After hearing from others that The Marmion pub in Marmion Road, Southsea was very nice and that the food was good too, we thought we’d try it out for ourselves.
There are two entrances, one on the right leads you in to what I would call the ‘bar area’ and the one on the left, which we entered through takes you in to the eating side, or restaurant. I’m pretty sure you can eat in either side though and both rooms are connected – with the bar in the middle. We received a friendly welcome straight away and shown to a seat.
Just one negative – A chap on the next table but one was on the phone a lot, talking business, I think he may have been the manager of the pub. The phone when it rang was loud and intrusive (and rang quite a lot) and he had rather a loud voice. I’m sorry to say it’s a pet hate of mine – it happened to us recently at the Villa Roma in Fareham too. But thankfully half way through our meal he left and it was noticeably quieter, just chatter from the tables around us and at the bar, with music playing softly in the background.
There’s plenty to choose from on the menu; starters, sharing plates, sandwiches, main meals including lamb cutlets, fillet steaks and several different types of burgers. A couple of dishes were available as half size portions too which is a great idea, especially for people like my dad who now he’s older doesn’t have so much of an appetite. I wonder if that will ever happen to me! I very much doubt it to be honest 😉
We didn’t have starters, we went straight in for the mains. Geoff chose fish & chips, well it was Friday. His chips came stacked up like a game of Jenga but we refrained from playing with them. I was allowed to try one of Geoff’s chips which was very nice. Geoff enjoyed his meal and said there were no bones in the fish. With his dish came a small pot of mushy peas, a lovely bright green, not processed peas, more like garden peas and a pot of tartare sauce.
Mine was divine! Two of my favourite things, scallops and yes, you’ve guessed it, pork belly. I adore belly pork. There were several scallops, around 7 and all nice and meaty.
The pork belly was cooked to perfection. The fat just melted away and the crackling on top was delicious. With this were a few leaves of fresh salad, cherry tomatoes and it all sat on a bed of ‘mushy’ peas, which were really nice.
There were three desserts to chose from and we could easily have eaten any of them, they were all to our liking. Crème brûlée, tiramisu or pecan tart.
Geoff went for the pecan tart which was a nice-sized individual, packed with pecans and a swirl of dulce de leche type sauce surrounding it on the plate. I had a spoonful of the pie and it was very good.
I went for the cheese. A slate of cheese – not unlike the one I had at Cheese & Cheers at the other end of the precinct – including manchego, camembert, Stilton and reblochon with a quince paste, which was more like a hard jelly. It was nice, not too sweet and not a lot of taste to be honest but just enough sweetness to complement the cheese. Hard to spread on the rather thin oat cakes but I eventually learnt that I had to cut a few thin slices and place them very carefully. The oatcakes as I said were rather thin and personally I prefer Rude Health’s Rye Oaty, which are a little thicker and tastier (but I suspect more expensive). For an extra £2 it came with a glass of port. How could I resist that offer?
Inside it’s been very nicely fitted out, lots of different size and shaped mirrors, all quite ornately framed, fresh flowers upon the tables with a lovely large display or irises on the bar. A mixture of plastered walls and brickwork with wooden flooring. A flat screen television hung upon the wall (muted with subtitles) and we were able to watch the World Championship Athletics, but then ‘Allo Allo’ came on, which was much better muted.
In the adjoining room which was also very nice, there were some old black & white framed photos of the area. The rooms can be roped off and be used as a function room. I believe they have live bands in there some days, check out their Facebook page for more information.
There are several eateries in Marmion Road, two of which we have already reviewed, Capers which is a nice café with amazing bubble & squeak and Lou Lou’s French Brasserie, I recommend their ‘Le Stack de Lou Lou’s (a toasted muffin with scrambled eggs and bacon).
I must say that we were quite impressed with The Marmion and definitely recommend it.
Living life, loving cake.
P.S I’m off to France so hopefully I shall have some lovely French restaurants to review upon my return. Au revoir.