Eden, Gunwharf Quays | Restaurant review

Not one for trendy chain eating places it was with some trepidation I agreed to my better half’s suggestion to try Eden restaurant, which has just been added to the many brand name diners at Gunwharf Quays.

Wednesday, 5th February 2020, 5:10 pm
Updated Wednesday, 5th February 2020, 5:10 pm
The colourful entrance to Eden restaurant at Gunwharf Quays, Portsmouth.

While I have nothing against such establishments, my natural choice would be for a local, family-run establishment. Having recently entered my fourth decade and quite content to wallow in early middle age, I would quite happily take a pint of Cumberland Ale rather than a bottle of Desperado or a traditional Sunday lunch instead of nouvelle cuisine.

However, with the in-laws down to babysit I wasn’t going to turn down the opportunity to escape another night of dirty nappies and Tiny Pops TV. Taking advantage of having granny on hand we went for a full-on ‘date night’ and decided to take in a pre-dinner film. Feeling let down by my eagerly-awaited viewing of 1917, I hoped our meal would also not end in disappointment.

Entering Eden the psychedelic floral wallpaper in the entrance and ‘dancing and dining’ signs on the stairwell did nothing to allay my reservations.

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The fillet steaks and chunky chips at Eden.

However, once entering the restaurant I was pleasantly surprised. Spacious and decked in a botanic-garden feel we were warmly greeted by our waitress and led to our window seat which provided a fantastic panoramic vista of the city’s skyline. I was also reassured to see a wide demographic of diners and not just the trendy twentysomethings I envisaged.

In keeping with the Adam and Eve theme I resisted my natural instincts to order a beer and after some arm-twisting from my companion I succumb to temptation and indulge in the extensive cocktail list –particularly as happy hour meant two for one! A menu containing exotically named concoctions such as Malibu Sunset and Paradise Punch momentarily provided a welcome escape from the January blues.

Not one to mess about I went straight for two Long Island Ice Teas (£8) – having calculated the highest alcohol content – while my dining companion went for a Mojito double (£8). Sipping on our elaborately decorated drinks it was easy to picture ourselves on one of the departing cruise ships drifting past our vantage point no doubt destined for sunnier climes.

After perusing the extensive appetiser menu I opted for the katsu chicken skewers (£5.25) while my wife went for Scottish salmon fishcakes (£5.25). Starter prices range from £3.50 for mixed olives to £6.95 for a posh king prawn cocktail. Other tantalising temptations included chorizo scotch egg, honey mustard sausages and pork belly.

Starters of katsu chicken skewers and salmon fishcakes.

While my wife was a ‘little disappointed’ with her fishcakes, the chicken was perfectly cooked with the gentle mix of spices awakening without overwhelming my taste buds. While I could have done with a little more this is probably more a reflection of my large appetite than the size of the portions.

For mains we both went for fillet steak in peppercorn sauce (£21). Our steaks were expertly cooked to our medium specification with the succulent meat providing a tender texture on the palate. I was delighted to see a hearty portion of ‘chunky chips’ rather than the waif-like fries you so often experience in chain restaurants. Ranging in price from £10 to £21 other menu options included green Thai curry, king prawn linguine and a two-foot-wide pizza.

With a taxi booked my enjoyment of the evening increased immeasurably on discovering our bill had been halved thanks to a January discount.

The temptation on offer in the garden of this Eden definitely proved the right choice.

Eden, Gunwharf Quays: (023) 9288 2244

Food: 4/5

Value: 5/5

Ambience: 4/5

Child-friendly: 3/5