The Burger Shop
274 Old Christchurch Road
Opened at the end of last year, this new, edgy and fun gourmet burger shop on Old Christchurch Road takes some beating as one of the best places to eat in Bournemouth. The décor inside is like a metal shack with lovely red colours throughout, and the food is as it states on the sign ‘proper’.
Selling hot dogs, burgers and salads, this informal restaurant is a brilliant place for a lunch date or to meet friends after a long day.
I had the lunch special, and at only £6.95 for a house burger, selected side and drink, it seemed amazing value for money. All of the food is cooked and made fresh in store. Best of all, the staff are helpful and really know their ingredients.
The house burger is something spectacular - tender and perfectly pink in the centre. The meat is served in a brioche roll with a variety of garnishes, including their scintillating home made sauces. The burgers come in a traditional paper wrapping, and plates are not used, making them very tricky to eat. Yet, the quality of the food more than makes up for this.
The rosemary salted fries were delicious too - served in a metal cup, the portion was really generous, and along with the burger, I struggled to finish.
Sadly, the music they played detracted from the atmosphere. It made it sound like a nightclub, as club and R&B hits were played too loudly, meaning anyone who is not into that music may not find The Burger Shop to their taste.
Verdict: Great for a group of friends looking for places to eat in Bournemouth – 8/10
72 Charminister Road
This spice delight is an old favourite for places to eat in Bournemouth. It is a small chain of Bournemouth Indian restaurants that boast incredible food choices and stellar service. On visiting the Charminster branch, I was warmly greeted and seated in the beautiful modern restaurant.
Clean white walls, soft leather seats and graceful décor compliment the Indian food being served to really set the atmosphere for a lovely night. After ordering drinks and poppadoms, it was time to look at the menu.
This spice delight is an old favourite. It is a small chain of Bournemouth Indian restaurants that boast incredible food choices and stellar service. On visiting the Charminster branch, I was warmly greeted and seated in the beautiful modern restaurant.
They serve everything from old favourites like korma and biryani curries to new delicacies such as Nawabi king prawns.
Choosing the old favourite dish, chicken tikka masala, I was pleasantly surprised by the price which was a moderate £8.95 (rice is extra), and the food was lovely - tender chicken pieces with creamy sauce, which had just the right amount of spice.
I have to say, on the particular night chosen, the restaurant was not exactly busting at the doors and that detracted from the atmosphere slightly, as you felt the staff were forcing themselves to serve you, and the restaurant lacked the sociable, hurried vibe of other places to eat in Bournemouth. Nonetheless, all the staff were very friendly and the food was incredibly flavourful.
Verdict: Good for a meal out with your boyfriend or girlfriend – 7/10
185 Old Christchurch Road
When attending the launch party of this new Asian buffet restaurant in town, which serves Indian, Thai and Chinese cuisine, I was blown away by the standards of food and friendly staff. Thai green curry, Dhal curry, and tom yum soup are just a few of the dishes that are served, so there is definitely something for everyone to dig into.
Special dishes are made each day fresh from the kitchen in lightning speed and to high standards. As well as all of this, it is very well priced. You pay £10.95 for all-you-can-eat dinner and even less for meals during the day.
The staff are friendly and drinks are well priced compared to other places to eat in Bournemouth. The décor is in keeping with the feel of the restaurant - low lights, kitchen-style food display area, Buddhas and lanterns. It is almost like an Asian version of Pret a Manger.
One of the best features is their amazing selection of desserts: fruit, biscuits, jelly and cakes, all with a chocolate fountain to dip into.
The music includes a lot of strange choices, such as modern pop, dance and even electro-swing - I expected something more along the lines of classical Bhangra or similar Asian music. Thankfully, this does not detract from you having a wonderful time at the restaurant.
Verdict: A real winner – 9/10
The overall winner is Scene Asia; a restaurant with first-class staff, a wonderful atmosphere, fair prices and an incredible dessert buffet. With all the food you would ever want available and a fresh selection of Asian cuisine, it is clear that this new brand of places to eat in Bournemouth are now showing their full potential.
Although Joy Charminster was nice, it lacked the atmosphere of Scene Asia and The Burger Shop was just too loud.
Independently owned restaurants and cafés are now making their mark. This gives the public a real chance to get away from the food shop giants and give small businesses a chance, helping Britain break away from ‘clone-town’ high streets.
Disagree with our reviewer? Tell us about your favourites in the comments section.