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“Outstanding”

Verveine Fishmarket Restaurant
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$24 - US$79
Cuisines: Seafood
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Special Occasion Dining, Business meetings, Local cuisine
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, After-hours, Breakfast, Reservations
Description: Verveine is both a traditional village fishmonger and a fine dining restaurant that specialises in fresh fish and shellfish that are caught in the UK shores. We are a multi award-winning restaurant with the accolades of 'best restaurant' and 'chef of the year' for 2011, 'chef of the year', 'best local menu' and 'best customer service' 2012 by Hampshire Life magazine.
Reviewed 16 July 2014

A very creative approach to seafood eating. Delicious and unexpected combinations - very enjoyable. Small dining area - so book ahead

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1  Thank davidwW4184RC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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485 - 489 of 769 reviews

Reviewed 15 July 2014

Definitely one of the best meals I have ever had in a restaurant (July 2014). I can recommend this restaurant unreservedly and only wish I lived in the area so that I could also shop at the fishmongers and deli there. One of our friends who took us for lunch on Saturday had been to a cooking class with the chef/owner, which he thoroughly enjoyed. Take a look a the 'Ladies Who Lunch' link (below) for some great photos of some of the food and a more detailed review. Portions are sensibly sized, so you can manage a starter, main and dessert. The breads and spreads are delicious.
http://ladieswholunch-in-hampshire.co.uk/?p=3759

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1  Thank Su E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 July 2014

Deliciously fresh fish in a cosy, casual restaurant. Great service, excellent food that can easily beat many a London restaurant! There was a slight delay between our main courses & desserts, but it was well worth the wait. Amazing dinner!

Thank MrsMacV
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 July 2014

The Chef/Owner David Wykes tweeted that he was just starting an updated summer menu so on an absolute whim (and because my partner was away) I went over for lunch. It was amazing, I tried what the chef recommended and had wonderful sea trout.

As others say Verveine looks unassuming from the outside – see photo – but I think it’s more understated and part of the charm. Friends who were at Verveine a few weeks previously said David had rushed back from foraging Elderflower and had gathered sacks of it, so I started with a homemade Elderflower cordial. It had come on to rain (after a period of dry weather) and on a Thursday at the end of June - before the summer season - things were not too busy. The core staff were in evidence: David, his new assistant chef Helen, Dominic serving and the wet fishmonger running the shop at the front. So a serene service with a gentle background from Bob Dylan, Lou Reed and David Crosby (not actually in person you understand), and I had one of the tables at the furthest end from the road - overlooking the patio.

So I just asked for whatever David recommended I should try from the new menu. I was not disappointed, and I think that because I asked him for what he'd recommend, and it was quiet, that David tried out some of his new combinations - because he told me afterwards the new menu was still evolving (so apologies if I’ve not accurately identified all the ingredients).

So I had the famous fresh radish planted in edible soil with smoked mackerel appetiser, but this time served with a delicious rosemary and parmesan focaccia.

What I'd not noticed before was that at every order one of the staff took a container and rushed out to the kitchen garden and picked whatever was needed: pea shoots here, nasturtium there, a handful of baby leaves, maybe a sprig of coriander or rosemary... At one stage the garden shed was also visited (but I never found out what was coming from there - if anything).

My starter was outstanding: I had plumptious queen scallops (with coral - as they should be served), and rings of a superb rabbit confit with finest pea shoots, some fine purple leaves (beetroot shoots?), and a little smear of a subtle gooseberry sauce (see the photo, but of course proper food photography is really difficult and I feel rather self-conscious photographing my lunch in public!). David is brilliant with textures as well as taste, and this was a dish of balance and contrast - no harsh tastes but a softness of tone.

I was getting ready for the main to be an anti-climax after that starter - but I was wrong. I had the best fish dish I've had from Verveine (and the bar for that is set at the highest height). I had sea trout with an amazing garnish - based I think around the chorizo theme on the new menu. I noted pak choi (but checking on the new menu I now assume this might have been baby spinach), globe artichoke (a brilliant texture to add), char-grilled peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, some clever sort of crunchy shredded beetroot, an apricot sauce, a smear of balsamic & sherry and a little arrangement of pesto on chorizo on striped beetroot. I apologise to whoever plated this up because I had to try it first before I took the photograph, so one corner of the sea trout had already gone. And it absolutely was the sea trout that made this dish special. It's not like salmon and even though it the same species as the brown trout it is less earthy - a wonderful succulent, flavourful, fresh and complex fish. The bad news is that I understand the season is short. As distinct from many pan-fried white flat fish, this dish lasted well on the plate: sublime to the last mouthful.

One of the updates that David is bringing in is a teend towards more ingredients in the themes – but not the sort of bung-in-all-the-bits one sometimes sees. So the main I had was wonderful fish contrasted with the sort of balanced and fascinating combination of garnish themes which only the most dedicated and skilful would ever try at home – which to my mind is a good reason to eat out.

We've had local strawberries and raspberries recently so I ask for a small portion of a different dessert and got the balanced cherry sorbet, pistachio and white chocolate. And I finished with the Fisherman's Friend meringue, the salt fudge in edible wrapper and a new and intense mandarin jelly.

There are set price lunch menus which are great value, but I was off-piste so paid the à la carte price, and got really excellent value for money. I'd taken my time and the bonus was a long chat with David - who can talk nearly as well as he can cook. And while we chatted I was treated to a tour of the small kitchen garden, saw some beautiful large lobsters coming in and chatted about local food. David's mind was also on the new website which was just launching and is well worth a look [dribble bowl or napkin advisory].

It's absolutely astonishing what Verveine does with essentially the ground floor and back garden of a modest back-extension semi (yes: unlike a previous review of mine I can spell it now: I before E except in Verveine - and it's pronounced ver-ven). Friends and visitors that I've recommended go to Verveine have always been appreciative. I'm still concerned that David will want to move to larger premises and that will break the spell; and I can't work out why Verveine hasn't got a Michelin Star yet. So my advice is the same: if you like good fish with some clever starters and desserts, but not too whacky, then book as soon as you can.

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Thank Stephen T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 July 2014

We have just had the most amazing evening out with friends. From our pre dinner drinks to our after dinner petit fours everything has been great. The menu itself leaves you wondering how to choose what to try. Your palete is challenged to try foods you would not think of serving together
My smoked salmon starter came served with a smoke filled cloche! and for mains you have chosen which actual fish you want there is a choice of 'garnish'.We had the Choritso and Soy options .The desserts were equally great with surprising wood smoked icecream and bubblegumto try.
It is great to eat out where the staff are all well informed and happy to guide you throughout. We had a lovely chat with David chef/owner and will definitely be back .As we are not local we booked in advance but would recommend booking so not disappointed
A big thank you

1  Thank Karyn19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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