FOOD REVIEW: Portsmouth speakeasy that would make Fat Tony smile

The Blind Tiger, Spring Street, Landport, Portsmouth, and, below, the Detective's fry-up.
The Blind Tiger, Spring Street, Landport, Portsmouth, and, below, the Detective's fry-up.
Summer prawn and brown shrimp risotto

LAWRENCE MURPHY: A seafood delight from childhood 

Tucked away around the back of the Cascades shopping centre lies a hidden gem of a restaurant that deserves much more attention than it gets.

The Blind Tiger opened less than a year ago - promoting itself as a speakeasy bar and restaurant.

The Dish Detective's fry-up.

The Dish Detective's fry-up.

Inside, this venue is probably the most relaxed place I have been for food in a very long time - the rustic theme inside is twinned with soothing lighting, beautiful artwork on the walls and ceiling and incredibly comfy booths that offer some privacy for your meal.

For comparison it actually reminded me of Fat Tony's lair in The Simpsons - and for a speakeasy bar that is definitely a good thing.

With the World Cup imminent, the huge TV at the end of the room is a huge plus.

I popped in for some breakfast before heading into the Cascades for a shopping spree; to ready myself I purchased the large breakfast (£5.99) and a J2O (£2).

The large breakfast comes with two sausages, two eggs, two rashers of bacon, two hash browns, mushrooms, beans, a tomato and toast.

A couple of months ago the Dish Detective went to Shenanigans for breakfast - so the bar had been set pretty high.

The eggs were nice and soft, with a big yolk - which is always a key part of a good breakfast. It means you can dunk the toast (white or brown, they let you pick).

The tomato was fresh and cooked perfectly, warm throughout and required no seasoning whatsoever; a rarity when it comes to tomatoes in a fry-up.

The sausages, I must confess, were slightly disappointing; compared to other breakfasts in the city, the sausages were very small. They still packed flavour, with a crispy skin and juicy meat - I just wish they were a bit bigger.

But the hash browns were much better though; they were nice and flaky but didn't completely disintegrate - and went brilliantly with the baked beans.

One thing that I've noticed is difficult to get right with these cooked breakfasts is the mushrooms; in some restaurants they are dry and overcooked, in others they've been far too small.

Here at The Blind Tiger though, they get the mushrooms just right - and there's loads of them on the plate. If anything this was probably my favourite part of the entire dish; the mushrooms were just so juicy and flavoursome. As I said, there were loads of mushrooms, and I still wished there were even more.

The bacon has always been a contentious part of a fry-up. I prefer my bacon to be slightly undercooked - but comments when theses reviews have gone online show that people love bacon that has a crisp crunch to it.

Well, I'm pleased to report that the bacon had a good balance of both - the rashers were thick and tender, almost melting in the mouth, but there was still a decent crisp to it.

I hesitate to use the word 'perfect' in a food review, but this bacon was pretty close to that.

One final thing - don't hesitate to bring your little Godfathers with you to this restaurant. I had a family come in while I was eating and a high chair was provided with a warm smile, and the family was shown where to find the kids' menu.

All in all, this is a fantastic restaurant with a relaxing atmosphere, great food, and great service.

Al Capone would be proud.

RATINGS

The Blind Tiger, Spring Street, Portsmouth

Tel: 07770 788 785

Food: 4

Value: 4

Ambience: 5

Child-friendly: 4