Restaurant Review: Hub Box, Gunwharf Quays
|Published: 14th August 2021 12:14|
Hub Box Portsmouth, situated on the upper deck of the Spinnaker dining quarter of Gunwharf Quays, is one of many eateries trying to stand out in the specialist burger & fries market; not an easy challenge but one that it certainly overcomes.
Its mouth-watering menu promises a treat for burger lovers and with a good range of craft beers and cocktails, and the promise of a ‘laidback place to meet and eat', we were looking forward to our Friday lunchtime visit.
There is a choice of indoor or outdoor dining. We choose indoor as we wanted to get a feel for the Hub Box experience (it was also quite windy!). The vibe is definitely laid back, with an unobtrusive but cool soundtrack and decor and lighting that lend a welcoming glow. There are nods to Portsmouth's coastal location all around, and although busy there was a choice of seats at the front and back of the restaurant.
Service was attentive, friendly and helpful (we were warned of the large servings and advised on the best way of combining our burgers and sides). We were instantly impressed by Hub Box's intention to make as much of their menu available as possible to those with dietary needs or preferences. The whole menu was pretty much Gluten Free or had GF options, as one of us is coeliac this made a welcome change and it was great to be able to choose from so many options. There was also a veggie and vegan menu, with a new range of vegan burgers.
We ordered a GF Kali Beefburger and a Katsu Chickenburger for main, with Buffalo Fries and Carolina Slaw as sides to share (both GF). The cocktail menu was too hard to resist on a Friday afternoon, so we went for the ‘smooth sweet' Raspberry Martini and the ‘long, refreshing & boozy' Kernow Iced Tea. A welcome bottle of water also arrived at the table to ensure the full impact of the cocktails wasn't felt too soon!
The food arrived in good time and didn't disappoint in terms of presentation and quantity. The helpings were indeed generous and certainly got our mouths watering.
Burgers and fries should not be hard to get wrong, so it is surprising that so many eateries do. This is certainly not the case at Hub Box, in fact its hard to suggest how they might do better. The ‘rare bread, high-welfare' beef and chicken were succulent, the burger buns fresh and light (including the GF one, which is a massive tick in the box) and the generous toppings and garnish fresh and tasty. The Buffalo Fries, almost a meal in itself due to the generous amounts of buttermilk fried-chicken, were absolutely delicious. The Carolina Slaw was a great accompaniment and again tasted fresh and light.
The amount of food meant that we revisited the drinks menu (any excuse!), this time ordering a Beach Negroni and a refreshing Lazy Boy craft lager.
Our visit to Hub Box was hard to fault. The ambiance, service, food & drink, and value for money all scoring highly. Full marks also for understanding that the dining experience for coeliacs can be an awkward and at times embarrassing one (as experienced recently at another local eatery); offering a full menu of GF options and stating which dishes were GF when served, means that we will definitely be returning to Hub Box again.
Vist the Hub Box website here