognition of his services in promoting culinary excellence and for raising awareness of the importance of healthy food as a central element of family life. In July 2009, Raymond was given a Lifetime Achievement Award at The 2009 Catey Awards which have been dubbed as the Catering industry's 'Oscars'.
Favorite Dish: Every now and then the run 'Dine with wine' lunch offer for £11.90 (for two courses) and £14.35 (for three courses) which also includes a glass of wine. Very good value and great food.
In August I had lovely Maroccan inspired main course with lamb and couscous and crepe with peas and mint for a starter. I thought they were both absolutely lovely.
One of my favourites in town: Strada
Strada is definitely one of my favourite restaurants in Portsmouth. They serve gorgeous Italian dishes including pastas, risottos, pizzas and other Italian style dishes. They have different menus for different seasons.
This restaurant is perfect for taking a break from shopping or visiting the many attractions the harbour has to offer. There's plenty of outside seating and a bar area for pre-dinner drinks
Favorite Dish: I love Strada's risottos. My favourite is not on their regular menu, but it is sometimes on the specials menu: the lobster and king prawn risotto. It's a bit more expensive than the other risottos, but it is absolutely gorgeous.
Rosies Winebar / Bistro: Rosies Winebar
I really enjoyed my evening at Rosies winebar, perhaps arriving a tiny bit later at 8pm would have been better although when we arrived on the friday lots of dinner places didn't serve food too late. As it was only me drinking wine I decided to try a chilean sauvignon blanc with our tapa starters or marinated olives, peppers, cheese, cured meats and a selection of breads. Then a malbec to complement my beef wellington whilst Fernando enjoyed beer with everything his main was chargrilled duck breast.
On friday evenings from 8.30 - 1am they do jazz and on sunday afternoons from 1pm - 4pm. The atmosphere is lovely we sat on the balcony overlooking the bar which has an antrium section adding natural lighting. Outside is a terraced area which is also quite pretty.
"Water Margin": "Chinese Buffet"
All you can eat Oriental restaurant serving a buffet of at least 60 dishes for dinner or 30 for lunch, chosen daily from a selection of around 150.
This is very good value for money eat as much as you want.
The range was outstanding, and everything was topped up regularly. There was even a selection of uncooked meat and seafood which you could take to be cooked as you waited.
Drinks tend to be on the expensive side.
The staff are always polite and they are very prompt at removing unused plates and cutlery.
Favorite Dish: Very hard to pin point any one thing there are so many things on show and if you don't like what there you can always pick some ingredients to make your own stir-fry.
- Family Travel
Feed (under the railway arch): Big Breakfast
If your going to Gunwharf to the spinnaker tower and your feeling hungry, there is a small secluded cafe nearby, this used to be Sheree's cafe it has now had a major revamp and has gone more up market,for the better I may add.well worth a visit at Reasonable prices
Favorite Dish: The mega breakfast? if your hungry this is the one for you,.
Great value and good food.
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