My husband Geoff and I passed Restaurant 69 in Southsea back in May on a wonderfully hot sunny Sunday and heard music coming from the front of the restaurant. The music’s not normally our kind of thing, sort of 20’s ragtime/jazz perhaps, I’ve no idea what it’s called for sure but it sounded pretty good. The trio are called the FB Pocket Orchestra all playing banjo’s/trumpety kind of things, even a washboard. We had just eaten in Capers at the other end of the precinct and were heading towards the seafront to walk it off. We decided that if the orchestra was still there on our return then we would pop in for a drink. They were, so we did. It was a great atmosphere, people were walking past, stopping to look and listen with some even dancing. I looked online to see where they would be so we could visit them again. It turned out that they would be there the following month near to Geoff’s birthday.
Another very hot and sunny Sunday in June and we were on our way into Southsea again, when I suddenly remembered that the FB Pocket Orchestra would be at Restaurant 69 playing that day, so we quickly popped in to book Sunday lunch for 2pm which is when they would begin.
The Sunday menu was roast chicken, pork, beef etc., plus a vegetarian dish. During the week they serve tapas I believe – which we must go and try sometime as we enjoyed all the wonderful tapas we had in Spain recently and also at El Nico in Old portsmouth. One course was £10, £13 for two and £16 for three. Of course I had to go the whole hog and go for three. Well I did it for the blog and I did it for you too 😉 How nice am I, eh?
For the starter I had the basil and lemon risotto balls with chilli jam. The lemon was certainly there but not overly so, subtle but not overpowering. The chilli jam blew me away, wow! Fairly hot but not unpleasant – meaning I didn’t end up with a numb tongue. The two risotto balls tasted very fresh and were coated in breadcrumbs and presumably fried although they weren’t greasy at all.
Geoff’s chicken liver parfait was very nice and he did say that the sweet chutney offset the liver very nicely. And the butter was spreadable! Bonus!
We both went for the belly pork which I can hardly ever resist if it’s on a menu. This was wonderful and clearly had been cooking slowly for a while as the fat just melted away. The crackling on top was deliciously crisp. Served with fresh vegetables of broccoli, leeks and carrots and roast potatoes which were very nice indeed but, alas I had to leave one as I had no more room – surprising I know, but true. Apricot stuffing was also served with the dish. Not a fan of apricot whatsoever I gave three quarters of my little ball to Geoff. Over the course of the meal I gradually got it back bit by bit (and possibly even some of his) as I found that it was truly very nice and went very well with the meal. “What The Lord giveth, The Lord taketh away Geoffrey” 😉 My only complaint would be that the gravy was not quite thick enough for me.
Oh this Eton Mess was divine! Sweet-tasting thick whipped cream, fresh raspberries with crushed ameretti biscuits and meringue.
Geoff also had the Eton Mess and said it was the best dish of the entire meal and he’s not a ‘sweet’ person.
The young waitress was very nice and friendly and looked after us very well throughout the meal. The decor was nice, with wrought iron rails for the stairways, tiling behind the long bar, marble topped tables, wooden flooring, fresh vases of gladioli dotted around and wonderfully large ceiling shades which Geoff loved but unfortunately far too large for our living room which we are in the process of redecorating.
FB Pocket Orchestra’s next appearance at Restaurant 69 is this Thursday evening (?), July 10th. If I’m free then I think I may pop out for a quick drink and a tapas or two. Failing that, they’ll also be there on Sunday 27th July in the afternoon. See you there!
Living life, loving cake