On a gloriously sunny spring day, I recently sampled some of the delicious dishes that are set to grace the menus at Urban Reef – perfect timing for you to enjoy their new dishes over the upcoming long Easter weekend.

Set directly on the promenade next to Boscombe Pier, Urban Reef’s bistro style food is perfectly set off against its rather amazing view of Bournemouth’s glorious sandy beaches. Ā The restaurant is set over multiple levels and during the summer, its floor to ceiling windows draw back and really allow diners to enjoy the warmth of summer whilst enjoying their sumptuous food – from 9am forĀ a flat whiteĀ to 11pm for cocktails.

Now, I’m definitely not a stranger to their restaurantĀ (especially for breakfast – there’s nothing quite like that view, a full english and a strong coffee to start your day and remind yourself why you live in this gorgeous place!), but I did have had the chance to look through their new menus, which have been updated from breakfast through to dinner, keeping some of the Urban Reef favourites and adding some scrumptious new choices throughout the day.

This includes their new ‘Brekkie Saviour’ for that awkward time between breakfast and lunch when its too late for breakfast, you want more than cake, but are not quite ready for lunch. This currently takes the form of an english muffin full of eggs, cheese, tomatoes, your choice of sausage, bacon or portabello mushroom and drizzled with some chilli jam.

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For their lunch menu, they have added an extremely tasty selection of small plates. These are perfect for sharing and include a range of fish, meat or vegetarian choices including Dorset crab pate, Cornish sardines, pork cheeks with ragout and Roquefort, Lamb koftas with pearl couscous, candied beetroot with goats cheese and Isle of Wight heirloom tomatoes with Laverstoke mozzarella. Each have been carefully put together by the chef and his team and some of these smaller plates are also available on the dinner menu as a starter too.

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If you are looking for a larger meal at lunchtime however, and the smaller plates just won’t cut it, then the Urban classics such as Fish & Chips or the Urban Guild Burger made with West Country chuck steak are still on the menu, as well as a selection of seafood and vegetarian options.

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For dinner, there are a wonderfulĀ selection of new dishes to try – and boy are they worth trying. You could be tempted by the whole seabass stuffed with fennel and lemon thyme butter or maybe with the roast cornish cod served with Poole clams and summer vegetables. You could also be tempted by the 10oz West Country Sirloin or the slow cooked Lamb neck. Tantilising to both look at and taste though, was the Salmon Tandoori (pictured below) with its lemongrass rice and coconut laksa sauce. Beautifully melting fish with a lightly spiced skin – just delicious.

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Obviously all this savoury goodness can also be followed by the Urban Reef’s usual bakes and desserts including chocolate fondants, poached summer fruit eton mess, lemon tart and selections of local cheeses. All this sweet goodness is in addition to Kay’s cakes and bakes available to choose on the day.

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Its hard to find a restaurant on a par with Urban Reef – both for its location and for its food. The staff are friendly and helpful and the downstairs spaceĀ is dog friendly too. I would strongly recommend booking a table if you want to avoid a wait though – especially during the holiday season or on a sunny day.

Urban Reef
The Overstrand
Undercliff Drive
T: 01202 443960

Review Disclosures
Invited by PR company? No
Guest of chef/restaurant/owner? Yes
Restaurant/outlet knew ahead we were bloggers? Yes
Was the meal complimentary from the restaurant? Yes
Any complimentary items provided by restaurant/outlet? No
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1 Comment

  1. I am very surprised at your review of this place. I have been to most places you have reviewed and I’m on the same page. However It has been a long time since I was impressed by anything that has come out of the kitchen in this place. Service is bad too, it’s like they have gotten ahead of themselves because of their location and have let their standards slip. I am not just talking about one bad experience, because of the location some people insist on going there so I give it another chance or 3 and I’m disappointed every time.

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