Saturday, 17 June 2017

THE STILL AND WEST - Old Portsmouth

We've been eager to get a few more Portsmouth pubs on the gastrohub map, and since we are in the midst of a precious slice of Summer, it seemed like the perfect time to head towards the coast. We had visited this pub before, but it was back before the times of reviews and the weighty responsibility that brings.

The Still and West is a grade two listed building, and as you would expect, is a lovely place to be on a sunny day. A child's stone throw from the ocean, this is a pretty big pub, set over two levels, as well as an outside area. It has been recently refurbished, and we can confirm that they have done a sterling job. We headed straight upstairs and laid claim to a table by a big window, affording us a majestic view of the harbour.

Fish features heavily on the menu, which is good to see from a food establishment by the sea. There are though plenty of non fish related meals to choose from. It is clear from reading the menu that the meals have been designed with a level of sophistication and foodie know how. Extra touches here and there which set the offered dishes on another level to your average pub. Prices for a main range from £13 to £19, excluding steak, which I believe was £23. Some meals seemed fairly priced, where as others seemed surprisingly high. I was however seduced by the fish sharing board, so in a change from the norm, we jumped on board and did the sharing thing, plus some chips on the side. We can of course only comment on what we eat and the experiences we have, and we both thought the fish board sounded like good value. Trout pate, smoked salmon, cod gusions fish cakes, bread and butter and tartar sauce for £16. I don't mind telling you, I was quite excited.

Before I get on to the food, we wanted to remark on the staff. All were helpful, polite and gave just the right amount of attention. Now to the food.

The board looked impressive, and our hopes for value were proved well founded and possibly surpassed. Four pieces of perfectly battered fish, two beautiful homemade fish cakes, a pile of high quality smoked salmon and some delicious pate made for an extraordinary lunch event. This was all jazzed up with some nice bread and butter, tasty tartar sauce and some lovely homemade chips. It is no exaggeration that we were both blown away with our food, and particularly with the value of it. Next time I return to the Still and West, I will find it a struggle to order anything other than the fish sharing board, although next time, I might not share it.

Atmosphere                     9
Service                              9
Food                                  9
Value                                 9
Verdict                              5*

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