Review: Mobile Food Guide
Michelin-starred Jake Saul Watkins (JSW) is now fully settled in his new premises, just around the corner from his original restaurant off Petersfield High Street. The building, a converted 17th century coaching inn, comes complete with a quota of weathered beams; there's a herringbone carpet on the floor and paintings by Jake's sister hang behind the good-looking oak bar. In addition, the place now has 3 luxury B&B rooms with Egyptian cotton linen and towels, plasma television and simple comfort.
What impresses people about JSW's cooking is his unadorned contemporary approach and keen eye for fine seasonal ingredients - whether it's fish from the Hampshire day boats, organic meat or prime stuff from Rungis market in Paris. There are no intricately cluttered plates, no superfluous garnishes, just finely tuned modern dishes bristling with flavour.
Scallops with pea purée and bacon velouté is a typically refreshing way to start or you might prefer a terrine of quail with Sauternes jelly. Moving on, expect irresistible delights ranging from fillet of beef with ox cheek and bordelaise sauce to red mullet with asparagus, wild garlic, pesto and tagliatelle. Meals finish on a high note with perhaps a feuillantine of rhubarb with ginger jelly or an assiette of Valrhona chocolate.
The wine list is an awesome document running to around 600 bins with quality at every turn and one of the most comprehensive selections of half bottles we have seen anywhere. It's also a great read: one reviewer even nominated it as her chosen tome for a 'Desert Island' sabbatical!