Review of 'Morgans Restaurant'

It was a Saturday night on the last long weekend of the spring and we were looking for somewhere in Shanklin to eat. We had not thought to have to book anywhere given the size of the area but with all of the tourists about it would have been a good idea…Wandering around the streets we were turned away many times before we found Morgans just happened to have a table for the three of us (though this was merely luck since they were otherwise fully booked).

I have to say Morgans looked quite good with the reasonably priced menu promising fresh local food. The small interior is fresh and clean with wood floors, chairs and uncovered tables with quite a buzz to the place though it was very noisy when we visited with a full house. A number of specials on a chalkboard beside the bar included a local (Godshill) duck salad, Cornish mussels with garlic sauce, plaice with jersey royal potatoes, and bream with scallops.

From the small menu from the “Morgan's Appetisers” we decided to start with “Toasted garlic bread - warm fluffy Italian bread oozing with garlic butter” (£4.95) which was literally dripping with butter. I like a bit of butter but this was way too much as it dripped everywhere when you tried to eat it though the heaped fresh chopped garlic was appreciated. We also had the “Bruschetta - traditional sun dried tomatoes, rocket pesto, crushed garlic and parmesan on toasted Italian bread” (£4.95) which was much better with four pieces served on a lovely long thin plate (the tomatoes in particular were delicious).

From the “Starters” menu I selected the “Homemade Chicken and Duck Liver Parfait - with a red onion and plum chutney, balsamic glaze, pine nuts and toasted ciabatta bread” (£5.95) which I am told was made with the same Godshill duck as on the specials menu. The pate, four small pieces of ciabatta and a token few pieces of greenery were served on the same long plate we had seen earlier in the appetisers. Unfortunately, it was quite bland and slightly gamey. It would have been nice to have had a bit of the richness of duck fat present but sadly it was not in evidence.

For my main I decided to go with the “Morgans Signature Dish - The Best Ventnor Crab and Tiger Prawn Tagliatelle - in a traditional creamy garlic and chive sauce” (£14.95) particularly as it was the “signature dish” but though it was lovel and creamy the prawn was the tastiest part of the dish with the crab pretty lost and only really adding a slight bit of texture.

My companion had the special “Crispy Godshill duck salad with a spicy aromatic sauce and toasted sesame seeds” (£8.95) which was a fresh, very generous portion with a wonderfully slightly runny egg. The duck was wonderfully pink and warm. This had to be the star dish of the evening.

The service was confused with our starters arriving at different times and our plates cleared, seemingly, at random with my empty main plate sitting in front of me a good 10 minutes after all others were cleared despite having finished first. The restaurant was busy yet it seemed the serving staff were very seldom in the room. The feeling I had was that they seemed to think they were far better than they actually are and that they were more than a bit complacent. It was often difficult to get their attention and they seemed to show no interest in making our visit special in offering even the barest in explanation of each dish despite being frequently prompted.

The chef at Morgans is Tim Morgan who worked with world-renown Chef Marco Pierre-White in London so I would expect far better than what we experienced, so perhaps he was simply not there when we visited? Perhaps because of this I had also set my expectations quite high. Overall we were disappointed in the dishes and the service though the price was excellent. I have to hope our unsatisfactory experience was because they were so busy but I can't think that this is a real excuse. I would be willing to give it another visit as the alternatives in the area do not show as much promise.

Rating:

Review Date: 2017-05-27


Cuisine: American/British

Address: High Street, Shanklin, Isle of Wight, PO37 6JY

Location: Isle of Wight (England) - Shanklin

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Telephone: +44 (0) 1983 864900

URL: http://morgansofshanklin.com/