Thursday, 21 July 2011

Ashbys Gastropub Portsmouth


A month ago, we stumbled across Ashby's as we were waiting for our table at another restaurant. The owners had recently taken over and the place was very quiet. Grubgang decided we should give them a go and see if the food was worth a taste. Could this be a hidden gem, tucked away off of the increasingly busy Osbourne Road?

The answer simply, is yes! The decor is warm and friendly, which is matched by the welcome from the owners and staff. It is hard to see why this place is so quiet,as it really shouldn't be!! We were very impressed with the decor, which was warm and added its Napoleonic roots into the design with pictures around the dining area. The fireplace we sat near was lovely too (we wondered if it gets lit in the winter, it would be lovely!)

The menu is not huge, but that is understandable when there is not many customers at the moment, but what was on there made the mouth water. It is good to see a Small menu anyhow, as it means the focus really goes into making the dishes they cook really wonderful. We all opted for a starter........goats cheese, crab quiche, pate and ham hock. All went down well and were tasty. Gemma felt that maybe she should have asked for the quiche not to be heated up, as it seemed to make the pastry dry, but she felt that could be her own personal taste. The goats cheese was very tasty ( I do like a bit of goats cheese as the Grubgang have found!)

The mains were sublime........delicious chicken, not dry at all. The beef Bourguignon was tender and cooked to perfection, the posh fish and chips went down very well with Mike and Deans steak was wonderful!! The only down side to the mains was that the chicken was meant to come with mash and instead came with roast potatoes (one of which was hard inside, which was a shame!) Aside from this, we were very impressed!! So, the decision came to try a dessert......and once again Gemma wished to propose to the chef in order to obtain the recipe for his pecan cheesecake (which was so tasty, there are no words to describe how lovely it really was) Although she would point out, the menu said it would come with raspberries, and it arrived with strawberries. Not a main issue, but if someone had a allergy, that should have been mentioned. I had the shortbread with lemon cream and lemon curd sauce which was lovely, but could have been nicer with homemade shortbread, rather than shop bought. Dean had the strawberry creme brulee, which he felt was a little burnt on top, but otherwise delicious and Mike had chocolate tart which had a beautiful mascepone cream on it!

So, why the "Mind your head"??? Well, it was a little joke between us ladies as when Gemma went into the ladies cubicle, she bumped her head on the door as she went to sit!! The toilets are small, but not too cramped and were very, very clean. Lovely!

The marks we have given have had to reflect the little mistakes we encountered with the changes to the menu descriptions to what we received and the slight mishaps of the burnt creme brulee and the hard potato. This restaurant is definitely worth a a wednesday, the restaurant has become part of the Osbourne Wednesday deals and every couple who order a starter and main gets a free bottle of wine (we could have had two, but with work the next day, not the best idea!) I definitely recommend Ashby's, and as it is a hotel as well, you could even stay the night and have breakfast the next day!!

Go and support the new owners and try it for yourselves!!

Marks out of ten.................................................................................... 8

4 Auckland road west


Po5 3NY

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