The Ventana Grand Café has become one of our favourite local eateries, so we were all thrilled to be invited back to try their current menu.
The food aside, you can’t get a better location, situated on the East Overcliff Drive in the Cumberland Hotel with sea views, come rain or shine it is the perfect spot to spend a few hours soaking in the holiday feel that comes with being near the beach!
The friendly staff seat us at our table and we take a moment to relax back in the comfy chairs and look over the menu. The starters looked too good to resist so we wrote this off as a treat day and excitedly dove in. First out were the pan seared Cornish king scallops, artistically arrange on the plate were three scallops accompanied with a saffron infused sweetcorn puree, smoked streaky Dorset bacon crumble and a tomato salsa, the sweet delicate flavour of the scallops were contrasted perfectly with the saltiness of the bacon, a beautiful dish in both appearance and flavour. Another eye-catching dish was the Salisbury goat’s cheese three ways, including panna cotta, peppered log, and tempura fried, each showcasing the creamy nature of the goats cheese, for cheese lovers out there this is a little taste of indulgent heaven!
For the main event I opted to go for something light, the papaya and rosemary goats cheese salad was nothing short of outstanding, with a generous helping of goats cheese, alongside the refreshing sweetness of papaya, the tang of the lime dressing and the crunch of the pine nuts they really created a dish full of diverse textures and flavours tantalizing the taste buds with every bite.
A favourite of the table was the Ventana signature variations of Dorset lamb; braised lamb shank shepherd’s pie, a rump of lamb hot pot and a lamb & mint toad in the hole served with crushed pea puree and roast beetroot, this was a plate full of heart-warming traditional dishes that showcased how delicious this meat is when cooked well. Also ordered was the Blandford pork cooked three ways; roasted pork fillet, braised pork cheeks, crispy ball of pork belly served with cauliflower puree, rainbow chard, wilted spinach and Ravigôte sauce; why choose one dish when you can have three on one plate! This dish introduces you to pork cooked in new ways, tender and juicy they really did this dish justice, with the cauliflower puree being a particular unexpected star of the plate, complementing the meat perfectly.
We know we should stop there, already feeling the need to loosen the belt buckle, but with such a good dessert menu we had to choice but to indulge further! With autumn approaching is there a better dish to warm you up than the Homemade sticky toffee & date pudding? Served with butterscotch sauce and Giggi’s salted caramel ice cream, the dish was rich and delicious, melting in your mouth, I think you can be excused for forgetting the diet for a day to have a taste of this!
Never letting us down the Ventana Grand Café remains one of our best-loved local restaurants, with a mix of the friendly staff, great food and perfect location. If you haven’t already visited then it is time to make that booking!
Tel. 01202 298350
Address. 27 East Overcliff Dr, Bournemouth BH1 3AF