The building and garden has been treated to an extensive make over and you'll discover all sorts of treats as you explore, a welcoming real fire by the entrance, bar seating on the ground floor with views of the wonderful copper stills where the brewing magic happens. At the rear is one of Bournemouth's largest beer gardens with locally named beach huts for booth seating and you'll also find a large fire pit to keep hands and feet warm in the winter months. Upstairs is more of a seated restaurant experience with full table service. We had a table booked for Friday night and recommend booking in advance as the tables were all soon filled up on our visit, so you may not get a spot on busy nights without.
The staff were very knowledgeable and helpful with the comprehensive drinks menu. Whatever your tipple, ale, beer, lager, cider, stout, IPA, wheat beer, sour beer and even smoked beer, they'll have something for you. There's a neat selection of wine and Champagne too. The food menu handily includes suggested pairings of a drink well suited to each dish. For our drinks we went with a zesty Wild Beer Pogo which is an American style ale and a slightly stronger Belgian style Tongerlo Blond. Free water for the table was provided - always a big tick from us!
From the wide-ranging starter menu we tried Korean BBQ breaded tofu that comes with asian slaw and crushed peanuts and the Mac ‘n’ cheese melts with chilli jam. Both were well portioned and well plated up. The tofu was nicely cooked with a crispy coating and the chilli jam with the mac ‘n’ cheese was particularly sweet and spicy - I borrowed a spoonful of the chilli jam for the tofu as it complimented that also.
For mains we went for the Funky chicken burger that comes as an IPA battered chicken breast with mayonnaise, tomato, lettuce and red onion. The other main we tried was the large Whole rack of sticky BBQ ribs served with garlic & hop salted skin-on fries, buttered corn cobs and homemade slaw. As ever we kept an eye on what else was coming out from the kitchen and very much liked the look of the beer can chicken and might have to give that a try a next time.
After a bit of a pause we thought it best to sample the deserts as well, purely for the benefit of this review of course! The excellent Maple, bourbon & pecan tart came served with a comically oversized portion of whipped cream. The Sticky toffee pudding comes with with vanilla ice cream or custard.
The total for our three course meal for two was £53.85, including the drinks.
We previously reviewed the Brewhouse & Kitchen in Southbourne and weren't sure if the Bournemouth venue would be a carbon copy and it all feel a little too 'chain-pub'. We are pleased to report this isn't the case and Bournemouth has a distinct look and feel, the town centre setting and the smaller more intimate spaces of the building make for a warm and relaxed atmosphere. The food menu has enough variety to tempt us back to try even more and the range of drinks could keep us going until Christmas.
• Book your table at Brewhouse & Kitchen in Bournemouth on 01202 055221