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“Dissappointing”
Review of The Pond Cafe

The Pond Cafe
Ranked #2 of 3 Restaurants in Bonchurch
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $11 - $38
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine
Dining options: Lunch, Late Night, Breakfast, Dinner, Reservations
Description: Relaunched under new culinary direction in February 2017, the Pond Cafe is situated in the beautiful village of Bonchurch, near Ventnor, on the sunny Isle of Wight. Offering carefully prepared modern British and European plates to order, Chef Andy uses local fresh ingredients wherever possible. With its outside terrace overlooking the picturesque duck pond it is the perfect place to enjoy a relaxed meal. Reservations are recommended for lunch (Wednesday through Saturday) and especially for dinner (Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings). An expanding range of fine wines, quality beers and Island and international spirits is available.
Reviewed August 31, 2012

We booked a birthday evening meal and in arriving we were quite impressed with the quaint surroundings but it then did not go as expected. The restaurant was full, but it took a long time for our meal to arrive. My partner wanted the calamari starter as a main course and the rest of the group ordered a couple of steaks, the hallibut and wood pidgeon. The steaks, and hallibut was good we were very surprised with the calamari, which turned out to be baby octopus. It was not prepared in the way calamari is usually prepared by the italians or greeks so the description I think is misleading.. There were very small portions of these, not really sufficient to be classified as a main course.
We did complain about that and they did not charge us for that. Also mentioned about the lack lustre take on the wood pidgeon which was very bland.

All in all, I do not think it was good value for money...

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Thank Spurgeon M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviews (281)
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166 - 170 of 281 reviews

Reviewed August 31, 2012

Really nice food and peaceful place to relax with friends. Menu was very varied and not too overpriced. Great service

Thank KirstyWyllie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 30, 2012

There's lots to like about the Pond Café. Its peaceful location in pretty Bonchurch, great décor, and wonderful menu and wine list are all in its favour. But its too expensive for what it is, and the service was a little haphazard (perhaps they were a bit busy over the Bank Holiday weekend). Small portions and a slightly mushy linguine were also drawbacks.

But I would return. It would be a great place to while away a boozy afternoon with rich friends who are treating you to lunch.

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Thank Tim085
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 28, 2012

The Pond Cafe is stylish. It has an appeal to those who enjoy simple quality surroundings and a simple quality menu.

The Pond Cafe is in a converted terraced house opposite the delightful Village Pond in Bonchurch. The area is shady and therefore cool and protected, but for the same reasons a little damp. The Pond Cafe has some tables outside next to the road as well as tables inside.

The meal was summed up as small. We ordered Kir Royale ( I think served in 4oz glasses), followed by oysters (they might have been small due to the time of year, but I don't recall getting them this small in August before). For main course we had Crab Linguini and Mackrel on a bed of lentils.

The Crab was disappointing. It was nicely flavoured, but the pasta was over-cooked and the subsequent reslt was something with the consistency of tinned spaghetti. The grilled mackrel was exactly that. A whole mackrel, grilled and put on a spoonful of green lentils.

The cost of the meal was £63 ish. We left feeling hungry, which wasn't a problem as we are trying to be on a diet, but this could cause someone else a problem. If hungry, order the side dishes and have a desert.

Would we go again? Yes, but I'd stay way from the Crab. This decor and the staff deserve a second chance.

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1  Thank MikeEsholt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 28, 2012

...and this is a good thing (unless you really only want Spag Bol)! (The lunch menu might be different.)
I visited on a mid-week evening, having made a reservation earlier in the day. I think I'd have got away without a reservation, but it never hurts to be sure. The à la carte menu was broad, with a nod towards Italian food. The quality and presentation was excellent and this is what you're paying for. Perhaps the name of the restaurant suggests something lower budget, but I would say this might also suggest lower quality.
Foodies will find plenty to enjoy here, the budget conscious won't. If you expect to leave a restaurant stuffed, this is not for you, though I wouldn't say the portions here were too delicate! I found the service excellent; prompt enough -certainly not slow- without being pushy, and friendly.
My bill was £50 for three courses and two glasses of wine. Given the standards on offer, this is a perfectly good price. The Pond is somewhere I will happily visit again.

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Thank Kay549
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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