Tuesday, 5 January 2010

The Print Room, Bournemouth

In 1987 the Daily Echo produced its first completely computer designed and written newspaper, thus beginning the slow redundancy of machines and space in the printing halls of the newspaper's building on Richmond Hill. In 2007 a £2million renovation saw the empty hall transform into the French, brasserie style restaurant that is The Print Room. My birthday is approaching and my Dad took me out to lunch to celebrate. The booths that break up the vast space offer a very private setting for your meal which is brilliant when you want to catch up and have a chat without straining to hear or having to whisper. Due to the high ceiling and booth layout the Print Room takes on a hum of activity. The muffled sound of conversation, knife against crockery and the chink of glasses all blend into the constant murmur that creates a relaxed atmosphere to the grand old room.

Dad chose the wine; we had a 2007 Malbec which was exceptionally plummy and full bodied. We shared the chicken liver and foie gras mouse with black truffle butter and a carpaccio of Cornish beef with parmesan cream. The foie and chicken liver mousse was smooth and strong picked up by the truffle butter which I didn't want to end. The beef was so tender and there seemed to be quite a lot of the cream but the slight salty bite from the parmesan complimented the meat beautifully.

For main, we ordered the pork belly with pumpkin puree and parsnip and the roasted loin of venison with confit of lamb, potato gratin and red cabbage which sounds like a lot to take in from just one plate. The venison was perfectly seasoned and cooked, bright pink centre but still warm, something which few restaurants manage to do well, the lamb confit was full of such deep and intense flavours that neither one of us spoke whilst we polished it off and continued to devour the venison and potato gratin. Pork belly, another meat that can so often under whelm was spot on, not one tiny bit of chewy fat throughout the meat. Soft, juicy and collapsed under little pressure from the side of a fork. Before we finished off our second glass of Malbec I managed to eat more than my share of the pork, potato and red cabbage.

It has been a long long time since I went for lunch just me and my dad and to have the more intimate confines of a booth whilst still feeling very much part of the room we talked long into the afternoon and running over our car park time. I walked back to the car for a lift to mine and Dad handed me a carrier bag. "One more present," he said holding it out for me to take. In it was a fresh pigeon he had shot that morning (in his garden that backs onto the forest before you ask, don't worry, no city pigeon here)He'd got it especially for me as he knows it's my favourite. So from one fantastic meal to the beginnings of another. Great day and I think The Print Room could be one of the most underrated restaurants on the south coast. Definitely deserves more attention, so check it out.

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