ITS delicious food, exceptional service and impeccable standards have been a well-known fact to Portsmouth locals for the past seven years.
But now that secret is about to get out – as Restaurant 27 has been crowned the city’s top restaurant by internet experience guide TripAdvisor.
Restaurant 27, in South Parade, Southsea, is Portsmouth’s only two-AA Rosette Restaurant. Not only has it won Restaurant of the Year in the prestigious Hampshire Life awards, it rounded off a successful year by receiving a Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor for being Portsmouth’s number one restaurant out of 488 listed.
Kevin Bingham, chef patron, said he was proud of all the restaurant has achieved.
The 48-year-old, who set up the business with his wife Sophie in 2009, said: ‘We were over the moon to receive an email saying that we had made the top three for the Hampshire Life awards as they had been voted for by our customers. We were delighted to get on to the short list but to win was amazing.
‘It came out of the blue – it was a bit of a shock but a nice one. We are very happy. We didn’t even know that we were being put forward. Awards like this, and the TripAdvisor certificate, mean more to us as they are from our customers.’
Kevin lives above the restaurant with Sophie and their two children Daisy, 14, and Louis, nine.
He has a wealth of experience from Michelin-starred restaurants such as Manleys in Storrington and The Horn of Plenty in Tavistock as well as 10 years as co-owner and chef at Montparnasse in Southsea.
When the premises, which used to be a Thai restaurant and before that seafood restaurant Murrays, became available, Kevin and Sophie jumped at the opportunity to run their own business.
They renovated the restaurant and set about bringing fine dining to the city. The business has grown and it now employs 14 staff.
Kevin describes his cooking as ‘global French’, which he interprets as a blend of classic gastronomic cuisine with the modern flavours of today.
The restaurant has six or seven-course menus, using the finest ingredients, many of which are sourced from local suppliers and producers.
Kevin said: ‘It’s not just dinner. Customers come to us for an experience and that’s what we strive to give them.
‘We’re so proud of our awards – for our staff and also for Portsmouth. We feel we have worked very hard to put ourselves on the map.’