Our latest review takes us to one of Boscombe’s most talked-about venues. As good for a memorable night out as it is for an exquisite meal; one, two or three courses…
Since The Wessex Hotel closed down in January, I have been getting my now-fortnightly snooker fix from the Spectrum Academy in Boscombe. Being in the vicinity on such a regular basis has opened me up to several untried restaurants. Hot Pan was one of them, though it has closed down since our visit in May.
One place I was familiar with prior to the visit for this review was the bar Chaplins, named after Sir Charlie and complete with a little statuette of him by the front door. It has served as the venue for more than one night out in Boscombe, and now for some decent food.
My friend Mantas, who joined me on this occasion, had already told me of his own visits there for food, where I found out they have quite a strict dress code. That is, no sportswear or gymwear. I’m generally quite smart even just to go grocery shopping, so this was of little relevance to me. But it’s worth noting if you’re planning a visit of your own.
On a nice day and/or pleasant evening, I highly recommend sitting out in their massive beer garden, which has seats both sheltered and unsheltered for your preference.
I was immediately surprised by the sheer diversity of the menu. Mantas and I had already decided we would have burgers for our dinner – a Chicken Burger (see pictured) in my case – but I would like to go back for the full three-course experience. Chaplins have scallops on their menu, for example. Not what I would have expected for an establishment of its kind.
The burgers from Chaplins have no airs and graces at all. They don’t claim to be anything overly gourmet or fancy. And thank goodness for it. A simple, succulent piece of chicken breast, sat on a stack of lettuce, tomato, bacon, cheese and coleslaw between two pieces of bread, complete with half a gherkin impaled to the top – that is exactly what I was looking for! Just an eruption of flavour in every bite. Gorgeous. The chips were also hand-cut, also refreshing to find in such a place. I wasn’t as impressed by their taste or texture, however. But then, you can’t win everything…
Given the range of dishes available on their menu, I am determined to visit Chaplins again and do a full three-course review. They may have impressed with their burgers, but what could they have in store for me in the starters and seafood departments?