Old Portsmouth bar soars into latest Waitrose Good Food Guide

From left, Jacob Jackson, Bill Savage, Robert Kasprowicz, Lee Aistrope, Piero Campanale, Mark Andrew, Alejandro Palomares, James Isherwood, Jacob Langton Picture: Paul Jacobs/pictureexclusive.com
From left, Jacob Jackson, Bill Savage, Robert Kasprowicz, Lee Aistrope, Piero Campanale, Mark Andrew, Alejandro Palomares, James Isherwood, Jacob Langton Picture: Paul Jacobs/pictureexclusive.com
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CREME brulee is ‘heaven in a ramekin’ – and the crab and chips are flawless.

That’s the glowing endorsement of the cuisine at abarbistro by fine dining experts in the prestigious Waitrose Good Food Guide 2017.

The kitchen is the engine room of our business and our chefs work very hard, as do all team members – and we’re very proud of them.

Karen Moore

The Old Portsmouth venue has bagged a place in the latest edition of the review into some of the best restaurants, pubs and cafes in the UK.

It is described as ‘a jolly, amiably run bistro with bags of personality, bare-wood tables and a glazed ceiling’.

Abarbistro director Steve Martin said: ‘We are thrilled to have made it in to the main section of the Good Food Guide.

‘It’s a real tribute to the team and the effort that they put in to everything they do.

‘You can’t pay to get in the Good Food Guide – restaurants are chosen purely on merit so we are delighted to have been recognised.’

Among the dishes singled out for praise are ‘an unimpeachable take on crab and chips’ and its creme brulees are described as ‘heaven in a ramekin’.

Abarbistro’s wine list is said to have ‘some cracking bargains’.

The bar had previously made it into the book in Waitrose’s Local Gems section which are recommended by diners – but now it has gained a full place. It is owned by Karen and David Moore, who have run restaurants in Portsmouth for more than 30 years.

Karen said: ‘We think it’s important to invest in our business and train our staff well.

‘The kitchen is the engine room of our business and our chefs work very hard, as do all team members – and we’re very proud of them.’

The pair run wine retail and wholesale business Camber Wines from the same premises – and are able to offer customers more than 200 wines.

‘There are few restaurants outside London that have a wine list as extensive as that,’ said Karen.

‘And on top of offering them to diners, we are building up the retail and wholesale side of the business.’

Head chef Mark Andrew says: ‘We are very happy to be recognised as one of the best restaurants in Portsmouth.

‘We continually try to improve and develop our menu by using fresh seasonal produce. Our philosophy here is simple – always move forward and never stagnate.’