Positioned on a street somewhere in the middle of Southbourne, this little gem of a restaurant looks very unimposing from the outside. No stranger to eating out, I thought I knew what to expect from my lunch but last Friday was unlike anything I have tasted or experienced in East Dorset before.
Entering Roots with my husband, we were warmly greeted and shown to our table. Since we were having the 5 course taster menu, we didn’t need to choose our food and we allowed the knowledgable, friendly and attentive waiter to recommend the best wines to accompany our food (although there is a drinks list).
It was a drizzly January lunchtime and we were given a candle for our table. This was shortly followed by our first course and what the menu loosely labeled as ‘Bread – drip and dip’. It turned out to be freshly baked breads with hummus topped with vegetables and salad leaves (some of which had been lightly pickled), chive butter, olive oil with balsamic vinegar and of course the candle – which we were delighted to discover was in fact beef dripping to dip the bread in!
Once I got over my joy at being able to actually eat the candle, and the remains of our first course were cleared away, each new course was presented by the chef and each part carefully explained. Each mouthful of each dish was delightfully different due to the complex flavours on each plate and each course was cooked exquisitely. I have refrained from describing each course here because my words just won’t do the beautiful flavours justice but with the taster menu changing every 2 weeks, there will be plenty of new and intriguing flavour combinations to explore and enjoy.
The dessert turned out to be my favourite dish (although my husband preferred the fish course – a delectable combination of leek and hake and pictured below). The pudding was described simply on the menu as ‘Seville Orange – bitter chocolate sorbet’. To eat however, it was a cacophony of flavour – a riot in my mouth of both viciously sharp and gloriously sweet …and perfectly in balance. Its not often I stop talking (!) but I ate this pudding in silence so as not to distract from its joy.
Roots has been open since mid-November 2015 and its creators are well trained in 5* restaurants all over the world. They clearly have a passion for excellent and innovative food, a knowledge base that is exceptional and they know how to create an unforgettable experience for every customer. Their taster menus, available in both 5 and 7 courses are a snip at just £29.95 and £37.50 per head respectively. There is also an a la carte menu, a lunch menu (and a sunday lunch menu) as well as special menus for events (such as the upcoming Valentine’s day and Mother’s Day).
Roots is open Wednesday – Saturday at lunch (12pm – 2.30pm) and in the evening from 6pm. It is also open on Sundays from 12pm – 6pm and for brunch on bank holidays. Booking is highly recommended to avoid disappointment and I know in is first few handful of weeks being open it has already collected a good number of ‘regulars’ who have already visited and re-visited a number of times.
This restaurant, in my opinion, is unlike any restaurant in East Dorset with the quality of food I haven’t experienced outside of London. I would highly recommend it for foodies who are looking for something new and exciting. I was genuinely sad when my lunch was over and already searching my diary for an excuse to visit again!
141 Belle Vue Road
|Invited by PR company?||No|
|Guest of chef/restaurant/owner?||Yes|
|Restaurant/outlet knew ahead we were bloggers?||Yes|
|Was the meal complimentary from the restaurant?||Yes|
|Any complimentary items provided by restaurant/outlet?||No|