Portsmouth pub picks up prestigious Good Food Award as one of the best restaurants in the country

SMOKING meat takes hours of work, exceptional ingredients, an ounce of skill and plenty of passion.

Tuesday, 17th November 2020, 9:49 am
Updated Tuesday, 17th November 2020, 3:03 pm

And that’s exactly what one 18th century back-street Portsmouth pub has in spades.

The King Street Tavern, in King Street, Southsea, is so good at its food it has been named as one of the best restaurants in the country for the second year running.

The business, set up by Paul Mulholland and Sean Marshall in 2017, has been awarded the Good Food Award for 2021.

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Owners Sean Marshall and Paul Mulholland with staff, Mike Bailey,Ollie Willers and Dan Gates in the King Street Tavern. Picture: Habibur Rahman

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Much-loved Southsea pub wins Good Food Award for its smoked food

Sean, from Southsea, said: ‘This is a little bit of good news in what has been a crazy year.

‘Our team really is brilliant. It is a marque of good quality food, made with good quality ingredients with good service.

‘We are just a back-street pub so to get this award is amazing.’

King Street Tavern, Southsea

Sean, 52, and Paul, 59, met while working as infrastructure contracts managers. When the King Street Tavern came on the market, they quit their jobs to take on the pub, turning it into the renowned premises it is today.

They now employ five staff and have found their niche selling authentic smoked meats with great beer.

Sean said: ‘I have an absolute passion for cooking smoked meats. It is unique, it is on point, it is a labour of love.

Owners Paul Mulholland and Sean Marshall with staff, Ollie Willers, Dan Gates and Mike Bailey in the King Street Tavern

‘There are no short cuts when it comes to smoking meats, you can be cooking it for 12, 14 or even 16 hours.

‘You have to do it properly or not at all. It is an art and a passion and I have been very lucky to have such talented chefs join me, they are masters in their own right.'

He said that his favourite and best seller is the beef brisket.

Sean said: ‘It is a very long drawn-out slow cook. The process you need to get it to be a succulent piece of meat is very long and slow.

King Street Tavern, Southsea

‘You can buy brisket quite easily, but to cook it in such a skilled slow way is what makes it stand out.'

The Good Food Awards evaluate customer feedback over the past year and winners need to demonstrate exceptional levels of food quality, service and value.

The King Street Tavern is the only premises in Portsmouth to gain a title, and one of only three in Hampshire, joining La Regata at Town Quay Southampton and The Sushi Maki in Basingstoke.

They are among only a dozen recognised across the south of England outside of London.

The King Street Tavern is providing takeaway food throughout lockdown, available for collection or via delivery. Go to kingstreettavernportsmouth.co.uk for more.

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