After the glorious summer we have enjoyed it’s now time for a change in season with a chill in the air and the nights drawing in and it’s a change we welcome.
There’s also a change at well-loved restaurant Neo with not only the launch of their delicious Autumn menu but also the introduction of afternoon tea. I was invited along to meet new Head Chef Daniel Turner to try out some of the new dishes and discover the inspiration behind them!
Daniel has cooked in Michelin star and rosette restaurants, as well as working alongside Heston Blumenthal as his sous chef. By utilising innovative cooking techniques and taking inspiration from our surroundings, Daniel has created a menu which is unlike anything we have seen at Neo before.
Hi Daniel, can you tell us more about the changes can you see yourself making at NEO?
I have changed all of the menus. We’re trying to incorporate seafood a little more, especially as the suppliers are so great around here. We want to go down the extravagant route, I’m aiming for the wow factor here. I have also introduced afternoon tea, which I think will go down really well.
What has been your inspiration for the new dishes?
Our location – the sea and the beach!
What would be your favourite dish on the new menu? What have you enjoyed about creating this new menu?
I’ve got one of my classics on here: Sand, sea, scallops and seaweed. This is a bit of a Heston inspiration. The sand is breadcrumbs fried in fish oil, seaweed being samphire, scallops being scallops, but then we take the roe off, dry it out so that we make coral, which goes on the plate as well. Then we have a seafood foam, which is the sea. It’s very funky!
We’ve also made a simple ham hock terrine, and then we’re going to smoke it to order, then the waitresses are going to wave it around the table so it’s going to add a little bit of theatre to the restaurant.
What is your favourite dish to create and also to eat?
Pork belly – favourite cut of meat which can be underrated, slow roasted, you can’t get anything better than that!
Which chef do you most admire?
It’s got to be Heston Blumenthal. He is just incredible and working alongside him was an honour. He does exactly what he wants and rightly so, he has won the award for best restaurant in the world! I just love his creativity and the influence he has on the culinary world, including myself and this new menu.
How would you describe your style of cooking?I’ve been in the AA and a variety of different papers who have described my style of cooking as ‘modern eclectic,’ which is a mish-mash of everything. I like my oriental stuff, I like my English stuff, I like the classic French stuff. I just love to combine different national cuisines.
To book your table at Neo you can call 01202 203610 and to celebrate the new afternoon tea menu we have kindly been given an amazing discount code for any bookings made before the 23rd September to be used before 31st October. You can quote ‘SCRUMPTIOUS‘ for an amazing 25% off your afternoon tea!
The summer season is well and truly upon us and we’re enjoying all the al fresco eating and drinking we were dreaming about when the weather was awful earlier in the year (like 5 months ago when it snowed!). You only have to own a log in for any social platform to know one how popular it is to post photos of our food, like photos from our favourite chefs and comment on our friends weekend brunch snaps.
So, with this way of eating with our eyes we took the opportunity to host a tweet chat with talented food photographer Kris Hall from Nose 2 Tail photography. Here are some of the highlights…..
Why do you think there seems to be a fascination with food photography?
Great question! I think ultimately, we live in a time where social media is a great revenue source for restaurants and food enthusiasts! Instagram and Twitter are more and more popular for promoting their meals!
What has been your favourite food shoot that you have done?
Most recently it has to be the shoot at Abbots Court with the amazing Alex and Mike. The food is next level and shot in a domestic kitchen. Most of the ingredients were grown on site by the team. All of this added to the flavours placed beautifully on each plate.
Is there a certain app or filter you use when taking a photo on your phone?
When taking photos on the phone one app I find useful is Snapseed. Great app for gently touching up. You need to check out an amazing iPhone photographer on Instagram called Matt Inwood. He runs photography masterclasses and only uses Instagram!
Do you have any tips for us amateurs trying to show off our food with a photo?
