The Captain’s Club, Christchurch
A Riverside Restaurant Review
A Working Lunch
What a midweek treat. A working – or rather, networking – lunch, on a sunny Tuesday in the middle of a heatwave. The Captain’s Club, Christchurch sits right by the river. The restaurant’s French doors were flung wide open, allowing a refreshing sea breeze (the coast is very close by) to waft over patrons as they dined.
Being a weekday and a working day, too, none of us (regrettably) opted for wine. Instead, an attractive carafe of tap water was provided without us having to request it, as the waiter took our soft drink, starter and main orders.
I began with a Salmon Fishcake, which came with samphire – something I’d not sampled previously – and a generous serving of hollandaise. Now the latter made a good start, because if there’s one thing that can really spoil a delicious meal, for me, it’s the lack of sufficient sauce, gravy, cream, ice cream or custard. My northern genes demand generosity where gravy and the like are concerned, so this suited me just perfectly.
So the sauce was smooth and well-balanced; the salmon fishcake satisfyingly crunchy on the outside while soft and splendidly seasoned within. The samphire, though, was the understated star of the show, cooked just-so and marrying so beautifully with both the fishcake and the hollandaise. If you haven’t tried it, to me it seemed very much like saltier, super-skinny tenderstem broccoli.
Mac ‘n’ Cheese with a twist
My selected main was Crayfish Mac and Cheese, and my, it was nothing short of epic. It would be hard even to consider anything else on the menu on a repeat visit, and believe me there are some truly tempting dishes on the menu, including some Asian spiced fish and chicken dishes that really do appeal to my tastes.
The salad that accompanied my main was so flavoursome, too. I’m not huge fan of salad, but it was very good indeed – the sun blush tomatoes and parmesan pimping up the roquette leaves. It was the ideal partner to the creamy cheese and seafood pasta dish; rich enough not to be drowned by the pasta, yet subtle enough not to steal the limelight.
A Pretty Pudding
Speaking of lime, it was pudding time. I was pretty full – but there’s always room for dessert, right? After starting with a salty fishcake, then devouring a rich baked pasta dish, it was time for something that matched a little better with the gorgeous weather. It was tricky to choose, but in the end I plumped for the Cheesecake.
Poetry on a plate, if looks were anything to go by. So pretty that it was difficult to break into, in fact, but somehow I pushed on through. Soft, creamy vanilla cheesecake, topped with a layer of smooth, glossy passionfruit sauce, with a scoop of refreshing lemon sorbet on the side. The sesame tuile, atop, brought a welcome hit of crunchiness and savoury flavour to the dessert, making for a very harmonious plateful indeed. It rounded off a flawless meal very well.
Lucky, lucky me
Both my starter and main were on the set menu, I noticed, saving a considerable tenner – if only you could cope with having Creme Brûlée, Brownie S’More or Panna Cotta instead of the cheesecake for pud. I’d be willing to give them a try, that’s for sure. Fortunately for me, refined riverside dining is but a mile or few away from home.
Stay @ Captain’s Club Christchurch
If you can, do arrange to stay over. Ideally, during Christchurch Food Festival! It’s a gorgeous property, and sundowners by the river are practically obligatory! See the latest rates and reviews for the Captain’s Club Christchurch Hotel and Spa HERE.
Find out more about what to do in Christchurch HERE…
…and the local beaches HERE.
- Upper Deck, Christchurch
- Christchurch Food Festivals
- Kala Thai, Bournemouth
- Ventana Grand Cafe, Bournemouth
- Best brunches in Bournemouth
- Top restaurants in Bournemouth
- Poole Quay restaurants
- Dorset pubs with rooms
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