Hub Box, Gunwharf Quays | Restaurant review

Bank holiday sneaked up on Dish Detective.

Wednesday, 5th May 2021, 2:55 pm
Updated Sunday, 9th May 2021, 10:34 am
Hubbox at Gunwharf Quays.

Before we knew it, we were off work – and with lockdown restrictions easing, meaning places starting to open, we were looking forward to enjoying some good food, some good company and some good weather.

However, as we should have known, the typical English bank holiday was not going to let us have all three of those things.

Nevertheless, we booked a table at Hub Box at Gunwharf Quays on its terrace for brunch.

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The Dirty Breakfast at Hubbox.

It’s a small terrace, just four tables, situated next to the bustling expanse of Cosy Club.

Anyone who knows Gunwharf, knows that it can get a bit blowy, and today, bank holiday Monday, not only was it blowy but it also felt like the Arctic Circle.

Wearing clothes that Dish Detective has previously worn on ski holidays to the Alps in January – no exaggeration – we were determined to make the most of the day off and enjoy some of Hub Box’s delicious breakfast menu.

Dish Detective first stumbled across Hub Box a few years back on a holiday to Cornwall. One lunch visit in Truro was enough to rank the restaurant as having one of the best burgers in the UK.

Subsequent visits to their venues in Exeter, Plymouth and Taunton proved just as delicious.

Each venue has its kitchen set in a shipping container – a nod to how the business first started – and the business prides itself on using great quality food, all served with a laid-back surfer kind of vibe.

Smoothies, artisan beers, vegan options – Hub Box takes the hipster contingent in its stride and makes it accessible for everyone.

So when the small chain (this year it will open its 10th venue) declared it was opening its farthest place east to date in September 2019, Dish Detective was delighted to see that it was close to home at Gunwharf Quays.

Although I wasn’t quite sure how the small, quirky Hub Box would fit in at clean-cut Gunwharf Quays with its huge chains, designer brands and smart clientele. However Hub Box seems to have settled into its home.

Obviously, a May bank holiday Monday in 2021 means the inside is off limits, however we can see that it’s tastefully decorated – giving us a tantalising glimpse of this summer when we might finally be allowed back inside.

Today, we’re on the terrace and we’re attentively waited on by our friendly waiter, who has even got time to stop and chat about trainers. It’s a very welcoming place.

We opt for a Full Cornish (£9.95) which comes with bacon, sausage, egg, buttered sourdough, hash brown, beans, mushroom – we hold the black pudding.

The bacon is crispy and delicious, perfectly cooked, the sausage is tasty, and all the other elements perfectly complement it.

You can taste that Hub Box takes real pride in sourcing its produce from quality places – if a sausage could taste Cornish, then this is it.

Our companion goes for Dirty Breakfast Fries (£6.95) – skin-on fries, bacon, egg, cowboy beans, cheese sauce. A huge bowl of food, perfect for soaking up any bank holiday excesses.

Both breakfasts are filling and worth sitting out in the cold for.

We wash them down with two glasses of freshly squeezed orange juice (£3.25 each) and two latte coffees (£2.80 each).

It’s worth stopping at Hub Box for a coffee alone as it’s excellent, made by Extract Coffee Roasters, which also supports Grounds Up Charity Collective, so wholesome in every way.

We enjoyed our trip to Hub Box – and can’t wait to return later this summer, when with a bit of sunshine, those four tables will most certainly be some of the most sought-after at Gunwharf Quays.

Tel: (023) 9282 8540

Food: 5/5

Value: 5/5

Ambience: 5/5

Child-friendly: 5/5