“ Address: Dolphon Quay / Poole / Dorset. „
As the name suggests this is a fish restaurant would you believe! Although I am not a fan of fish the person who made the booking rang to make sure there was meat on the menu and fortunately there was however I ended up having fish after all. Their restaurant is based on the philosophy of only using the freshest of ingredients including locally caught fish from sustainable fish stocks.
The restaurant is sited in a new development down at the Quayside opposite the marina and appears bright and modern and very clean. There is a seating area outside overlooking the marina and Brownsea island and also on the inside of the restaurant. It is well set out and not over crowded. However it was blowing a hooley so we sat inside in what was a nice brightly lit and clean restaurant. The cooking area is open plan so if you so wished you could watch your meal being cooked.
What struck me most when we walked through the doors of the restaurant was the lack of smell of fish. I was imagining that I would be gagging with the smell. I was completely unaware where we would be eating lunch just that it was going to be down on the Quayside so it was quite a pleasant surprise to find that there was a neutral smell.
The waiter met us as we entered the restaurant and showed us to a table near the window overlooking the marina. He allowed us to settle before coming to ask us if we would like a drink and to distribute the menu. We needed a bit of time to read the wine list which was quite good finally choosing a nice white crispy Vino verde. Luckily I drew the long straw so I was able to partake of wine otherwise if I were driving I would not drink at all so it made a nice change for me.
We took quite a few minutes perusing the menu but this was interspersed with general chit chat so when the waiter returned to take our order none of us had actually made any choices. No problem off he went and said he would return when we were ready. We actually started to concentrate on the lovely menu and made our choices.
The menu consisted of nibbles to start with including French bread with either butter or olive oil and balsamic vinegar or olives. We chose some French bread which was absolutely delicious dipped in the olive oil. The starters apart from the vegetable soup were all fish based even a mackerel pate and bread the prices ranged from £3.95 for the soup up to £14,50 for Channel Kebabs which were white fish marinated in tomato, saffron, chilli and yogurt chargrilled and served with a vegetable couscous.
Oysters at just over a pound each were available up to a serving of 12 for £13. Or mussels cooked in a variety of ways either Mariniere or Thai style for £7 a half portion or £13 for a full portion.
There were three selections of crab available which I did fancy priced between £13.50 to £15.50 either spicy, gratinated or boiled and served with mayonnaise.
The mains were pretty extensive with a good selection or fish including Cod fish pie, prawns, Lemon sole in herb crust, Thai Fish curry, sea bass and monk fish.Prices ranged from £9.95 for fish and chips to £19.95 for the monk fish.
For non fish eaters there was a choice of Butterfly Chicken breast at £16.50 or a T bone steak at £19.50.
Vegetarians are catered for too.
There were also a couple of vegetarian options on the menu which were mainly cheese based for example goats cheese in honey and black pepper and roasted pumpkin risotto for the main.
Two of us chose the vegetable soup and two chose the dipping bread although the soup was also served with a tasty selection or crusty bread.
For the mains we had chosen one fish and chips and garden peas, two Thai fish green currys and one herb crusted sea bass served with a selection of vegetables.
Presentation and dining.
The food was presented in nice tableware the soup in a nice deep bowl which seemed to keep in the heat. The soup was absolutely delicious and piping hot. The warmed bread was served in baskets and there was a small bowl containing the balsamic and olive oil. We were all served at the same time which was a bonus as there is nothing worse than having to wait for everyone to be served causing acute embarrassment so full marks to the staff for this. The waiter took the opportunity of replenishing our glasses with water and wine. The waiter returned to check that we were satisfied and left us alone to finish our first course.
After finishing the first course the crockery and cutlery we had used was seamlessly removed and we were left for a few minutes to digest what had been a super first course.
There followed the quick serving of the main course. The two curries arrived and looked creamy in a bowl served on a plate with a timbale of Jasmine flavoured rice. The two who ordered this were very happy with their choice and said that they could distinguish the different tastes of chilli, lemon grass and coriander. The pieces of fish and prawns in the curry were plentiful. The sea bass was served with a side salad and new roasted potatoes and some green beans. It was apparently delicious and tasted mouth-wateringly moist. I was served two slivers of battered fish on a wooden board with a small bowl of skinny chips and garden peas in another small white bowl. As there was no edge to the wooden board I was a bit alarmed that when I splashed vinegar on the fish it nearly ran off the board onto the table. Although I thought this was quite qwerky and novel I think that I would have preferred it served on a plate so I could drown my fish and chips in vinegar. I know I am a philistine but in my opinion it's the only way to eat fish and chips. I guess also it is one way of ensuring maximum profit and portion control as the bowls were quite small! The food was piping hot and stayed hot until we had finished our meal.
Once we had finished the main course that was cleared away quickly and seamlessly again and we were given a dessert menu. The dessert menu was really pretty uninspiring with mass produced fare such as cheese cake and Tiramisu both of which I feel are overrated and quite boring. All of us decided to forgo the desserts and ended up finishing the meal with a nice coffee.
There is also other merchandise on sale in the restaurant their own recipe book for one and other pottery things.
I thought the restaurant was particularly clean, the toilets were beautifully clean and odour free bearing in mind it is a new restaurant so it jolly well should have been. The waiting staff were young, very welcoming and professional they were all really very good and very friendly without being in your face at all. The bill came to £110 which I thought was a fare price for what we had and the standard of the food and service was excellent and despite the fact that I am not really a fish lover however I would have no hesitation in going back to this restaurant or recommending it to others.
Times of opening.
The restaurant is open all day from 12:00 noon serving lunch and dinner to 23:00.
Unit D 18 Dolphin Quays.
Telephone: - 01202 680793 Open for bookings from 09:00
There is also a branch in Brighton and we were recommended to try this too its telephone number is as follows :- 01273 723750