UPDATE 16/05/2018: CLOSED – scroll to bottom of post
The Kitchen Restaurant is within the Florence House Hotel, in Florence Road, Southsea. The Kitchen is part of The Mercer Collection which has several hotels around Southsea.
I loved the decor of the restaurant, it had a nice modern but cosy feel to it. The restaurant is on two levels (which keeps it cosy) and across the entrance hall is another room completely separate with more seating and in the bar area are some tall tables and chairs. Upon the walls are local paintings, mainly of the sea of course, as this is a seaside town. Each table had a little posy of fresh flowers and on the bar was a beautiful large floral display. Soft music played quietly in the background.
The service was very good both by the young lady who served us first and then the lovely Mary who is Portugese and who took over half way through.
The bistro menu served at lunchtime wasn’t too extensive, beef burgers aren’t normally my first choice but to be honest I wasn’t sure what else I would choose. Geoff went for the Thai green curry.
My burger was home-made and very tasty, although slightly on the salty side. This was served in a toasted brioche bun, with a slice of tomato, two large juicy field mushrooms, a dollop of red onion chutney, a small mixed salad and the dreaded gherkin which was stuck through the top of the bun with a cocktail stick. This came with very fresh and nice tasting fries.
I had a little taste of Geoff’s curry which was lovely and creamy and had a slight kick to it. He enjoyed it very much and would definitely have it again, I think I might too.
The desserts were very well presented and I chose the Hot Chocolate Pudding, Turkish Delight, pistachio praline, ice-cream. This was a chocolate soufflé with a melt-in-the-middle chocolate centre, very nice indeed. But what really made it was the rest of the dish. It came with a pistachio ice cream which was lovely and creamy, two small clear cubes of home made Turkish Delight, the tops of which had been dipped into chocolate, a sprinkle of crushed pistachios and flower petals and the best bit was the pistachio brittle which was truly delicious!
Geoff enjoyed his Summer Berry Pudding Pana Cotta and his best bit was the poppy and linseed brittle!
Geoff had a beer and I a glass of wine of which they have plenty to choose from.
We finished off our meal with an Americano each which came with a caramel biscuit (that sort which comes in a packet) but I think if the pastry chef is so good at the brittles and Turkish delights then a few petits fours of this kind of thing would be great to have with coffee, I would even pay extra for them!
I returned one Friday evening three weeks later with my Italian pals Loretta and Catia. I have a feeling that we arrived in the middle of a small crisis as most of the staff seemed to be preoccupied with the computer – I don’t think they were on Facebook 😉 – they appeared to be looking at the restaurant tables/orders on it. Had it been my first visit I wouldn’t have been terribly impressed, for many reasons I shall not go in to.
On saying that, the food again was very good and nicely presented. I particularly liked my starter of smoked chicken with a wonderful salsa and mango sauce with avocado. It was full of flavour.
The belly pork came with a Colcannon mash with ham and leeks which wasn’t served terribly hot. The belly pork was beautifully cooked though and melted in the mouth but the crackling was very salty, a bit like the burger I had on my last visit.
The dessert I chose this time was the Filled Saffron Poached Pear. I little too much saffron I think as it just took the taste of the pear away completely. It did give it a wonderful colour though and it had a nice lemon cream filling. Not quite as nice as a similar one I had at Bistro Montparnasse nearby though. Two home-made biscuits came with the dish and these were nice enough but not as excellent as the crisp brittles we enjoyed so much last time. We finished the meal with a very nice smooth tasting espresso which was perfect.
I would recommend trying The Kitchen, no doubt I shall return.
Service 9 – based on my first visit
Living life loving cake
UPDATE 16/05/2108: The Kitchen closed for a while as they’d moved their restaurant over to their newly acquired pub called The Florence Arms. I’d never eaten there, I didn’t really like the set up or decor of the restaurant so only had a few drinks on a couple of occasions in the pub bit. They have however reopened The Kitchen. We haven’t returned mainly because they don’t have a lunch menu and the evening one is quite expensive which looks as if you have to have three courses. It does look good though.
I’ve just checked again at the menu and notice that The Kitchen has now closed again, so perhaps they priced themselves out of business.
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