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Verveine Fishmarket Restaurant, Milford-on-Sea 24/25

September 28, 2013
Verveine Fishmarket Restaurant 24/25 Verveine-Outside-2-Sml


98 High Street
SO41 0QE

Tel: 01590 642176


Vegetarian: Yes

Parking: Local car parks

Wheelchairs: Easy on top level

Loos: Above average LWL Gold Award – Awarded April  2013 – Cost £££££££

This restaurant features in our Discount Directory and is offering just for LWL Discount Card holders, a FREE coffee and chocolate with lunch on presentation of your card. If you don’t have a LWL Discount Card, click here to find out more – and start saving!

October 2013 Well deserved! Verveine has been awarded a prestigious Michelin Recommendation. The Michelin Inspector wrote: ‘New England style restaurant fronted by a fishmonger’s; sit bedside the open kitchen or in the bright rear dining room. Breads are baked twice-daily, veg is from the raised beds and smoking takes place on-site. The focus is on wonderfully fresh fish and cooking is accurate, original and bursting with flavour.’ Hopefully a Michelin Star soon!

April 2013

What a wonderful way to get back into the swing of lunching on my return from OZ. The only problem with Verveine is thinking of new superlatives to describe the eating experience in this unique restaurant!

David Wykes, now Chef/Patron and well deserved winner of Best Chef in both 2011 & 2012 at the Hampshire Life Food & Drinks Awards, is one of the most innovative and creative chefs we have ever encountered. His food not only looks amazing but also tastes divine! We love his touches of theatre.

Obviously as we have lunched here so often David knows us but as Verveine is cosy, only about 30 covers, I can assure you there was a lot of ooohing & ahhhing in appreciation from adjacent tables who were receiving exactly the same food and service as we were. There is an intimate atmosphere and you find yourself sharing comments such as “how on Earth has he managed to create this” with neighbouring diners as each dish arrives.
Our servers, Dominic and Kerry, were efficient and very knowledgeable but also very friendly; a great team who, though very busy, found time to chat to everyone.  We enjoyed the informality.

We were given a pre-starter of a mixture of homemade breads, smoked treacle, wild garlic & pesto, farmhouse white (everything is home made even the cêpe butter) along with mackerel pate in a little flower pot covered with edible soil and planted with radishes. Even the edible soil was delicious! We also tried David’s version of pork scratchings, the pork skin is dehydrated for three days then scraped then deep fried so you’ve only got the skin with no fat. Very light and fluffy so obviously no calories!

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Whilst enjoying this we had the difficult task of deciding what to eat. The menus are a mixture of 2 chalk boards which are brought to your table; one describes a lunch menu at 2 courses for £14.95 & 3 for £18.95 (such excellent value as the food is of a very high standard and yet some pubs would charge this for their grub!) and the other the large variety of fresh fish on offer. You choose one of their garnishes, which change seasonally, to accompany your choice of fish/shellfish. They also have a main menu and though this is definitely a destination for fish lovers there is meat on the menu, in fact I chose 15 hr cooked Keyhaven, saltmarsh lamb, truffle & honey roasted root vegetables, creamed potatoes with caper & rosemary dressing, it was very succulent.

SM chose the 3 course lunch menu (2 choices at each course). She had Asiette of seafood, Bass fillets tagliatelle and finished with Cornish Blue cheese served with intriguing fizzy grapes & sourdough bread. Each course was fabulous and remember all for £18.95!

JI started with Home smoked salmon, local soft egg, various beetroots and remoulade and for her main course, Brill with the Spring garnish, Jersey Royal potatoes, broad beans & oil emulsion.

SA decided on 2 starters, Scallops, blood orange jam, green olive, chorizo & ash (created from orange peel!) and 10 hr Brixham Octopus, chorizo, preserved lemon & crispy chicken skin interestingly served in a sardine type tin. Everything was so beautifully flavoured and presented.

The puds were amazing! My favourite was the Textures of yellow… Mango foam, Pineapple sorbet, Mango paper, White chocolate cake, Fresh passion fruit, Fresh mango, a Lego brick made from um bongo (!) & Pineapple tapioca. It demonstrated just how much work David puts into each dish! Other choices, Textures of Valrhona chocolate and hazelnut toast. (Valrhona, a French manufacturer, is one of the leading producers of gastronomic chocolate in the world.) Finally Pear, Tonka bean pannacotta, Hay ice cream and milk skin. (Hay ice cream is made by roasting the hay and infusing it in the milk and then straining.) BTW David does do cookery classes, see their website.

We accompanied our food with a bottle of Picpoul de Pinet ‘10, Domaine de Grangette – Coteaux du Languedoc @21.50

To finish we enjoyed some Petit four with our coffee- Meringue flavoured with fisherman’s friend and salted caramel fudge wrapped in edible paper.

This was a truly memorable lunch, David and his team have created a unique dining experience and we highly recommend you try it for yourself… very soon!  And don’t forget there is a traditional fishmongers shop at the front of the restaurant. Cost: £££££££

A special offer for LWL Discount Card holders, a FREE coffee and chocolate with lunch on presentation of your card!

Please help to spread the word by telling any restaurants you visit that you tried them because you were recommended by LWL in Hampshire… Thank you!

Ladies Who Lunch Scoring:

Quality of food 5/5
Variety of menu 5/5
Staff and service 5/5
Ambience & décor 4/5
Value for Money 5/5 (for 3 courses)


Total Yummy Factor


Report: CJ

5/5 = Cannot be improved upon, 4/5 = Very good, 3/5 = Good,
2/5 = Satisfactory, 1/5 = Poor, 0/5 = Terrible

The higher the “Yummy” factor, the better the food & service. The higher the number of £ signs the more expensive. (Roughly one £ sign = £5 per head)


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