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The Hambrough


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This is a long shot given its obscure location (southern tip of Isle of Wight), but has anyone eaten or stayed at The Hambrough in Ventnor. Heard very good things about Mr Thompson's cooking and thinking of getting my parents a stay there for Christmas.

Any thoughts gratefully received.

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Would be an excellent choice. I can vouch for Robs cooking. Top draw stuff. I know him very well, a great chef. I know he is SORELY missed now at Winteringham fields, who still try (very unsuccessfully) to pretend he still there!! Send your folks!

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This is a long shot given its obscure location (southern tip of Isle of Wight), but has anyone eaten or stayed at The Hambrough in Ventnor. Heard very good things about Mr Thompson's cooking and thinking of getting my parents a stay there for Christmas.

Any thoughts gratefully received.

Had lunch there one Saturday at the beginning of September. The dining room was almost entirely empty, which was a shame - though the waiter did say they got packed for dinner.

To start with a slightly (well, very) bizarre breadstick made with squid ink - and therefore jet black - served sticking up in a glass of dry red lentils. It was fine, but odd presentation. A freebie (or included, depending on how you look at it) veloute of broad beans with truffle oil which was a bit heavy on the truffle but beautiful texture.

Then on to what I ordered - felt like fish that day so started with tuna with haricot beans, trompettes des morts, soya and sesame oil, which was a great combination, let down slightly by the beans being ever so slightly crunchy. And after that a really good bouillabaise which involved plaice, sea bass, squid and mussels.

I didn't write down what I had for pudding, I do remember enjoying it. And I also remember that I ordered a glass of Chateau Suduirat with it as I have some at home I haven't tried yet and was curious, but that the waiter failed to mention that they didn't actually have it in stock until I challenged him as he was pouring a different and somewhat less interesting sauternes.

Reading this back, I'm not sure I'm quite doing it justice, being a bit nit-picky. It was a lovely meal and a great view over the Channel. Might be a bit chilly at Christmas?

Helen

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  • 2 months later...

Visiting relatives on the island, had lunch at the hambrough, all in all a little disappointing

no parking outside, or no car park and a little tricky to find around the road system in Ventnor, got in the pay and display around the corner

started with a couple of drinks in the bar a 250ml glass of sauvignon blanc for £6.50, a 200ml fruit juice for £5, i never really have a problem with price, but just seems a little silly, pleasent view, nice glass of wine, but no atmosphere, some nibbles would of been nice, a couple of people working who seemed a little under pressure when 2 tables arrived for lunch at the same time, we ordered in the bar and moved across the corridor to the restaurant

squid ink bread sticks with salt, crispy and salty, amuse bouche of butternut soup and truffle, lacking flavour, to much truffle oil, very poor, bread was nice and hot, mini foccacia, walnut and white rolls, nice buttter, second round of bread ,must of includede some rogue foccacia from the day before, as it was like a frisbee

Starters, haddock veloute, poached egg, nice flavour, maybe expected a little bit of haddock, but there was none, pigeon with foie gras pumpkin risotto cake, watercress sauce, pigeon and foie nicely cooked, pumpkin risotto cake after butternut amuse, not much imagination in my opinion, watercress puree/sauce lost, no flavour

Mains- slow cooked lamb, savoy cabbage, liver, and carrot puree, lamb nice enough, good flavour, no starch on the plate, carrot puree just tasted of anise

Cod- nicely cooked, stale tasting saute potatoes, nothing else very memorable on the plate, there was 9 other people in the dining room, the ladies that do lunch were saying its the busiest its ever been at a lunchtime, may explain the stale tasting potato, you would get at a dodgy pub on a sunday

Desserts- chocolate souffle, very wobbly with an ice cream that was a flouesent orange and tasted of flavour compound, very poor in fact shocking

Bannana parfait, far to frozen and icy, would of needed an electric drill to get into it

Sevice was plesent enough, glasses nice, crockery chunky and porcelin, no finesse but overall the meal was probably the poorest i have had in a michelin star restaurant, robert was there cooking as i saw him in the restaurant on my way to the ladies, past the boxes and bbins on the floor outside an open door, in my opinion a very strange set up from where his career has taken him before,

I just cannot understand michelin and the aa when places like marc at fraiche and anthonys have to wait years, or are still waiting and the Hambrough is awarded a star within 6 months, there is absolutly no way they could be awarded a star on what i recieved on my visit

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