28, Oxford Street
Hampshire SO14 3DJ
Gluten free: Just ask
Parking: Public car parks
This restaurant features in our Discount Directory & is offering a complimentary glass of house wine for LWL Card Holder + max 3 guests when ordering 2 or more courses. (See Discount Directory for t’s & c’s) If you don’t have a LWL Discount Card, click here to find out more – and start saving!
As we last reviewed The White Star Tavern a few years ago Ideal Collection invited us to re review to celebrate their swish new website and of course their latest menus…… aren’t we the lucky ones? We were delighted to accept and happy to report that we found everything still up to their high standards including the food and the staff!
Ideal Collection always seem to manage to employ friendly and enthusiastic staff it really does make such a difference to see a smiling face! We had Leighton’s full attention. He was fun but he also knew his stuff and guided us, by making suggestions and recommendations, through what we thought was a very comprehensive lunch menu. There is something for everyone, every appetite and every budget. As well as full on main courses they also have a good selection of starters, sandwiches, soups and salads. We were sat in the restaurant but on their website (see all the menus on there) they also have some bar choices. As they are open all day, every day, they also have a breakfast and a brunch menu.
Leighton expertly served our G & T’s so that earned him extra brownie points! After a lot of deliberation we made our choices. For starters 2 of us had SEARED SCALLOPS with Chestnuts, eggs & chorizo, delicious and unexpectedly, the chestnuts went so well with the scallops. The other and also delicious starter choice was SEARED SMOKED SALMON with Beetroot tartar, horseradish. I didn’t have a starter as I was having one of my all time favourites as a main, ENGLISH ROSE CALVES LIVER with English mustard mash, roasted shallots, apple balsamic, crisp bacon, sage butter. It was wonderful and pleased I didn’t have a starter as it was an enormous portion! Just one thing (& this applies to all restaurants), I like my liver pink but overhearing a diner at another table saying he didn’t want his pink I really do think we should be asked our preference and the same with lamb and duck. I am old enough to remember when you’d have been horrified to be served anything but beef pink!
The other main courses were ‘WALDOLF’ SALAD Apple cous cous, pickled pears, Nanny Williams Blue, bitter leaves, celery, grapes, walnut and added squid tempura. CROQUE MONSIEUR Baked ham & cheese toastie with an added fried egg and PORK BELLY Cheek & potato cake, apple fondant, cider gravy. There was also some crackling with it but it wasn’t very crackly!
To wash all this down we chose a delightful Rosé from the Languedoc.
We chose just 2 puds to share, a BUTTERNUT CRÈME BRÛLÉE Ginger snap biscuits and my favourite a delicious and very lemony LEMON ‘VACHERIN’ Lemon curd, sorbet, meringue, a wonderful palate clearer.
All our dishes were very enjoyable so it wasn’t surprising to learn that they have been awarded well deserved 2 AA Rosettes for their food.
To sum up the restaurant surroundings are spacious and comfortable and I am sure that the bar at night must be a fun destination. The White Star, in our humble opinion, serves the best food in Oxford St so we recommend…. oh & they have rooms as well!
Ladies Who Lunch Scoring: The White Star Tavern
4/5 Quality of food
4/5 Variety of menu
4/5 Staff and service
4/5 Ambiance and décor
4/5 Value for money
20/25 Total yummy factor. Review CJ
Ladies Who Lunch: score key
The higher the “Yummy” factor, the better the food and service.
The higher the number of £ signs the more expensive. (Roughly one £ sign = £5 per head).
5/5 Cannot be improved upon
4/5 Very good
If you visit, please tell them that Ladies Who Lunch in Hampshire sent you!