Sunday, 11 November 2012

Fire & Stone Portsmouth new menu Autumn 2012

The good people at Fire & Stone have rolled out a new menu this autumn and kindly asked myself and a guest to sample it and feedback.

I have always loved this place since it opened.  Combining it's quirky pizzas, funky restaurant, and great offers, is what makes Fire & Stone a perfect place to eat pizza with friends.  In my opinion it is the best chain pizza restaurant out there, because what it offers is different from the norm. 

So what did I make of the new menu? 'Whilst you wait' nibbles, starters, pasta, salads and sides all feature fairly equally in quantity to the pizzas on offer, thus showing that Fire and Stone is not just about Pizzas.  One thing that I have noticed since it first opened two and a half years ago, is that the 26 pizza's that were on offer on the original menu has now been reduced down to 17. So with that in mind we ordered a pizza (obviously), and a pasta dish.  The new Alexandria pizza (£10.95) is based on a chicken tagine with chicken, green olives, preserved lemons, coriander and yogurt.  This was delicious with the sharp and salty preserved lemon really making every bite extremely flavoursome, and a pizza I would highly recommend trying.  I went off piste and thought it would be good to review a non-pizza dish, and opted to have their beef ragu (£9.65) as my first choice of the tiger prawn and lemongrass pasta was off the menu as they had run out of prawns.  This dish follows the ever current trend of slow cooked pulled beef in a rich sauce, served with tagliatelle with F&S sauce.  Enjoy it, I did - however the sauce needs to be way punchier for it to stand apart from other beef ragu dishes if I am to order it again.  I think it could be improved with the addition of more acidity perhaps in the form of more tomato in the base. Still a very pleasant dish by most standards.

Gooey home-made chocolate brownie (£4.95) for dessert was an excellent pudding and very well made, but the vanilla and lemon cheesecake was rather dull in comparison, missing it's billed 'strawberry slices'.  I would love to see the vanilla panna cotta with fresh berries back on the menu.

19th of November sees the festive menu begin, and there is one pizza on the menu I can't wait to try: The Berkshire - crispy roast pork belly with apricot and almond stuffing, caramelised shallots, chopped sage and apple sauce.  I'll be back!!

 Top tip:

Check out the offers Fire and Stone have via
There is currently a fantastic deal to enjoy 50% off your total food bill every Friday until November 23rd!  (Valid when dining off the A la Carte menu only and cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer. Valid for group bookings of up to 6 people)

A night to remember; Electrolux present a multiple-Michelin starred charity dinner

Ok, so anybody fancy spending a night with several of the countries most talented chefs?  Silly question! Well take a look at this link then, as this may well be something for you: FIVE MICHELIN STARRED CHEFS FOR ONE NIGHT ONLY:

The Bobby Moore Fund in partnership with Electrolux will present a gastronomic extravaganza which will be a must attend event for serious foodies.  The event is a one off charity dinner comprising of five exquisite courses each cooked by a Michelin starred chef.  Top chefs, led by two-Michelin-starred Daniel Clifford of Midsummer House Restaurant in Cambridge, will produce a culinary feast for 250 guests in aid of the Bobby Moore Fund.  Confirmed so far are: Daniel Clifford, Atul Kochar, Simon Rogan and Jonray & Peter Sanchez.

When:                  Thursday 24th January 2013
Where:                Gibson Hall, Bishopsgate, London
Tickets:                Prices start from £395 per ticket, with VIP tickets and Chef’s table tickets also available.  To book tickets please email:

I know this will be an incredible night to remember, I have first hand experience of Electrolux putting on a great show.You will not be disappointed.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Festive Seasonal Menu 2012 @ All Bar One

Tonight I was invited to go and sample this years festive menu at All Bar One.  I must say that All Bar One Portsmouth must be praised for holding these events, as not many other restaurants at Gunwharf do.  So what did we sample?  Well the complementary Prosecco and the welcome by Jonny and the team were both warm and friendly.  We were handed the festive menu to peruse whilst the kitchen were busy preparing the dishes.  The festive menu starters are:

French onion soup with cheese crouton
Roasted Portobello mushroom topped with baby spinach and goats cheese
Chicken liver, pork and mushroom parfait
Prawn cocktail.

All dishes (excluding parfait which was not available to sample) were tasty and to the standard you would expect from All Bar One.

Main courses are:
Roast turkey wrapped with bacon
Salmon wellington
Rib-eye steak (£3 supplement)
Shallot, parsnip and sweet potato tarte tatin

Here is where I tell you that I was very impressed with the salmon wellington and the vegetable tarte tatin, which I would love to go back and eat again.  Vegetarians would be super-happy with this dish oozing taste, texture and......, and the salmon wellington was made with a buttery shortcrust pastry which I did not expect (please do not change this for the usual bland, and potentially soggy puff pastry synonymous with Wellingtons), accompanied with a delicious...... cider and tarragon cream.  These were the stand out dishes of the night!
Shallot, Parsnip, & Sweet Potato Tarte Tatin
Salmon Wellington

Desserts are:
Sticky fruit pudding
Lime & lemon tart
coconut and chocolate tart

Sticky Fruit Pudding
Unfortunately of the desserts listed only the sticky pudding was available, and it's very much like a sticky date pudding.  A cheese selection and coffee and mince pies are also available at an additional cost.

So all in all it's a thumbs up for the slight variation and welcomed refreshing change to the traditional and predictable festive menu's we see throughout November and December in all restaurants. I had almost forgotten that it was a festive menu which personally pleased me no end!  3 courses will set you back £22 each and must be booked in advance.  There is also a buffet menu available at £15 per person but this is for a minimum of 10 people and must be booked too.