Page 37 - Yeovil Feast Magazine
P. 37

The menu is straightforward; cold starters and salads, hot starters, shell sh and crustacean on ice or steamed, favourite daily  sh and meat mains, and  ve seafood classics, descriptions by Rick, which is one of only a few personal touches throughout the experience. Ten percent of the menu refers to Cornwall and the West Country; the lack of catch from Poole and indeed the harbour from which the restaurant commands its stunning north-west facing view is conspicuous by its absence.
All this aside, when it comes down to Rick’s spirit of  ne seafood with classic and modern twists, this delivers. Presentation is immaculate, on and o  the plate, service with informed assistance and each dish beautifully arranged on the plate.
The sashimi of scallops, salmon, tuna, and bass is beautifully refreshing. The mussels with fermented black beans, garlic, ginger, and coriander demonstrated subtle eastern in uences, as did the Cornish crab wakame with cucumber and dashi salad with wasabi mayonnaise. There are more traditional choices on the menu such as salmon  shcakes with watercress salad and salsa verde and salad of Serrano ham, mozzarella, and  g. Prices range from £6.65 for starters to £44 for mains – not too far from London prices in real terms, but then the experience here is very ‘city’ so the prices accurately re ect that.
The wine list is presented really well; it makes for easy reading with a slight bias towards old-world wines, and easy, to interesting drinking. Twenty straightforward pages of regions, styles, and short but really useful descriptions from Rick, which again increasingly help personalise his environment.
The Dover sole a la meunière was described as sensational and the grilled miso salmon with rice noodles, spring onion, and bean sprouts had a really instinctive heat balance to it – that lingered just long enough to impact without overpowering the salmon. Other choices include lemon sole, John Dory, and
meats of the 10oz onglet steak, 30-day aged Hereford (a lesser-known cut in the UK yet a French favourite) – beautifully  avoured and if you are in the market for well-done meat, don’t bother mentioning it as this cut will only leave the kitchen rare or medium, Rick says so – you’ve been told! Portion sizes are good, you may need a side order or two, but having that choice is an asset in itself. Desserts of bread and butter pudding, traditionally perfect, riz au lait – a warm rice pudding with spiced pineapple – just delightful and fruity and the chocolate pavé with salted caramel ice cream a table favourite accompanied by a Bauduc Sauternes 2011.
Rick Stein’s Sandbanks proposition could be a victim of preconceptions clouding reality, and the reality is that this restaurant is just great, whatever one expected before crossing the  shing line and it’s a huge asset to the area and regional dining choice.

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