The White Star Tavern is a Southampton restaurant offers a very special dining experience. We were lucky enough to visit last weekend. The White Star Tavern is a recently refurbished gastro pub offering excellent customer service, luxurious food and quality drinking options. It also has five star accommodation available. A new menu will be launched this weekend drawing on the talents of Head chef Matt Noonan.
Many restaurants claim to offer fine food and so few actually do in our experience. You will not have those worries if you visit the White Star Tavern. It holds awards such as The Les Routiers South of England Restaurant of the Year and has held two AA Rosettes since 2010, an award given to ‘Excellent Restaurants’ in the local area.
As soon as we arrived at the Tavern, I felt about 20 years younger. We don’t get out as a couple alone very often at all and this makes a perfect venue for a date night. We arrived at 7pm when there was already a pleasant and lively atmosphere and things got busier toward 8pm. However, the tables had plenty of room between them and there were different areas from the informal bar to more formal dining areas if that is what you are looking for.
We received a very warm welcome from all the members of staff we came into contact with. I loved how we were given sufficient time to read the menu in detail rather than being rushed to order. As soon as we were ready, a waitress dealt with us so very efficiently. We were offered bread and also water for the table. I enjoyed little details like having a tumbler rather than a wine glass for water. Myself and my husband both found the bread a little crusty but that is probably because we tend to eat very basic bread at home.
We moved to starters and I found it difficult to focus on mine as my husband was making noises of delight across the table. As he puts it “Having chosen a Black Pudding and shallots sausage roll with wholegrain mustard as my starter I was delighted to be presented with a sliced roll where the mixture of the black pudding and shallots in pastry produced a taste sensation akin to ecstasy!” Now for a man of few words, that is pretty amazing feedback and I think other diners were about to say “I’ll have whatever he is having!” like in the famous When Harry Met Sally movie scene. He went on to describe his main of twice cooked pork belly with bubble and squeak as brilliant. Pork belly has to be just right for him as it is one of his favourites. He also cleared his dessert plate whereas he is not usually overly concerned with puddings. Here is a pic before the dulche de leche disappeared.
I went for the cured sweet potato and butternut soup. This was superb and a taste sensation almost like a fine wine that just keeps on giving.
If you know me, you know that I love all lamb dishes so it was no surprise that I selected the herb crust rack of lamb accompanied by potato gratin, kale and garlic and carrot puree. This was luscious. It was one of those meals where even whilst you are eating it, you are mourning the fact that the experience will not last forever.
To be honest, I was concerned that the dessert could not possibly live up to what had gone before. I went for lemon posset with
lavender & almond shortbread, New Forest berries and raspberry sorbet. Every element of this was scrumptious and it was certainly one to take your time with and savour every mouthful.
Next time, I have to try Death by Chocolate!
There is a good selection of wines and spirits along with a selection of lagers and beers including cask bitters. I enjoyed reading the fun and informative wine list.
Providence is of particular importance to The White Star Tavern as a partner with Hampshire Fare, sourcing their produce from Hampshire suppliers wherever possible. This includes many small independent farms and shops, such as the Hoxton Bake House for their bread, based just 1.3 miles away. The menu boasts an exciting selection of modern British dishes, from pub classics to lighter mains, whilst also featuring vegan and vegetarian options making use of seasonal local ingredients.
Breakfast items on the menu are also freshly prepared, including favourites like the traditional full English, as well as brunch options like the smashed avocado on toast and American style pancakes. The full restaurant menu is available during lunch hours with additional dishes added, including light bites and sandwiches.
Guests can book for up to six people online and the restaurant can easily accommodate larger bookings; in keeping with their personal approach to service the staff talk these through, taking into consideration any additional requests.
About The White Star
The White Star Tavern is open 7 days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
28 Oxford Street
023 8082 1990