West Stoke House is easily the best restaurant in the Chichester area, yep better than the Kennels and even KFC. It’s situated just outside the city in West Stoke and is a beautiful oldish building with nice grounds.. it’s recently been given a Michelin star so it’s a right pain to get a booking at short notice now. Hmm, as I’m writing this a little voice inside my head is saying“Well actually it does have quite a few faults”. So I’d best get them out of the way now…
- The art. Oh god the art. I believe they showcase local artists, but I think they haven’t clarified that the local artists are all escaped from an asylum and shouldn’t be allowed to be near anything pointy ever. The art is so miserable and dark. And is plastered all over the rooms. I love the idea of the contemporary art in an older building but please, please make it from people less stabby.
- If you have meat… it comes rare. Rare is the only way it comes, tough. Well, that’s not entirely true, the manager will politely ask the chef if he wouldn’t mind killing the cow before he puts it on your plate, but I kind of imagine he makes this request through a keyhole so he won’t get stabbed. Hmm, maybe the chef is the artist?
- You need to train your stomach before you go… now I know this sounds a little odd, but if you’re used to a normalish diet of pies and chips and pizza, um, I mean, pasta and healthy food… well, the food at West Stoke House is a little on the rich side. I’ve been lots of times now and quite often I’ve needed a good old lie down afterwards as my stomach deals with all the vibrant, excitable new tastes it’s dealing with. Not really much of a complaint I guess, but just be ready!
Apart from that it’s excellent.. and it managed by simply the best guy I’ve met in a restaurant. He’s funny, opinionated, cheeky… but all with a very polite and respectful manner. i.e. he’ll take the piss but he knows that you’re paying the bill. It’s not too cheap I’m afraid, dinner normally runs to about £150, but it’s really worth it, especially for the soufflé alone! On my last visit I had…
- Pan fried breast of squab pigeon (what’s a squab?!!?), pan fried foie gras (which was lovely but bloody massive), peach chutney and brioche croutons
- Roasted saddle of rabbit, rillette (wtf is a rillette? I think it was potato maybe?), morel risotto, pea shoots, hazelnut foam (god damn foam is everywhere now)
- Chocolate tart, homemade white chocolate ice cream, milk chocolate crunch. Mmmm choc
It’s a great place, you don’t need to dress up, I always go in scruffy jeans. In fact I was even more scruffy as I was driving a 20yr old Renault 5. Go! p.s the photo is of the “roasted rib of 35 day stotch beef with tastes of onion”. I love the phrase “tastes of onion” as it was really just uber posh onion rings!