• Rachael Pitman

Restaurant Roots hidden gem in Southbourne


This is the very proud owner of Restaurant Roots, and rightly so, the restaurant currently stands at No2 on Trip Advisor for restaurants in Bournemouth, Jan (chef) and his wife and co owner Stacey (pastry chef) are very customer focused and the opinion of their diners really matters.

Coming from a family involved with the food industry it's no surprise that Jan took an interest in cooking and has been involved with it from the tender age of 16 working in restaurants and hotels all over Europe including the prestigious Kempinzki group of hotels.

The restaurant has also received awards from Dorset Food and Drink, Waitrose Good Food Guide, it has two AA rosettes and can be found in the Michelin guide for 2018. All amazing achievements considering the restaurant is still very young.

Situated in an unexpected area of Southbourne nestled amongst a small parade of the usual shops sits this neighbourhood restaurant with attitude for good food.

It is laid out in such a way so that it only accommodates eighteen covers this is to ensure ample room to move between tables and not feel you are intruding on other diners conversations.

It is fair to say the restaurant is extremely popular, bookings need to be made well in advance especially at the weekends. The menu changes monthly and options consist of Mini, Classic or Discovery set menus (and the same options for Vegetarians) so it really depends how hungry you are.

Geza, the waiter works closely with Jan and is very knowledgable about the menu, he can talk you through the wines available, or wine tasting to accompany each menu is also an option. Good to know this in advance so that you choose to book a taxi or get someone to drop you off.

For me this lunchtime visit took me out of my comfort zone, you know when you tend to order the same old thing at a restaurant because you are familiar with it.

This really is something different.

Jan's menu challenges the way we expect our food to look, taste and smell for example the Poole Oyster served as a Panna cotta, first salty and silky, then the slighty chewy texture of the apple jelly then cold and crunchy, just wow!

The next course was initially the reason I was dining at Roots, I had been following the trail of local artisan butter maker Bloxs butter and Jan is very keen to promote his product and does so with great style.

Served with Crispy chicken skin, cream cheese, herb and truffle oil and tapenade.

All the dishes were equally delicious with some extra serving touches that I loved, such as the truffle being grated at the table and the way the jus made the crackling crackle, as the waiter poured it onto my pork belly dish.

Finally I couldn't resist a video of the beautifully presented dessert of Seville orange and bitter chocolate.

I would like to thank Jan and his staff for their hospitality it was lovely experience and one I have shared with all my friends and family.

If you have not been you really should!

The restaurant is open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday and lunches Friday and Saturday.

info@restaurantroots.co.uk 01202 430005

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CHRISTCHURCH, DORSET
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