Union Jacks Winchester Wonder
Okay, for all you flatbread fans from the 'almost' West Country, I've got some news - Union Jacks in Winchester is pretty much faultless.
It's in a beautiful building on the High Street, close to the Cathedral in this beautiful little city but it's the inside, the heart and soul that speaks loudest.
I've banged on before about the genius of Chris Bianco, Jamie's American partner who is probably the best pizza man outside of Naples, but let me just give you this - pork crackling on a flatbread! Fish pie pizza!
Yes it's eccentric and this is reflected in the decor with a diamante Queen portrait, bunches of paper roses sticking out of every nook and cranny, vintage tellies etc etc, but without pushing boundaries you would simply be left with another homogenous pizza parlour; and who the hell wants pineapple and processed ham as a topping?
It's still really kid friendly, rather than a colouring book for little dudes, UJs gives out 3-D glasses to read their own menus - now that's cool.
The staff at Winchester are a real blessing - Suzie and Tom(?) especially couldn't be more helpful and friendly, everyone is a UJVIP, and the staff all have that vibe thing going on. They know they aren't Pizza Express or Strada - they have that je ne sais quoi.
Now let's get on to the main event, my fish pie flat. After gorging on starters of the sweetest chicken livers, gob-smacking potted prawns and bi-catch fish fingers my flat arrived.
It has leeks and potato, white smoked fish and a creamy, cheesy base - it's bang on. But it's more than the topping, the crust is insane, blistered from the wood-fired oven's searing heat.
From the furniture to the ingredients, everything is ethically sourced, local and friendly.
However, if you are really talking game changers, look at the puds, in particular the rhubarb sorbet with ginger biscuit. Oh brother, that is something from another planet. Zing-a-ling and the perfect balance of sweet and sour.
So Holborn St Giles, Chiswick, Winchester are the lucky ones - Covent Garden Piazza is next.
Have a look at the menu http://www.unionjacksrestaurants.com/ and get some flatmates together.
and I am still hoping for one to arrve in Cardiff !
.........yeah as if the SE is short of eateries.............it's no wonder foreigners & southerners think that Watford Gap is the outer extremity of British civilisation!
We have a 'Jamie's Italian' in the city, but ridiculous to put it 2 doors up from Carluccio's when there's the main shopping centre up the other end of town & no good eateries there.
by Miss Foodwise
Still have to visit the new Union Jacks, Can't wait to try it!