Ojo Rojo new children’s menu!

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.

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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.
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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,

Emma

 

Assembelly

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!

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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.

The menu will be ever-changing, keeping to Toby’s strengths in seafood and game, and reflecting the flavours, produce and culture of the local area. He has also for the past year been studying fermentation, and its vast range of health benefits, which will run as a strong theme through the menu.
With a winning menu and such an impressive history we couldn’t resist but to ask Toby to feature on our blog…..

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

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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.

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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,

 

Emma

James Golding – THE PIG

You may not have heard of James Golding by name but as Chef Director of THE PIG Hotels you will most certainly know him by reputation.

A self confessed lover of food, fishing and foraging James’ style when it comes to cuisine is as renowned as the beautiful settings in which have become synonymous with THE PIG Hotels.

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James, what is your best-loved local ingredient?

A pinch of Salt Hampshire Charcuterie, it’s made from local free-range pigs and has a brilliant range of products. It enables us to use a multi award winning, locally based product on our menu. The Butcher (Alan Bartlett) who makes the cured meats is the third generation Butcher in his shop and works closely with myself and THE PIG and also creates bespoke products.

I also LOVE Lyburn cheese, Howarts hive honey, Manor farm flock (badger faced lamb and Hogget), IOW tomatoes, Berry Hill Farm for vegetables and Jeff Lander for shell fish.

It’s fantastic to see all of those local ingredients, how would you use these at home?

Cured meat boards, risottos, on pasta dishes, with tomatoes etc…

What is your first choice dish to eat and also create?

Probably something to do with a wood oven. We use a Gozney wood oven to showcase the cured meats as well as our 8 varieties of tomatoes and basil that we grow at THE PIGs. I love the simplicity of a flatbread pizza and the freshness of a ripe tomato paired with some amazing Wiltshire Burrata.

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Do you have a favourite spot on the South Coast?

Yes, we live in Christchurch but I love Hengistbury Head and Mudeford Spit. It’s the perfect place to walk our dogs and the views are breathtaking in the summer as well as winter. You can grab a coffee at the cafe on the Spit and the beach is lovely there too.

A huge thank you to James for taking the time to talk to us. If you wanted more information on THE PIG you can click here. I’m looking to enjoying a fresh flatbread and taking in the stunning views at the THE PIG on the beach soon!

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Thanks for reading,

Emma

Harry Hunter at NEO Restaurant

With a stunning location and a beautiful setting Neo Restaurant in Bournemouth is the perfect location for special occasions, light bites or even cocktails on the stylish terrace.

At the heart of the team here is Harry Hunter, a talented Chef with a passion for producing stunning dishes with local ingredients.

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Harry, what is your best loved local ingredient?

Any fish caught off the South Coast

How would you use this at home?

At home I would do something simple and pan roast the fish to serve it with a bean cassoulet.

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What is your first choice dish to create and also to eat?

My first choice dish to create and eat is a salmon pave, crushed new potatoes and some fresh green veg. Especially in the summer months!

Do you have a favourite spot on the South Coast?

The New Forest – it’s the perfect ‘staycation’

A huge thank you to Harry, I know I will definitely be attempting this at home when it looks this good!

Thanks for reading,

Emma

Abbots Court

If you live on the South Coast then the chances are that you will have heard of the newly established Abbots Court, nestled on the outskirts of Winterborne Kingston. If you haven’t then you’re in for a treat given it’s the brain child of the husband and wife team behind The Tickled Pig!

The large rambling Victorian farmhouse is set in five acres of its own woodland, meadow and also boasts its own original walled kitchen garden. At Abbots Court guests are able to enjoy the simple pleasures in life – long lazy walks through the rolling Dorset countryside, food picked fresh from the garden, roaring fires and cosy evenings spent in the company of those you love.

I’ve sat down with Jez who along with his wife Niki have worked hard to create something very special indeed.

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Abbots Court opened at the beginning of the year; not only as a beautiful hotel, but as somewhere guests can escape to for a nostalgic trip back to a time when things where simpler. Where did you find the inspiration for this? 

We lived in France for 7 years in a 400-year-old ruin which we lovingly converted and enjoyed the simpler life. We sat around the dinner table with friends, eating food from the garden and collecting eggs from the chickens. I was very taken aback by the tremendous reaction I was getting from my friends about the food I was serving from our garden. When our eldest daughter Lily was born we wanted to move back home to the UK and recreate what we had achieved in France.

We are all so busy and get so caught up in life that it’s easy to forget that having everyone sat down together and enjoying a meal is such an enriching thing to do.

Most people will already know you from your delicious food at The Tickled Pig; what can we look forward to when it comes to food at Abbots Court?

We have two Head Chefs; Alex Naik and Mike Parry. They are amazing at what they do and really are the genius behind the food. Alex is aiming to achieve a Michelin star in the next 4 years but I’m confident he will achieve this before then!

Guests can look forward to beautiful food that is not overly complicated, full of great flavours and textures and celebrating the produce we use. Lots of which has gone from garden to plate within hours

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Pork belly, scallops, crispy sage & burnt apple puree

What can guests expect from a stay at Abbots Court?

An escape from reality, enjoying the simpler things in life with good food, good wine and great company.

We want guests to enjoy the garden and the space outside as well as the house, it will feel like a complete break from the outside world!

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What exciting plans do you have for the rest of the year?

