November 12, 2014

Rick Stein Winchester

It is a rare occasion now that we all manage to be in the same place at the same time - one of the challenges of being part of an almost grown-up family. But this weekend was Mum's Birthday so we all jumped in the car (a lot squishier now, than when we were younger) to celebrate with dinner at the new Rick Stein restaurant in Winchester.

Cocktails at Rick Stein Winchester

This is Rick Stein's first venture outside of Cornwall, those who have enjoyed the odd escape to the West Country (we nipped out west a few weeks ago for my cousins wedding to Watergate Bay) would know that Padstow may as well be renamed Padstein.

Rick Stein Winchester

Winchester will be home to Rick Stein's cosy fish emporium for the foreseeable future and they have even nabbed themselves a position in the town centre, just down Winchester high street and they only opened on Friday 31st October to the public, so we were excited to see it for ourselves.

To get the party started, we got stuck in with a round of birthday drinks.

Cocktails at Rick Stein Winchester
The Rick Stein Cocktail menu was short but sweet, all the usual suspects - the classics if you will were in attendance.  Mum nabbed a Birthday Bellini and I snapped up a Cosmopolitan with a curled lime.

Cocktails at Rick Stein Winchester

We were treated to some little Stein taster plates

These are crab & hake balls with hollandaise sauce.

We placed our orders with our lovely waitress.
Meg and I were feeling brave so gave the Sashimi platter a whirl.

Sushi at Rick Stein Winchester
A selection of Scallop, Turbot, 13 Loch Duart Salmon and Yellow Fin Tuna with wasabi, soy and dashi, dankon and shiso leaves.  Really beautifully put together.

Pete had a bed of blue mussels with a creamy sauce (we can't remember what, and it isn't on the menu online - which you can check out here)

Slippery little suckers

Dad adopted a new pet for his starter - meet Rick.

Langoustines on ice served on ice (funnily enough) with mayonnaise.

And Prawn Cocktail for the Birthday girl, but not any prawn cocktail - a Rick Stein prawn cocktail.  Actually made in a whiskey tumbler with avocado and our Rick Stein's very own Marie Rose sauce.

Dad and Meg had the Dover Sole Meunière.  Pretty much the whole fish, bones and all, dusted with flour, fried and served with noisette butter. 

Dad watched Meg put her newly learnt fish knife technique...

It was amusing, but as with everything Meg does - A* performance.

This bright looking dish was Pete's choice.

Indonesian Curry with Cod, Squid and Prawns which was served with pilau rice and a green bean and grated coconut salad with crisp fried shallots, garlic and chilli.

We indulged in some roasted pumpkin with chilli oils sides and some chunky chips too.

Yes, I did cop out and have a steak in a fish restaurant. I was far too gutted about lobster missing from the menu to contemplate my allegiance to any other fish dish that evening, sorry Mr. Stein.

The food was top notch as you would expect but the decor and restaurant were equally lovely - a nice modern, coastal vibe too it. Comfy booths with big stripy cushions, massive oil canvases of the Cornish coast hanging on the wall.

The place was packed by the way, this was taken toward the end of the evening as we explored the dessert menu (we well and truly out stayed our two hour sitting - and we like to think, provided a little light entertainment for the staff)

Dessert choices were quick.  Pete & Dad had creme brûlée and I went for the chocolate fondant and we all then ribbed the Chef from a far about measuring up to my Mums legendary chocolate fondant. 

As it approached I quickly grabbed my spoon and with everyone including the waiters looking on in anticipation, waiting for that gooey chocolate center to flow out... the spoon plunged in...

And I am pleased to report. 
It was perfect.

The creme brûlée was equally yummy I'm assured.

We finished up with a quick octopus family (minis me) snap and headed home.

Thanks for having us Rick Stein Winchester - and Happy Birthday Mum!