Great question. Two main things… It doesn’t matter what camera or phone you use, it’s all about lighting (natural if possible) and colours! It’s worth looking at the “colour wheel” and specifically the colour square!
Thanks so much to Kris for his time during our tweet chat, if you would like to be involved in the next one please let us know!
Thanks for reading,
You will all know we are fans of family eating here at Scrumptious South Coast and when we find somewhere that we can go as a family and all enjoy our meals we are keen beans to shout about it as much as we can.
A few weeks ago we headed to Ojo Rojo in Bournemouth with the smallest member of the Scrumptious South Coast team to check out their lunch. Not only was our mini critic entertained for the entire time we were there she ate ALL of her lunch (no mean feat!) which meant we enjoyed our delicious food and drink more too! Winner, winner Mexican dinner!
We caught up with El Capitan Trevor to find out more about how Ojo Rojo is keeping their small fans very happy.
Ojo Rojo has seen a recent launch of it’s new children’s menu, what can we expect to see on there?
Yes, we are very happy with our new children’s menu. We have tried to take on board as much feedback and advice as possible and added dishes such as ‘Build You Own Tacos’, some healthy options such as carrot sticks and dips, simple chicken/fish strips and even mini versions of dishes from the adult menu. We actually had a lot of fun coming up with some of the dishes.
Was there anything in particular that motivated this move?
Well, we [Ojo Rojo] have had various incarnations of our menu but only really 1 of the children’s menu. I felt that it was a little uninspiring, compared to the rest of products we offer here. So we set it in motion to build the best kids menu we could.
How did you decide on the final menu? There must have been lots of choices!
Yes we had lots of ideas but, essentially, we realised that we needed the ideas and recommendations from those who will be eating it and those who will be bringing the children in so we utilised social media. We asked for advice and were inundated with hundreds of recommendations and comments. We filtered through them and did our best to come up with a list of dishes that took as much on as possible from the thread. We then put on a event where we laid on the food for free to anyone who turned up in order to get feedback from the children and the parents. It was a massive success and we had quite the turnout! The forms people filled out that day were the final elements that allowed us to make the decision on the new menu. We are very proud of it.
Do you feel that it’s important to enjoy a meal as a family?
Of course! My parents always made sure we ate as a family growing up. Ojo Rojo is a social form of dining and we have always made the largest effort to ensure that all types of eaters and all preferences are catered for (vegan, gluten free etc) and now we can also say that children of all ages are catered for to the best of our ability too.
Have you got any special events coming up over the summer?
We have been proudly invited to host a take over of a bar in London as part of London Mezcal Week on 18th & 19th August. We also have a night of Latin music within the venue on 30th August and anyone who enjoys a quiz, we host one every Wednesday and it is so much fun! The hosts are Punch Entertainment and they are brilliant. It gets busy though so ensure you book. 😉
If you want to book a table to find out more you can find Ojo Rojo’s website by clicking here.
Trevor thank you so much for your time!
Thanks for reading,
A few months ago whilst happily roaming Christchurch Food Festival I discovered Assembelly and it’s creator Toby Bradley-Watson. With a bacon and scallop roll on the menu we couldn’t resist and could not believe not only how delicious it was but also how it was the first time we had seen this on any menu!
Before setting up Assembelly, Toby worked at restaurants around the world. His last position was a two-year stint as head chef at Rick Stein at Bannisters just outside Sydney, in Australia where he won a Hat!
Toby has also worked with top-name chefs including Pierre Koffemann, Mark Edwards, Marcus Wareing, Tom Kitchen, Tom Aitken and Rick Stein.
In October 2017 Toby bought a Richardson horse trailer from his home country of Wales and spent six months converting it into the home of Assembelly.
Toby, what is your best-loved local ingredients?
It depends on the season in the summer it would have to be crab but in the winter and autumn it has to be New Forest venison
How would you use this at home?
Crab meat is very versatile but and can be used in a multitude of ways but my summer favourite would be a crab linguini with cherry tomatoes and lots of lemon.
