Three Joes, Fareham | Restaurant review
Takeaway dishes were the chosen vice of many in lockdown as they whiled away the hours waiting for restaurants to reopen.
Pizza has been a Dish Detective favourite for any day ending in Y, so after months of greasy takeout, I wanted to venture back to a pizzeria boasting a fresher offering.
When we visited Three Joes in Fareham more than two years ago, it was newly opened and there was a bit of a buzz about the place – with Dish Detective’s last verdict being that the sourdough pizza was deserving of five stars.
Since then, the chain’s owners have purchased The Stable pizza chain from Fullers, with 14 new restaurants potentially stealing some attention from the original Fareham, Winchester and Sheffield settings.
There is no evidence of this however, as a smiling waitress welcomes me and my famished companion on a busy weeknight. After checking in with the NHS Covid-19 app, we are shown to our table at the back of the restaurant.
Despite the slightly-jarring feeling of seeing inside the deserted precinct from our table, we admire the industrial decor of metal and suspended lighting.
With every meal out feeling like a real treat after months shut away at home, we decide to go all out and share a starter as well as a dessert.
Our feast begins with a couple of soft drinks as I decide on ginger beer and my dining partner chooses lemonade (both £2.95).
We are promptly brought our starter choice of garlic bread with mozzarella (£4.70), which is a decent size to share and not too large to put us off our main meal.
Despite a range of unusual combinations catching my eye – Mumbai chicken anyone? – I decide to test the extensive ‘extra toppings’ offerings to create a one-off special.
Starting with the classic margherita as my base, I add ham, spicy chicken and caramelised onion which all comes to £11.50, cheaper than my companion’s on-the-menu choice of Meat Up (£12.50).
This sourdough selection comes loaded with shredded barbecue pork, salami, pepperoni and ham and really hits the spot for a meat-loving pizza enthusiast.
I am pleased with my choice and the size of the dish, which I devour quickly and happily, while dipping into the cheese potatoes (£4.50) we have chosen as a side.
The pizzas, served with garlic dip, are large enough that we regret the side dish. It is pleasant enough, although perhaps without as much cheese as I would personally have liked.
We could leave satisfied after the pizza is finished, but decide to split a honeycomb sundae (£4.75), with no regrets at all as the combination of toffee sauce and vanilla ice cream is delicious.
Although two years have passed since the last review of Three Joes, another five-star offering has made sure I will return even sooner next time.
Ratings out of five:
Food – 5/5
Value – 4/5
Ambience – 5/5
Child-friendly – 4/5