Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Barnabys Restaurant, Southsea

                            Great deal but too many points bring this one down
This month, It was the turn of Clair to decide where to dine. Strolling down the Osbourne Road area, she was spoilt for choice, but one particular deal struck her the most "3 courses for £20". Brilliant. That sums Grubgang up in one swoop!

It was not easy to book a table at first. Clair rang to book yet there was no answer. Thankfully, there was an answer machine and they did ring back to confirm a time. However, when she rang back,. Clair was yet again given the sound of the machine! All was well though and when the Grubgang arrived, the table was ready to go. Unfortunately, the staff were not so attentive straight off. We think that they were flustered by a group of people who were looking for a table and standing in the doorway, but surely that is not an excuse to be seated without the menu to read? We were a little perplexed as to why we had not been handed them to look at!

The restaurant itself was a little crowded, meaning poor Pete was even knocked into by another diner! There were many tables crammed into one place, but with the competitiveness of the area, perhaps they just need to get the covers in. The staff themselves were friendly and once they got going, they were very efficient! Dave noted that despite there being a full restaurant, there were only two waiting staff, so maybe that puts the first little incident into perspective. Dave also felt it should be noted how the food was served without a big wait and exactly to order, which is great for two people rushed off their feet!

The restaurant itself is decorated plainly and unassumingly. Clair felt it could do with a little revamp just to neaten a few things up a bit, but overall the group felt it was OK. The toilets however, where a big let down. Cracked ceilings and dirty sinks in the ladies toilet. Not a great feeling when you are hoping for a good meal.

So to the food. Starters brought mixed reviews from the group. Dave felt his pate was nothing special and gave the impression of shop bought pate, with far too much given for the amount of bread to accompany it. Pete was also disheartened that the prawn dish he ordered was smaller than he expected, with just 4 prawns which were lacking the garlic and chilli flavour they promised.
However, Clair, Gemma, Mike and Dean were very pleased with their starters. Gemma especially felt her plate was a large portion of whitebait for a starter and Mike felt his duck was perfect and couldnt be faulted!

The mains also bought a few mixed reactions. Many of the gang decided to opt for a steak. Deans 8oz sirloin was cooked medium and to his taste which he was very pleased with. Pete had a steak too, again feeling it a little on the smaller side, but full of taste, His recommendation is not to have the garlic butter, however, as it does leave the steak a little dry. Gemma was very impressed with her steak with a tasty peppercorn sauce whilst Dave decided to try the fillet steak, (as had Pete) which cost an extra £3.50. Again, he echoed Petes concerns about the size of the steak, but did agree it was one of the best steaks he had ever tasted.
At the other end, Clair really enjoyed the duck in orange sauce. Cooked not too pink, as she had asked the waiter, and very very tender! Mike was tucking into his pork and succulent crackling, oohing and aahing in all the right places! Both he had Clair tried the Saute potatoes which were divine!!!

So to dessert...... Mike was overjoyed with his apple pie and ice cream which really was "the icing on the cake" for him! Pete agreed it was a lovely dessert too. Dean and Clair enjoyed  the syrup sponge pudding, Dean favouring the ice cream option rather than the custard Clair decided on. Lovely! Gemmas Eton mess was a treat ("The Strawberries were delicious") Daves  dessert consisted of a chocolate truffle torte with ice cream. He felt it was VERY rich, and well worth the price! (" Truly for a truffle connoisseur though as it was quite strong!")

So, the gang had mixed views on this restaurant. It is a great deal, but the size of the portions left some feeling that perhaps they were scaled down for the sake of the deal. Would the dishes have been the same size if bought from the meal outside of the deal days??? The quality of the food fared well, with many of the gang enjoying the way their meals were cooked. However, the state of the toilets as well as the slight issue at the start, alongside the portion issues have left the gang feeling that perhaps the atmosphere was not to the Grubgang standards we are becoming accustomed to.

Marks out of 10....................................................  7

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