PLAYING OUT LOUD!
FOOD & THINGS
La Tavernetta. 1-3 Civic
Centre Road, Southampton.
This is not
really a restaurant review as such, more of a recommendation for a place that we
use regularly because the standard of food and cooking is always excellent and
the service efficient and reliable. Bang opposite the main entrance to the Civic
Centre, one of the plusses of La Tavernetta is that you can order lunch-time
portions from the evening menu at a very reasonable price.
One of my favourites is Spaghetti Frutti Di Mare which is £8.25 on the a la
carte menu, but a lunchtime portion costs about £6. With a generous helping of
spaghetti in a subtle tomato sauce with a hint of garlic come mussels, prawns,
calimari and salmon. If you prefer pizza there is a similar seafood meal at the
same price and loads more pizza variations. I usually plump for pasta and have
tried Spaghetti Pomodaro, a straight tomato pasta which is only around a fiver
at lunchtime, £6.25 as a full meal, and ravioli at the same price. Penne,
torteloni, fettucine and lasagne are other varieties of pasta available.
Fish and meat choices are available too with swordfish steak at £6.50, sea bass
at £7.25 and salmon and king prawn dishes at similar prices. Fillet steak is
available at £13.95 and sirloin at £11.95, and there are plenty of specials on
the blackboard at lunchtime and in the evenings. A good choice of starters too
from various salads, soup, baked mushrooms stuffed with parmesan, deep fried
whitebait and many other items priced between £3.95 and £6.95.
George the proprietor makes eating at La Tavernetta and friendly and enjoyable
experience any time of day. He also stocks a good range of wine. Service is
swift and dependable, an important factor at lunchtime, while the evening
atmosphere is more leisurely.
I can heartily recommend this restaurant and the Piccolo Mondo round the corner
which is linked to it. And no, I don’t get a discount for producing this review!
Opening hours are 11.30 am - 2.30pm for lunch, 5.30pm till late in the evenings,
and there are also special themed evening meals - ring 02380 635185 for details.
Sara’s Thai Cuisine. 273 Portswood
Road, Southampton. Tel: 02380 676063.
just opened but already a huge success, Sara from Thailand has brought a
gourmet’s paradise to Portswood. I had already sampled her culinary skills over
at The Fountain at Rowlands Castle where she managed the Thai restaurant so I
knew what to expect: authentic Thai food using the freshest of ingredients with
no additives, cooked superbly and served with charm and friendliness.
People of Portswood and surrounding areas, you are so lucky to have this
intimate restaurant on your doorstep!
My guest and I renewed acquaintanceship with Sara and her partner Paul then
dipped into an assortment of starters. Chicken satay, spring roll, Thai fish
cake, spare ribs, paper prawn, golden triangle and deep fried chicken wings.
I could eulogise indefinitely on the feast of flavours and textures, but will
limit myself to explaining that “Golden Triangle” is prawns mixed with herbs
spread on a bed of triangular bread served with sweet chilli sauce and that all
the starters were superb.
Our main dishes were Drunken Duck and Beef in Oyster Sauce with sticky rice.
Drunken Duck is tender slices of roast duck stir fried with chilli and exotic
herbs - an appetising, spicy and rewarding concoction. The beef was equally
tender and came in a delicious oyster sauce with mushrooms. A similar meal with
drinks would probably come to around £43 for two - for starters and one main
meal with rice think in terms of £30. The food was of exceptional quality and
you won’t get a better Thai meal for less in Southampton. The menu extends to
over 80 dishes with 22 starters to choose from including three soup dishes and
four salads, main meals offer a variety of meat dishes: chicken, pork, duck,
beef, lamb and seafood. There are nine variations of rice and noodles to
accompany main meals plus a range of vegetarian alternatives.
The restaurant is open every day both lunchtime and evening. Lunch is served
from 12.00 to 3pm and dinner from 6pm to 10.30pm. Booking is essential at
weekends and advisable in midweek. Just ring 02380 676073; tell Sara that you
heard about the restaurant through Playing Out Loud and I might get invited
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