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“Great food and service to match” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Black Rat

The Black Rat
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Ranked #11 of 197 Restaurants in Winchester
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $50 - $56
Cuisines: European, British
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Business meetings, Romantic, Special occasions
Dining options: Lunch, Late Night, Dinner, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Full Bar, Outdoor Seating, Private Dining, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff
Description: The Black Rat is a quaint and quirky restaurant that is situated on the fringe of the town centre along Chesil Street. A year after opening, the team acquired one of the most prestigious accolades in catering, a Michelin Star.The food is sourced from the best and most local suppliers that can be found, including our own forager, and in turn inspiring the kitchen team to create a "Modern British" menu.The wine comes from a very well established supplier, Ellis of Richmond, who supply some of the top restaurants and hotels in the UK.The atmosphere is relaxed but homely whereas the service is informal but attentive with a personal touch.
UK
Level Contributor
21 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Great food and service to match”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 2, 2013

It was a special anniversary dinner and I was treating 3 other couples so wanted it to be special
I didnt need to worry - excellent evening had by all 8 of us
We were welcomed into a private upstairs room for our pre dinner champagne and hten having made our choices downstairs for 3 courses of very good food that is exciting and interesting but stays on the right side of being good food not a chefs self indulgence
Wines we chose were safe and very good quality but at top of the pricing scale

  • Visited February 2013
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank robertpackhorse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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535 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    302
    122
    78
    27
    6
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
9 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Fabulous Sunday lunch”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 24, 2013 via mobile

Not sure the previous reviewers were eating at the same restaurant! Must have eaten here 6/7 times both before an after the Michelin man visited! Decided to book for my birthday and again wasn't dissapointed.
There's a set menu on Sundays so yes a limited choice but very good all the same, my wife whose veggie was served a very tasty beautiful looking and tasting dish, whilst I had the stunning black pudding! Service was attentive and efficient and we felt very well looked after during the whole visit, nothing was too much trouble.
The standard remains high and the experience very good.
Well be back as soon as we can!

    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank RichardW65
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sherborne, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
35 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
“Downhill all the way”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 10, 2013

We have dined in the Black Rat since 2007. However after a gap of about a year for no reason in particular we went back yesterday. How things have changed. Previously the experience has been good from start to finish. Yesterday we came in out the the rain, no coat rack to be seen, and we had to ask for our coats to be taken. Didn't quite fancy the back of the chair option. After all we were in a michelin starred restaurant, not pizza hut. Ordered two glasses of champagne, ok but nothing to write home about at £12 a glass. Menus were produced, but what a lack of choice and full of odd things. No beef, no pork, no lamb, no chicken, no duck. There was mutton with snails and haggis, and roast pidgeon, Hmm wasn't going for that. I ended up with turbot, which to be fair was nice. My partner was not so lucky. Not being a vegetarian, and not fancying fish, they suggested the chef might be able to rustle up some loin of pork from the lunch menu, which sounded fine. Partner asked for it well done. Turned up raw in the middle. Now I like a rare steak, but there was no way even I could have eaten the stuff which turned up. Onto the wine. We fancied one of the French whites, but as it was an appelation we hadn't heard of, we asked the female wine waitress (sommelier?) whether it was dry, which is what we wanted. Said female wine waitress had no idea. Now if the restaurant is not going to give a clue as to dryness/whatever on the wine list, then it really does need to employ staff who have a clue. Dessert was fine, thank heavens the madelines are still on the menu and up to scratch.

The whole bill came to just over £160 for two. Had a look at previous bills, and we're talking roughly a 30% increase in one year for mostly indiferent food, and poor service. The staff really aren't interested. When we were about to leave I went to the loo, and on the way saw our coats hung over the back of a door. Ran my finger along it and it was very much in need of a clean. Perhaps with all the profit the rat might run to a coat rack in the future? Needless to say we won't be returning, which is a shame as this used to be one of the best restaurants in Winchester.

  • Visited February 2013
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
8 Thank BarbaraDorset
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Winchester
Level Contributor
48 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
“Once Excellent, now mediocre at best.”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 10, 2013

Having eaten at this restaurant since it opened, I felt I had to make some comments.
The 'old' staff, and particularly the first 2 'front of house' people are now sadly missed, the current staff provide indifferent 'off hand' service.
When asked about a bottle of French white wine, the wine waitress had no clue about it's characteristics, said she would ask a colleague and didn't.
The menu on the evening we dined there, contained no beef, no lamb, no pork, and no chicken, it did however contain some ridiculous, unbalanced items, such as black faced mutton loin with snails and haggis pie.
The cost of a pre dinner glass of (moderate) champagne is now completely over the top - poor bubbly at Dom Perignon prices.
This place is now trading on it's past reputation, it needs to take a long look at itself and make some changes - starting with the staff!

  • Visited February 2013
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
4 Thank ROBUKWINCHESTER
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bournemouth
Level Contributor
81 reviews
51 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
“Interesting menu, lovely evening”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 9, 2013 via mobile

The chef is trying hard here to be inventive with his food and it is really paying off. The combination of flavours so cleverly put together make for delicious dishes. I had the trout to start which was amazing followed by turbot perfectly cooked. The atmosphere is very cosy and thankfully they have the no children rule in the evening as there has to be somewhere for mums and dads to escape to! And as other reviewers mentioned the friendly front of house staff are a real credit to the place. And what a hardworking kitchen to produce such an array of dishes. We had a lovely evening and can't wait to return thanks.

    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank jeannieBournemouth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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