 The thing I am most excited about is the garden – we’re going to get some teepees that you can cook in and have fires in too. We want to be the one destination for people to come and learn about food. We’re going to be running some courses that will be wholesome, laidback and will inspire people to get involved with food.

At the heart of everything we do is our food and the produce along with the experience we can give our guests.

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Afternoon Tea outdoors anyone?

If you want to know more about Abbots Court can click HERE for their website, you can also find them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!

As always, thank you for reading!

Em

Mark Bennett; by Royal Appointment

With the country enjoying wedding fever this week and this years most anticipated wedding happening this weekend we were lucky enough to catch up with Mark Bennett.

Mark has experience himself of a Royal Wedding so was the perfect person to speak with this week!

Mark has patisseries open in Penn Hill, Lilliput and Ashley Cross, Poole. He makes and sells the most incredible range of breads and pastries, as endorsed by the baking industry who named him National Baker of the Year!

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As a prestigious baker with experience of royal wedding cakes can you share with us what it’s like to be part of such a significant event?

When I was involved with making the royal wedding cake for the Duke and Duchess of York it was just an amazing feeling, the Country had a real buzz about it and to be linked to it more than most was a very special feeling.

We delivered the cake in person to the Palace the day before and set it up, we travelled back the next day to watch the ceremony on the Mall, it was a very proud moment indeed.

Where do you find your inspiration for your  delicious cakes and breads?

My inspiration is natural, I grew up living next door to my family’s bakery so I was involved at a very early age, baking is in my blood, I know no different, you must have passion, it is a hard job often done at unsociable hours.

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If someone wanted to have a go at baking where would you recommend they start? 

If you fancy coming into baking I would look at going on a course, there are many Artisan Bakers offering courses around the Country, including myself, but this will only give you a small insight into our amazing industry.

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When Prince Harry marries Meghan Markle on the 19th May it’s reported they will celebrate by cutting a lemon and elderflower cake. Is there any other flavour you would choose?

I personally think the Royal cake should be a Rich Fruit cake soaked in Rum, but when it comes to Royal baking I am a traditionalist, but that’s only my opinion.

Mark thank you so much for your time, if anyone is yet to experience the mouthwatering delights on offer at one of the patisseries then what are you waiting for? Mark’s website can be found here for all details, opening times and workshop details.

Thank you for reading,

Emma

 

Blue Orange Juice Bar

This week I’m talking to Jacqui from Blue Orange Juice Bar located in Ashley Cross. If you haven’t swung by yet for a fresh juice or delicious fresh lunch then what are you waiting for?

I’m a huge fan of their juices and delicious vegan cakes that taste so delicious and indulgent and I was very excited to share more on this little gem in Ashley Cross…..

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What inspired you to open Blue Orange in Ashley Cross?

My husband and I lived in Australia for a number of years where the juice and healthy heating market is booming. We moved back to the UK few years ago and London aside, we found there were very few options to buy a healthy juice or lunch, especially when you need to grab something on the run. It seemed such an obvious thing for us so thought we’d try it out. 

The shop in Ashley Cross had been empty for a number of years and we always used to comment what a great spot it was and as we live just around the corner from it, it was a no brainer to try the concept out there. We love Ashley Cross as a place to live and work and hopefully Blue Orange has positively added to the eclectic mix of independent shops on the Green and made it that little bit cooler!  

What is your most popular juice? 

Very difficult to say but during the week our Ginger Ninja (Apple, carrot, ginger & orange) or One Eye Opener (apple, cucumber, fennel, ginger, lemon & orange) juices are probably most popular. However over the weekends smoothies are definitely our best sellers with probably Sweet Greens (avocado, banana, kiwi, lime, spinach, coconut water & yoghurt) being the favourite. We designed them all though over the course of quite a few months, so very difficult to have a favourite. 

BlueOrange-0007Do you feel that eating and drinking healthier is becoming more than a fad?

Absolutely! We try our hardest not to be preachy about the health benefits as we’d rather you come in and have a juice because you love the taste and range. But we do like to highlight some of the benefits on the labels so our customers are aware of the benefits of drinking fresh juice.

Healthy eating is definitely becoming more mainstream, especially with the younger generations which is great to see and we expect to see more places popping up in the short term to make it easier for people with a hectic lifestyle to be able to grab something fresh and healthy rather than the often, more convenient sausage roll and can of pop.

 Our juice cleanse programs have also been extremely popular as a way to kickstart a new healthier lifestyle or exercise regime which I think is testament to the increasing awareness of living a healthy lifestyle. 

In addition to your juices you also have a delicious array of lunch options available. Where do you find your inspiration for these?

We love to work with local producers and suppliers and really encourage anyone that has a unique and suitable product to come in and say hi. We try and keep our food ranges fresh and unique and hopefully this keeps things interesting for our customers. Working with companies such as Tansy’s Kitchen, Dark Matters, Rod & Bens amongst others as well as our awesome team trying out new recipes in the shop has been the inspiration for our foods. 

What’s next for Blue Orange?

Very exciting times for Blue Orange! We’re currently doing a fit out in a shop on Station Road in Swanage, which we hope will be open by the end of May. We are also on the look out for other suitable premises and hope to have 5 or 6 shops by the end of 2019, all of which will be in Dorset and follow the same model and ethos of what we have created in Ashley Cross. We will be very busy certainly over the next year or so but we’re excited to see where it goes.

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Thank you so much to Jacqui, I hope you’ve enjoyed learning a bit more about Blue Orange Juice Bar. Do let us know what your favourites from the scrumptious menu are!

 

Em