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.
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.
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.
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!