Page 38 - Poole Audi Feast Magazine Edition 2
P. 38

Verveine, Verveine – everyone is talking about Verveine – and after a lunchtime visit we now know why.
Quite unique – wander through the ice displayed shop front of a family-run  shmongers, in Milford-on-Sea, awkwardly say ‘hi’ to the team, walk past an open-plan kitchen and all becomes clear.
Cunningly, chef patron David Wykes has gone in at source and co-habits with the very mainstay of his menu.
And what of the menus? There is a tasting menu, which is always a good idea to get a real  avour of what chef is about as a whole – particularly if it is a  rst visit – as this indeed was. Choose between four and a hearty 10-course taster – still incredible value at £135 including a wine  ight would you believe? And there’s an à la carte menu, and a  xed price lunch menu too...
We elect to go for the four-course taster and a choice from the à la carte.
We start with a ‘thermal iced tea’ a somewhat Heston creation and an incredible mixed sensation of clearly hot and cold in two sides of the mouth – quite remarkable.
Our guest enjoys the baby squid, red currant, kohlrabi, pea, and pine. It’s a beautiful looking dish – various parts of the squid displayed with respect and punctuated with colour – the squid with a soft bite and the kohlrabi (it’s great to see this natively grown ‘turnip cabbage’ on the menu) giving enough crunch and root  avour to set o  the squid. The home smoked halibut,  zzy grapes, green strawberries, horseradish snow (under a smoking cloche) – ups the stakes again – remarkable presentation and exquisite smoky balance.
Another stroke of genius from the taster menu – Brixham scallops, laverbread, and Ventrèche ham porridge with
50-year-old balsamic vinegar. This is the  rst porridge we have had on the Feast tour and the ham/scallop combination is just perfect.
The John Dory was delicate and  rm, allowed to take centre stage, and did hold its own, but the headliners de nitely came from the taster menu. A giant pork scratching appeared – what a dream – in reality pork skin with burnt apple, piccalilli and roast shallot powder. It’s a smashing sharing delicacy, which made another appearance with the turbot, Japanese artichokes, salt baked pineapple, and ponzu sauce – all with a distinct Asian undertone, visually and on the tongue. There was a John Dory course with the taster – and as a main – this makes sense as the taster changes every day, as does the  sh selection depending on the catch.
Another smokescreen arrives at the table for the dessert – Violet Beauregarde, based on the character from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, with three  avours; bubble-gum, blueberry and violet (with blueberry scented water and dry ice). It’s incredible – the violet in the dry ice atmospheric, there’s textures, crunch, cold, verse and an evocative trip down memory lane and David says even the poem is edible – we presumed – we’ve already eaten his words and will be back to eat more. This is an extraordinary restaurant and that’s why Verveine is the name on everybody’s lips.
01590 642176
98 High Street
Hampshire, SO41 0QE

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