Another Easter weekend, another jaunt down to Portsmouth to see the family. Amongst much consuming of alcohol and Lindt bunnies, we managed to fit in a rather delightful lunch at Southsea-institution The ABar Bistro (generally known to locals by its former name, The American Bar).
This bright and ever-so slightly nautically themed restaurant (touches of sea blue, stripes and a quirky mural of beach huts on one wall) is an excellent bet for simple, well executed and good value pub grub. It's also located next to Portsmouth’s best fish market, pretty much guaranteeing a rotating selection of fresh fish on the menu.
Unfortunately, having forgotten my camera and following a few aperitifs in the bustling bar area, I only started snapping on the iPhone post starters. I will however, mention a pot of prawns served with a tangy lemon mayo: pink, sweet and delicious.
Further lack of organisation (and the aforementioned booze consumption), meant I also neglected to note down the exact details of the dishes from the daily changing specials board. Memory (and slightly grainy photos) confirm a slowly braised lamb dish with roast spuds and crunchy red cabbage, a perfectly cooked bream with green beans, a light and crunchy haddock, a slab of rich pork with crackling and not-too-cloying apple sauce, and a huge tureen of sea-flavoured mussels. All of which were excellent.
Despite its dodgy seafront cafes serving lurid pink candy floss and overpriced chips in a cone, Southsea does have some good dining options. Many of which are tucked away in unlikely places. For those that fancy a day at the seaside, or are en route to Isle of White or France, this well-run ‘bistro’ is definitely worth seeking out.
58 White Hart Road