January 19, 2021
Blue Jasmine – refined Southeast Asian haute cuisine
Don’t we all go through a ‘tick list’ when we’ve had an evening out, well I certainly do!
Blue Jasmine in Ocean Village Marina Southampton ticks literally all of the boxes.
Location and position, tick.
Décor and ambience, tick.
Food and service, tick.
Tick and double tick for this fine eating establishment, and surprisingly it only opened in February, for most new businesses in these turbulent Covid times that would have been a financial disaster. Although they closed like most restaurants during the full covid lockdown they have re-opened with a flourish and a full house most evenings. This really comes as no surprise as it is perfection in every way, due in part to the hospitality skills of the owners, husband and wife team Xi and Phoebe Zhao.
We enjoyed a most spectacular evening of fabulous food at Blue Jasmine, seated at a window table overlooking the marina and the equally as impressive yachts. We marvelled at the lighting and the gorgeous design features throughout the restaurant, it was sophisticated and chic, as were our fellow diners.
We were warmly greeted and introduced to our waiting staff, who explained the menu, with daily specials and personal recommendations. We decided to be totally indulgent as the atmosphere encouraged that! We began with a couple of champagne cocktails while we checked out the menu. Blue Jasmine restaurant specialises in refined and imaginative Southeast Asian cuisine and the menu was inspiring.
We began with Sarawak black pepper roasted duck and pancake, described as a world-renowned dish with a selection of Southeast Asian spices including the famous Sarawak black pepper found only in the deep forests of East Malaysia. Seventy-two hours in the making, using ancient methods, the duck is air-dried overnight creating a delicate crispy skin that melts in the mouth. The duck is accompanied by a homemade pancake, baby cucumber, spring onion and a hand-crafted condiment using Hawthorn jelly. It was delivered to us in an Asian style basket and we were shown exactly how to make the pancakes, to say it was delicious is an understatement, the duck was amazing, soft and juicy, and the Hawthorn jelly sweet and delicious.
We then had a little break before choosing our next dishes. We decided to have one each of fish, chicken, pork and prawn. This proved to be a great idea. We chose crispy honey soya chicken with caramelised sesame cashew nut, spicy curry prawn with edamame and cherry tomato, seared pork belly and crispy pork skin with satay sauce and finally, grilled Chilean sea bass with pomegranate glaze and soya ginger crumble. With the egg fried Jasmine rice and green onion, this was a feast fit for a king. All of the dishes were presented artistically, colourful and hot. We enjoyed a truly special meal, the service was outstanding and we devoured everything, but slowly in order to savour the experience. The décor was sumptuous and romantic, with soft lighting and well-placed dining tables, observing strict covid restrictions of course.
We seemed to eat an awful lot of amazing food but didn’t actually feel bloated. Each and every dish was tasty, the use of spices provided some wonderfully flavoursome gastronomical creations. In order for the chef, Daren Liew to ensure authenticity the best local ingredients from Hampshire, the New Forest and the Isle of Wight are used to enhance the flavours together with the use of spices imported from Malaysia, China and Thailand.
To further perfect your cultural Asian journey the bar offers a fabulous selection of house cocktails and a wide selection of premium spirits, Japanese and Korean whiskies and Chinese rice wines.
To complete this experience we decided to have our coffee in the bar area, the perfect end to a truly awesome evening. This restaurant is everything and more that one would hope to expect for a special night out, or lunch of course. We found this to be the most special fine dining restaurant and yes, it did tick all of the boxes.
A: 3-4 Alexandra Wharf, Maritime Walk, Ocean Way, Southampton SO14 3QS
T: +44 (0)23 8063 6387
W: Blue Jasmine
Written by Debbie Stone Global Editor for Luxuria Lifestyle International