Page 11 - Poole Audi Feast Magazine Edition 2
P. 11

The Custom House
The Custom House is a Poole landmark, both logistically and gastronomically. Majestically overlooking Poole Quay (since 1813), this has been a destination restaurant for years. The longevity of the success is down to consistency, a seasonally changing menu, and exceptional service.
The à la carte is reinvented every month, with some steadfast favourites remaining constant such as the mussels, scallops, chateaubriand and 28-day aged West Country sirloin of beef and the  sh dishes come and go with the tide.
The  rst  oor Dining Room is proper with crisp linen, sparkling glasses, and a stunning view over the quay.
Nibbles include artisan breads, olives and breadsticks – enjoy with a glass of Champagne, chats and people watching – and a look at the menu...
The classic Waldorf salad with Blue Vinney and wild roquette is fresh, crispy, and salty, and the perfect partner to a bottle of Rare Vineyards, Marsanne Viognier Pays d’Oc, France as are the pan-seared scallops with con t spiced apples and sautéed black pudding, the deep  avour of the black pudding a ying to the scallops’ rich smooth yang. Other starters include charcuterie-sharing boards and whole baked Camembert – tactile and less formal alternatives.
The pan-seared  llet of cod with garlic mash, samphire, and clams with a beautiful Parma ham crisp was a delight, the cod  eshy and  aky – smooth mash with a good number of plump clams.
The vegetarian option of haloumi, fragrant couscous, buttered asparagus, and wilted spinach is a great change from the risottos of the veggie option world and attractive, tasty – and a generous portion – a dish that would please anyone. A bottle of Maison Thorin Beaujolais-Villages La Perdrisette worked very well indeed on the palate and pocket at just under £25.
We discuss desserts, cheeses and wines, and decide on a cheeseboard to share of Alex James’ Goddess, Gouda, Dorset Red, and Blue Vinney – there is a choice of four to seven cheeses with various price points. We conclude the evening with a baked Alaska with a vanilla and passion fruit centre and toasted almonds – such a  u y Alaska with a crunchy middle. The opposing textures so well balanced.
Dining at the Custom House is a treat – and the dual proposition of upstairs in the Dining Room and the ground  oor CH Bar ensures this venue is all things to all people.

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