Restaurant review: From The South is decadent, different and definitely not boring!

It feels a little like stepping into Roberto Cavalli’s dining room the moment you walk into From the South Restaurant, a new restaurant that has just opened up in Ashley Cross in Poole. The restaurant comes with tinted plate glass windows and on the inside, you’ll be greeted with the vivid colours of exotic animal print and studded leather chairs. All this was the vision of Portuguese restaurateur, Alex Salles. He co-owns the new Mediterranean-style restaurant that just opened recently in Commercial Road and Salles has confessed to being a fan of the Italian designer who is well known for his flamboyance.

Salles knows exactly what he’s looking for in his restaurants. He worked as the manager at The Ox, another restaurant nearby for two years and he’d also worked in the industry in other countries. His passion for fine wine and food is unquestionable. The menu in his new restaurant can be described as upmarket Mediterranean and it has several dishes that sound quite original demonstrating that a lot of attention was put into the food as well and not just the décor.

A taster style menu is a good place to start at this restaurant and it consists of vol-au-vents which come in a sharing platter. This dish consists of fresh tasting wild mushrooms in garlic cream that are served on a bed of light puff pastry and then topped with rocket leaves. This is followed by the Pulpo Alla Gallega which consists of slivers of octopus tentacles that have been pan fried using olive oil until tender before being sprinkled with paprika. These are served on focaccia slices. Lastly, there is the Gambas Alla Guillo which is a dish of king prawns in garlic and white wine and these are served in focaccia mini pockets. The presentation of the food is top notch.

For you main course, you can try the ‘Fish NO Chips’ which is a cod prepared in beer batter and it’s served with squid ink risotto, tartar sauce and a lemon wedge. You can also have a taster of one of the steak dishes served at the restaurant which is an 8oz fillet that has been aged for 28 days. This is prepared in a red wine shallot jus and served with hand-cut chips, creamed spinach with garlic and oven roasted cherry tomatoes (still on the vine). According to the owner, their main focus at the moment is slow-cooked food and natural ingredients.

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