The Dispensary Kitchen, Winchester

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The Dispensary Kitchen, The Square, Winchester

Geoff had the week off before Christmas so we went to Winchester for the day, something we’ve done for the last few years as they have a large Christmas market at the cathedral.

I really wanted to eat at The Chesil Rectory as it’s on my to-do list but Geoff thought it a little expensive at £32.95 for 3 courses and we had eaten out quite a bit recently – something’s got to give. It looks so lovely both inside and out. I said I’d go after Christmas with someone else then as without him it would be half the price 😉

Rick Stein’s place had a good menu at reasonable prices (£24.95 for 3 courses) but they were fully booked all day. Coffee Lab was also full – I remember when we had one in Southsea for a very short while 😢. We wandered around a bit looking for somewhere nice and eventually stumbled across The Dispensary Kitchen in The Square, which backs onto the cathedral grounds.

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Breakfast menu

We were lucky to find a seat each, tall seats which were surprisingly comfortable (I don’t normally like tall seats) at obviously tall tables. This was near the counter where they made the coffees and had the cakes displayed and also not far from the serving hatch where we could watch the dishes come out. A normal sized table became available but we were quite content where we were and it was lovely and cosy where we were sat.

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Interesting cakes

On the menu you can find dishes such as breakfasts (all day I think), waffles, granola, sausage/bacon sandwich, mains include soup, corn fritters, coconut poached chicken thigh burger. Lots I liked and so too Geoff, although for him it was one of those menus where he liked two or three ingredients but there would be one he didn’t. I said why don’t you just ask for it without that then. Actually, looking at the menu below I can see exactly which ingredients of each dish he wouldn’t like.

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Lunch menu

We had rather a long wait for our meals, a good half hour. We weren’t in a hurry and it was the week before Christmas plus they were packed but we did look at each other and mentioned the wait.

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Grilled halloumi, wild rice salad

My salad was divine! Grilled halloumi, wild rice salad, pomegranate, avocado, sumac lime dressing. I had plenty of halloumi, not so much wild rice though, I would have liked a little more of that, plus there was barely half an avo’. Still, I thoroughly enjoyed it and as soon as I got home I replicated the dish and had it a couple of days running.

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Spice braised lamb

Geoff’s dish of spiced braised lamb, chickpeas, tahini yogurt and crispy kale was very tender indeed. He would rather have had less yogurt on top (I did explain that he could have pushed it to one side or placed it onto my saucer), he said it took away the spiciness of the dish…err yes, I think that’s what it’s supposed to do? 😂

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Strawberry & rose cake

We decided upon a cake each, they did look and sound delicious.

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Slightly disappointing

I had the strawberry & rose cake with mascarpone & bees pollen, I was a bit disappointed with it to be honest, it was very moist as in ‘stodgy’ and the rose was too overpowering. I also had to move a lot of the mascarpone to one side as there was too much.

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Blackberry cake

Geoff had a similar cake, the blackberry cake with vanilla cream which was perhaps nicer but he wouldn’t share. The portions were very generous and I found it hard to finish my cake, they were priced at only £2.50 each, although half a slice would have been sufficient!

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Both cakes were served on matching coloured plates ie., the strawberry on a red plate, the blackberry on a purple.

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An adjoining room

We each had a coffee (The Roasting Party) myself a flat white made with almond milk and Geoff a cappuccino. There were lots of drinks available apart from coffees and teas, there were also beers, wines, cocktails and soft drinks.

We liked The Dispensary Kitchen and will more than likely return when we are in Winchester again – not sure about cake though. The staff were friendly, the service was good (apart from the long wait) and the dishes were well presented.

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Just one of the lovely chocolates I bought from Chococo in Winchester

On the way back to the bus stop for the park & ride – oh gosh, that’s another long story which I shan’t bore you with but one which has now made us carry lots of loose change for pay & display car parks, we had such a stressful time and tried three – I just had to pop in to Chococo which do lovely amazing tasting chocolates and take home a few. Yum! Best chocolate shop in Hampshire.

Ambience 7
Service 7
Quality 8
Value 9
Return? Yes
Overall 7/10 – it has to lose a point for the long wait and especially for the disappointing cake

Living life, loving cake

A x

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