Judges go undercover to find the best food

David and Karen Moore celebrate after abarbistro was listed in the Good Food Guide (1113293-1)
David and Karen Moore celebrate after abarbistro was listed in the Good Food Guide (1113293-1)
Dr John Steadman, archivist of Portsmouth History Centre based at Portsmouth Central Library     Picture:  Malcolm Wells

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Ever wanted to know where’s best for a moreish meal that will tickle your tastebuds?

Well now the pick of the area’s restaurants have been included in The Good Food Guide 2012.

One of them, abarbistro in Old Portsmouth, was particularly singled out for praise by the judges.

Two more in Southsea – Restaurant 27 and Montparnasse – also made the grade, as did Samphire in East Wittering.

‘We are delighted,’ says abarbistro owner David Moore, who runs the restaurant with his wife Karen.

The Good Food Guide isn’t something you can pay to get in – it’s done purely on merit.

‘It’s a very prestigious thing to be selected for and it is a great tribute to the staff we have here who all work very hard.’

The pair are also known for running Rosie’s Wine Bar in Southsea.

David adds: ‘We try very hard to be consistent with our food, offer good value for money and a friendly service and we are very pleased that all this has been recognised by The Good Food Guide.’

The guide has a number of undercover inspectors whose job it is to travel around the country, visiting restaurants either on their own or in groups, at any time of day and on any day of the week.

The restaurant’s review in the guide says: ‘This light, airy dockside bar/restaurant makes very pleasing first impressions.

The report continued: ‘The relaxed atmosphere and stylish setting carry over on to the menu.’

David – who also runs wine wholesaler Camber Wines –says that although the review is good news for his business and staff, it won’t mean they’ll become complacent.

‘We’re here for the long term and we’ll continue to try to innovate and improve what we do.’

The restaurants all now sit in the guide alongside another south east favourite, Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck, which was judged to be number one in the UK for the third year.

Elizabeth Carter, consultant editor of The Good Food Guide, says: ‘Dining out in the south east is flourishing.

‘An impressive number of new entries in The Good Food Guide 2012 sit alongside some great fine-dining experiences and seasoned favourites, all contributing to a thriving and dynamic culinary scene in the region.’