Delicious new fish and steak restaurant opens in Southampton

No expense has been spared when it comes to décor

No expense has been spared when it comes to décor - Credit: Ocean Grill

The curtain is up at Southampton’s newest restaurant, Ocean Grill and guests really are in for an evening of entertainment 

When I go out to dinner, I want the whole shebang. Expectations are usually high, I want to be entertained, wowed, performed for. Food is theatre is it not? And when it comes to theatre, you can’t beat a bit of special effects in my opinion. So as the door opened in to Southampton’s newest restaurant, Ocean Grill and we were met with the smell of burning charcoal and the sight of flames flicking in our periphery I certainly felt that the pyrotechnics were on display.

The finest ingredients are cooked over charcoal to bring out the flavour

The finest ingredients are cooked over charcoal to bring out the flavour - Credit: Ocean Grill

Our waiter for the evening continued the act. A true personality (rare these days in many dining establishments), he brought the menu to life as he explained the concept. The best ingredients, cooked on the finest charcoal and delivered in the most expert way. I half expected Mary Poppins to appear to tell us to ‘close our mouths, we are not a codfish’, as eyes and jaws wide we were theatrically whisked to the fish and meat counter to see for ourselves, what delights the restaurant had in store today.  

You want the best cut of Wagyu beef? You got it, and reasonably priced too. The best Dover Sole? There it was, waiting to be chosen for your catch of the day. Langoustines as big as your head? No problem. The fine produce was beautifully laid out, each individually priced so you could decide for yourself how decadently extravagant you fancied being. And I urge you to arrive with a healthy budget in mind. This is special occasion cooking, a night to remember, and the best does come at a premium when comparing to other restaurants nearby. But trust me, when those ingredients start arriving at your table, you’ll swiftly forget how much they are setting you back.  

Perfectly cooked steaks of the highest quality are the norm at Ocean Grill 

Perfectly cooked steaks of the highest quality are the norm at Ocean Grill - Credit: Ocean Grill

Biting in to the slow-cooked lumps of Wagyu beef alongside succulent scallops on their kebab starter was the closest I’ve come recently to an out-of-body experience. Eyes rolling back at every taste, the langoustines cooked simply with seasoning and garlic and served on a sizzling platter were every seafood lover's dream. We would have been satisfied just stopping there, but when Joe brought over our Dover Sole and filleted it so expertly at the table, explaining the bits to eat and what to shed, we felt the stage was set once again. Beef fillet and lobster followed closely as well as parmesan chips, griddled asparagus and vine tomatoes, macaroni cheese and a side salad with roasted Mediterranean vegetables.  

Throughout our entire meal the staff couldn’t do enough, from pairing our wine and getting it absolutely spot on, to recommending a cocktail to go with our tiramisu dessert (one of the best espresso martinis we have ever tried, and we’ve tried many). Owner and chef David Hall explained after service that his entire team are all full time at the restaurant and it really shows in the attention to detail. David is also the founder of the Casa Brasil restaurant group, but has a career spanning decades, including cooking at The Ritz. The joy Ocean Grill brings to its diners is clear to see on David’s face too. With Italian influences, as well as a love of charcoal cooking as seen at Casa Brasil, this is David’s dream venue and no expense has been spared. ‘We wanted the best’ he explains, from the cutlery to the glassware, spirits to the mixers and everything in between. Ocean Grill really does put on a show, now we’re just looking for an occasion to command an encore.  

Inside the glow of the embers is replicated in the soft lighting of the eaves

Inside the glow of the embers is replicated in the soft lighting of the eaves - Credit: Ocean Grill

Fuel your menu inspiration with our @hampshirelifemagazine Instagram grid for our #foodstagram shots of what we ate. Book a table: 02380 334122

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