Page 46 - Poole Audi Feast Magazine Edition 2
P. 46

It’s all in the name and when it comes down to 16 years of Michelin-star status there has to be consistency – and that is chef owner Jake Saul Watkins through and through. That’s through his ability in the kitchen – he works out of a bigger environment now at the two-storey Dragon Street address. He started on his Michelin journey in a 5.5ft wide kitchen where chef was incarcerated if a cupboard was open, the restaurant had just seven tables and an outside convenience! That is the JSW from where Jake was awarded a Michelin star after just 20 months of trading.
Six years later after a search for new premises in Winchester, Chichester and Guildford, Jake found a new home – just 100m up the road in Peters eld! And after signi cant investment and a 22-month refurbishment here we are, still on a seamless journey that has taken 17 years and JSW, as it always has been, is pretty much full every sitting, Wednesday to Saturday.
We learn that the food has improved over the past two years as Jake retains his accolade, as others fall by the wayside, which rightly in ates his long-term achievements. And Jake makes no bones about what he expects his guests to experience, ‘their socks should fall o  after a Michelin meal’ in his linen-clad and sumptuous restaurant, an environment that in Jake’s words is done properly – and that’s ‘done done’. You get the picture.
Jake’s wine list is 700-strong with over 80 half bottle selections, 38 half bottles of dessert wine and four by the glass. He is an enthusiast, connoisseur, and investor – he loves his wines and is as knowledgeable about the wine list and the trends in the business as any sommelier we have met on the Feast tour. His cunning business acumen runs further than the  nal bill – he buys and sells wines... seriously.
To dinner – we elect to order the indulgent eight-course taster – there is an alternative of six courses and also vegetarian options and a simple three, three and three à la carte, plus English artisan cheeses. The menu doesn’t come cheap – however, in terms of quality it is exceptional value for money – the eight-course taster at £90 plus the wine  ight at £45 – and it is some  ight.
Date, onion and rosemary, pancetta, and walnut bread arrives with hand churned salted and unsalted butter – as quoted by one of our guests ‘wow!’
The smoked pea and ham soup – a soupçon of heaven and a taste of the sublime gauges the take on  avours that Jake has developed – in this case smoke. We drank Viognier, Baron Philippe de Rothschild 2014 with the soup and adored the match.

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