And that’s exactly what happened when we recently visited Hunter Gatherer at Southsea for the first time.
It’s a little gem of a place that’s been on our radar for a long time, ever since it opened in 2016.
The business has been in The News several times for its events but for some reason or another, the Dish Detective has never been in. What a fool. Why have we been wasting our time elsewhere?
This little coffee house/cafe/venue serves specialty coffee from Craft House Coffee and also has a plant-based kitchen that serves a great lunch and breakfast menu, plus some gorgeous cakes.
It’s a laid back kind of affair, straying into the hipster territory, with basic furniture and bare wooden floor, but don’t let that put you off.
The service is friendly, and the staff seemed happy to help and stop for a chat.
It’s slogan is ‘Good coffee ain’t cheap, cheap coffee ain’t good’ so we order two coffees, with plant-based milk, again don’t let that put you off as the list of choices is long – who knew they could make milk from sprouts?
The coffees arrive perfectly crafted, obviously the work of a true barista.
For our food, we opt for a breakfast wrap (£7) which comes with tofu, breakfast potatoes, tomato, avocado, walnut, spinach and chorizo, all neatly bundled in that wrap.
We also ordered a side of breakfast potatoes (£2.50), which come seasoned with cajun spice, and a bowl of Singapore noodles (£8), which is served cold, but includes rice noodles, marinated tofu, raw veg and peanuts.
Both dishes are again excellently presented, obviously crafted with care, and they are tasty.
We admit to shying away from cooking with tofu at home, but here it is a perfectly acceptable part of the meal.
The veg is crunchy and fresh, and the noodles dressed with peanuts give a nice taste.
It’s a pleasant alternative to stodgy pub grub. The breakfast potatoes make a nice change from chips.
Eating food here makes you feel good.
It’s not going to leave you feeling so full you could burst, and it’s not going to leave you feeling sluggish and bloated either.
Hunter Gatherer has a small menu, with breakfast and lunch served all day, and its lighter plant-based dishes make it a perfect spot for brunch.
We round off our brunch with a slice of plant-based carrot cake and it’s moist and sweet, you wouldn’t know that it was lacking dairy.
There are plenty of cakes to chose from too.
We’ve been pleasantly surprised by Hunter Gatherer. It made a great spot to meet a friend and chat, and we are excited to see what events it is cooking up too now that restrictions have been eased.
It’s a great example of a small independent business doing what it does well.
It’s at the Eastney end of Albert Road, two more steps and you’ll be in Highland Road, so it’s away from the street’s main hub, but it’s well worth taking the stroll there.
They also have a steady stream of take-out customers, presumably walking into town or passing to get to the beach, which speaks volumes for the quality of its coffee.
Being such a laid back place, there are the inevitable slogans scrawled in places, chalkboards with snappy sayings, you know the kind of thing.
In the loo on the wall, in chalk, someone has written ‘Positive Vibes Only’ – and we think that’s what this place has oodles of.
Dish Detective will certainly be back for some more coffee, tofu and positive vibes soon.
Tel: (023) 9261 0791
(ratings out of five)
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