Twelve months ago, myself, Mark, Steve and Matt decided to take a Friday off and cycle to Yarmouth on the Isle of Wight for dinner and enjoy a couple of beers. We reviewed Tripadvisor, selected the Harveys B&B as our bed for the night, set Steve on the route planning and looked forward to pedaling for a solid 90+ miles, including the infamous ‘Military Road‘ on the western coast of the IOW. This year, we decided another trip out to Yarmouth was ‘required training’ for our cycling summer season, hence planned to return to the picturesque port town with a particular focus on having dinner at On The Rocks, Yarmouth’s Black Rock Grill restaurant which we had failed to eat in last year.
The ride from our start point in West Meon went well, including a short ferry ride from Portsmouth to Ryde, before completing our circumnavigation of the Isle. 78 miles later, we arrived in Yarmouth.
Now, you need to understand that On The Rocks is a ‘cook your own dinner on a hot lava stone’ restaurant… Part of me has issues with paying to eat in restaurant where you, rather than a well-trained chef, cooks your meal. However, the meat choices are wide and the quality high, so surf and turf and some restorative bottles of wine to help repair the damage of a day in the saddle were ordered. Of course, conversation drifted to my quest, and I was rewarded by the presence of a brûlée to order.
Initial impressions were that the ramekin was too deep and the custard would be overly heavy as a result. In fact, it was the exact opposite being light, smooth and at the appropriate room temperature. The sugaring was also very light and perfectly caramelised, with a lovely side of freshly whipped cream with a simple strawberry and raspberry garnish. This could be considered to be one of the best ever brûlées…! A big claim, however it was simply conceived and expertly prepared. The ‘Rocks’ delivered. 9/10.
Footnote: I’m always wary of restaurants offering post dinner aperitifs, yet The Rocks insisted on offering some apple schnapps to cleanse our palettes… I’m not quite sure how we got to this point…