As I’m sure you know by now, when a new Italian restaurant opens in my hometown, I like to discover more about it and preferably pay a visit as soon as possible. So when I heard that an Italian restaurant had opened as part of the new development on the former Vosper Thornycroft site in Woolston, I just had to contact them. Just to register my interest, of course 😉
Very generously, Darren, the restaurant manager, invited three guests and I to a complimentary meal with a bit of pizza making thrown in too. Naturally, I jumped at the chance and set to work getting some friends together, which took a while!! Eventually, my mother (the world’s biggest backseat blogger), Amy (who features in my previous post) and Anthony came along. I asked them all to take plenty of photos for this post.
We were given a warm welcome by Dan, the supervisor, and shown to our table. The place was already buzzing with people and I spotted my former boss at a large table at the end of the restaurant. I even saw a girl from my salsa dance class there too. It’s a small world! I have a bit of a fascination with wood-fired ovens and the one here was very impressive! I was excited at the thought of getting to use it at the end of the night.
We were all very hungry and we all found lots of things to tempt us on the menu. What impressed me most was how simple the menu is; sometimes Italian restaurants have far too many choices with very little originality. Not here! I actually made sure not to read the menu online before my visit so it would be a surprise when I got here. There are some very considered choices on this menu.
First up, we were offered drinks. Naturally I chose a small glass of Chianti, Anthony had strawberry cider, Amy the bitter orange and elder flower tonic water and mum had a glass of Rose.
A friend recommended the cheesy garlic pizza bread so I went for that as my starter. It was delicious with the charring from the wood-fired oven and the melted mozzarella. It reminded me of a posh (and much yummier) version of the Domino’s garlic pizza bread! Everyone agreed it was very tasty.
Amy had the goats cheese and red pepper bruschetta for starter and she really enjoyed it. I tried a bit and loved the combination sweet peppers and tangy goats cheese. Mum’s Supermarine platter was a fantastic antipasti selection featuring cured meats and Sardinian pane carasau. It was such a generous portion!! Anthony enjoyed his pear and pecorino salad; I always find it interesting when fruit it incorporated into a salad.
For the main course, I was initially tempted by the Ragu & Pappardelle, but when I read that the Spaghetti Carbonara has no cream (the authentic way), my decision was made! The spaghetti is fresh and the pancetta crispy but melted in the mouth. My only minor criticisms are that the spaghetti was a little sticky with not much sauce and the portion size a bit on the small side. But this didn’t stop me from deftly twirling the spaghetti using just a fork. Mum tried some and she cut it with a knife; sacrilege! She enjoyed it though.
Amy liked the selection of cheeses on her 4 cheese pizza, although she said it was a little cold. Anthony said that his meat pizza could have done with more meat. I then let him know that ‘less is more’ with Neapolitan style pizza. Mum enjoyed her calzone.
After all that delicious food it was time for dessert! One thing that I often find lacking in Italian restaurants is the dessert menu, but Supermarine’s was simple but exciting. I’m a big fan of bitter flavours so the bitter chocolate tart immediately caught my eye, but in the end I went for a tiramisu and mum had the tart.
My tiramisu was delicious very light and flavoursome with a punchy coffee which provided a great ‘pick me up’ after big meal. About halfway through eating it, I tried a bit of mum’s chocolate tart and I was in heaven. This was my favourite out of all of the desserts at the table. It is very bitter, akin to maybe an 80% cocoa chocolate bar, and was packed with flavour. The base was also crispy and very thin. Our friendly waitress, Kate, later told us that the base is baked in the wood-fired oven. Amazing!
Amy had the pannacotta with red berries and said it was very light, perfect for a lighter appetite. I concur; it was delicious. Whilst Anthony had the chocolate pizza which he said was very chocolatey. I concur; it was very chocolatey! The charred, wood-fired base provided a delicious contrast in flavour.
Our waitress for most of the evening, Kate, came over to chat to us after we’d finished our meals. She’s very enthusiastic about the restaurant seemed genuinely excited about its future. She told us about the chefs and the fact that all of the food is made fresh at the restaurant. She pointed out the huge dough mixer which is used daily to make pizza and bread dough. The restaurant owner also owns the small independent chain of cafes called Mettricks and the American restaurant next door, Vospers.
Amazingly, I was then able to go behind the counter and cook my own pizza! My friends, my mum and my old boss gathered around; I was feeling the heat! The chef prepared and topped the base then he helped me cook it in the wood-fired oven. The pizza cooked in less than a minute and I was in my element!
This is a fantastic restaurant and a welcome addition to the out-of-town restaurant scene. It has a fun and informal feel, friendly service and a simple but clever menu which emphasises fresh ingredients and reasonable prices. Amy and mum both report that there are baby changing facilities and good disabled access. It’s the perfect venue for a get together and would be perfect for a date night. I’m excited to go back and try the ragu & papardelle!
Date of visit: 16th November 2017
Keith’s rating: 4.5 out of 5
Where is it?
3 Centenary Plaza
Ever visited Supermarine? Let us know in the comments below. Mention this review when you next visit.