Venison is different but for me I love to braze a shoulder with a few vegetables a bit of wine and vinegar as well as a bit of chocolate
What is your first choice dish to create and also to eat?
This changes week in week depending what my train of thought is and what’s good that season.
Do you have a favourite spot on the South Coast?
I do like West Dorset with the rolling hills going down to the Jurassic coast.
Where can we next find you on the South Coast?
The next one for me down here is the Lymington seafood on the 11th & 12th August.
We can’t wait to grab another delicious roll from Toby and the Assembelly team then!
Assembelly is available for private functions and events, both large and small. You can click here to contact them for more details.
Thanks for reading,
Well-loved Jenkins & Sons has had a bit of a menu makeover last week, moving more onto setting the scene for a local place we can all visit on the regular. Their previous menu was excellent and I can hand on my heart (as well as my Hug Club card) say it was very much a well visited place for us.
To hear more about the exciting new line up I spoke with Chloe….
Why has there been a change from the previous menu?
In essence, we wanted to create somewhere to appeal to a wider audience – where people would love to go for their parties and special occasions, but also just for their lunch. We love our pizza down at the Wood Oven and thought it would work perfectly in the lovely restaurant/ bar atmosphere that Jenkins and Sons has (as well as with the ales!)
We’re really excited to hear about the new menu, what things can we expect to see?
In our new menu you can expect to see lots of options, again to allow all our friends whether they be vegan, gluten free etc. to come and dine with us.
We are very proud of all our plant powered options, but all the pizzas we know taste great (they are cooking with real fire!!) as we sell them down at the Wood Oven by Boscombe Beach. The owner of Urban Guild (Jenkins and Sons parent company), Mark Cribb, is even on a plant powered diet himself at the moment to see what options we can incorporate into our own menu – what the most delicious options are.
We have added additional items to the menu other than pizza, however… We have our ‘fired pots’ that are also cooked in a traditional wood fired oven and we are using a variety of British fish, locally cured meats, British cray fish and salmon etc. in our dishes.
We of course also have some Multigrain Flat Breads and ‘Panuozzo’ (a Naples street food sandwhich) that are available noonto five which are going to be available with a range of different yummy toppings.
We also have a breakfast menu (Served 9am to 11:30 amon Saturdays and Sundays) which you can also get mini oven fired breads and Panuozz with yummy breakfast things (including vegan options) or go for a simpler cold breakfast of granola or baked breads and jams.
Are you still keeping the artisan focus on food and local suppliers?
For us the Jenkins & Sons historical roots are about artisan pride in food. The old fishmongers and butchers were proud of their produce and that will still remain! We champion British beers and local suppliers all day long – we even have our own pale ale collection called ‘Smugglers & Pioneers’, brewed right here in Dorset. Although pizzas roots are in Italy we use British fish and locally cured meats.
Food supply is complicated since coffee, wine, bananas etc travel the globe but we try and support local whenever we can and way harder than most. We love to support the ‘little guy’ – not huge money hungry corporations!
“That’s why I love hospitality and opened a hotel and restaurants, and even learnt to grow our own produce in a field in the New Forest. Our spaces mean that the big adventure continues.” – Mark Cribb
“There’s been a huge growth in local brewing in Dorset over the last few years and we’re thrilled to be part of it. We are passionate about introducing people to real beers, both ales and lagers, made by real people – not giant international brands. There’s better choice and bigger flavours now and we want people to discover this for themselves.” – Mark Cribb
Will you guys still be running your events and themes?
We love our themed months – so in August we have Rum Month coming up and September is Harvest and Hedgerows. We are really excited about Harvest and Hedgerows as all of our venues will have special items on the menu for that month to celebrate seasonal, autumnal dishes.
I think we can all agree that will make going back to school a bit more palatable! Thank you Chloe for your time, we can’t wait to try the new menu!
For more information on Jenkins & Sons you can click right here.
Thanks for reading,