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Editor Elizabeth Barnett samples this month's latest A la Carte menu from the Food and Drink Awards nominated 'Chef of the year', Andrew Donovan...

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Aviator, Farnborough Restaurant Review

Editor Elizabeth Barnett samples this months latest A la Carte menu from the Food and Drink Awards nominated Chef of the year, Andrew Donovan...

The last time I visited the Aviator was when I had just become Editor of Hampshire Life and I was treated to a very warm welcome followed by a beautiful meal in the most perfect setting, overlooking the runway of Farnborough airport. Heading back there this month I must admit I was slightly nervous that my high expectations would lead me to feel disappointed as a humble diner, but as soon as my partner Jon and I were welcomed by reception and shown to our seats, I realised that this was the sort of service everyone was treated to, guest of the hotel or not.

The A la Carte menu was flooded with local and seasonal produce, with many dishes sporting the L symbol to highlight their support for local farming; and when our starters of Jasmin Tea smoked salmon with pickled cucumber and dill mayonnaise and Tiger Prawns with papaya, chilli and coriander salsa arrived, one taste told me that this was no fluke. The flavours were complementary without being over bearing, allowing the quality of the fish and seafood to speak for itself. For our mains, we went for the 10oz Hampshire Ribeye Steak with fat chips, portabello mushrooms, cherry vine tomatoes and triple mustard watercress and the Crispy Pork Belly with braised cheek and champ and caramelised apple sauce, both of which were cooked perfectly. Portion sizes were very generous and the service throughout the meal was second to none. Dessert proved too much for Jon but I went for the Chocolate Pav with honeycomb and roasted nut which was amazingly good. There were some great deals on the dessert menu such as the cheese board and Taylors port for 12 or a dessert and dessert wine for 10. Before the long drive back to Southampton, we headed up to the bar where there was a wide variety of original cocktails and after dinner drinks. Sadly coffee and tea was on the menu for us, but if you have the luxury of a room, then it is a great space to unwind after a long day.



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