Lakeside, Poole

Before we start I’d like to wish my mother a happy 42nd birthday, as it was down to this event that I could review this restaurant, which in turn came as a recommendation of my paternal grandmother.

The view from Lakeside

Standing right opposite Poole’s branch of Asda sits what looks to be your standard chippy. A takeaway counter standing in the reception area, with cooking staff doing the chips behind them.

Walk around this counter, however and you come into a really lavishly-decorated little joint of a restaurant, whose window-side seats are furnished with the utterly gorgeous view of the lake of Poole Park (see pictured).

Lakeside is actually like a standard restaurant with its own à la carte menu – with a selection of starters and desserts in addition to your battered cod with chips. Rather delectable-sounding things like Scallops with Black Pudding and Herring Roes on Toast were among the selections for hors d’œuvres; more traditional things like Bread and Butter Pudding and Treacle Tart were available for dessert.

Battered Cod and Chips

Battered Cod and Chips

But this article concerns the main course, which gives you a selection of either battered or griddled fish, and there are options of the chicken or steak varieties. But no, we were there for a fish supper so that was what we were going to have. My grandmother and step-grandparents all contented themselves with Battered Cod and Chips (see pictured) and accompanied it with a good old pea fritter. In fact my step-grandfather had wanted the Huss (or Rock Salmon), but on this occasion they were out of stock, to his chagrin. My mother and stepfather both had Battered Plaice instead. I did not taste, but from all five of them I heard non-stop about how light and tasty the batter was, and indeed how un-greasy the chips were. So full marks over there I think.

Griddled Skate Wing

Griddled Skate Wing with capers and prawns

Now we come to me – being different as per usual. I had opted for a Griddled Skate Wing (see pictured), which came with prawns, capers and black butter. Chips came on the side in a separate bowl.

First of all I would like to congratulate whoever it was who caught the prawns – the fattest, juiciest, most succulent shellfish I have eaten in a very long time. There were only two of them mind you, but I haven’t seen anything like them.

When it comes to a flat fish like skate, one almost fears there is not going to be much meat on the wing. Do not let yourselves be deceived – around the edges, yes, there is not much in the way of flesh and of course the large amount of bones can be a hindrance or indeed a deterrent. A little creativity with one’s fork – almost like a scraping motion – to pull the meat under the bones out and you’ll find you have a lot more. And the balsamic taste to the capers, combined with the light saltiness of the fish and the butter, it makes for a heavenly dish.

And well worth the £15 it cost. Especially as we were all beaten in one course – no room for dessert whatsoever!