There are still a fair few places we are yet to review in Poole – particularly down the Quay! Especially when there is a wealth of seafood at one’s fingertips and most, if not all of the establishments operating on the harbourside are using to some degree. It seems a shame, therefore, that the subject of our review this issue does not include any seafood at all.
Around the corner from a parade of old pubs frequented by the eclectic and varied catalogue of Poole’s inhabitants, there is a building called The Cabin. When I first went there as a halfway point on a pub crawl, it came across to me as a cocktail bar with a swirling, smoky atmosphere and filled with (apparently) beautiful people. And I also thought it was a burger bar, but it actually turns out to be a pizzeria.
The welcome at 4pm on a gorgeous Sunday afternoon was unsettlingly frosty. A table near the entrance had to suffice though my party and I would have preferred a booth. The hostess seemed incapable of hearing anything my friend requested, and it seemed to be too much trouble to set up the booth for four to dine.
Service continues as it started, two of us ordered cocktails – a Strawberry Daiquiri (see pictured) for me, as ever – and another of us, a simple, standard pint of beer. We can see the cocktails being made at the bar from our table. They sit on the tray waiting. And waiting. And waiting. We’ll move on to the food; the beer still isn’t ready yet.
My choices from the menu were a little restricted given how hawkishly I am now watching my weight – I have a target to lose 8kg in 12 weeks, so going for a pizza lunch was perhaps not too good a starting point. Whilst there are a number of “Light” options on the menu, which also included pasta dishes and lighter bites, I don’t think it makes that big a difference, and so, ultimately, I opted for a Pizza Americana (see pictured), very similar to the Pizza Diavola chosen by my colleague when we visited Bellagio in Winton – employing pepperoni alongside chilli peppers.
We could not fault the authenticity. They used a genuine Italian stone pizza oven, and compared to some places that make their pizzas from scratch, the time it took to bring ours out was beyond compare – in a good way. And now the drinks are ready, but not before I had quipped to my friend (maybe deliberately within earshot of staff) “I don’t know what’s taking your beer so long”. The long-overdue pint, along with my perfectly-cold slushy Daiquiri, arrive just after the pizzas.
From there on in, it’s like we were left to fend for ourselves. Table service has little-to-no existence at The Cabin – not even a quick visit from waiting staff to inquire after how our meal was going. My Pizza Americana has everything one looks for in a dish of its kind. The chillis were somewhat underwhelming mild and seemed redundant – no kick-in-the-throat explosive heat, no bloodshot eyes or tears as a result of eating. I would have been fine with a classic Pepperoni Pizza in the end (if one had been on the menu).
Opinions were a three-to-one divide among my party. Despite how indifferently I felt we had been treated by staff, my trio of guests were still happy with the quality of their food and the price we paid which, to be fair, was not unreasonable. The cocktails were reduced to £5 each due to it being “Happy” Hour — the only things I was happy about were my ice-cold Daiquiri and being told it was time to leave. For a meal, The Cabin is one to avoid.