For somebody who loves food, I can be incredibly stuck in my ways – especially when it comes to eating in my local area. It’s always either the same (albeit amazing!) places that we head to – Lakaz Maman, Coriander Lounge or Chilworth Arms, or we head to one of the new small chain restaurants built in our city centre.
Scoozi is set on Oxford Street, one of Southampton’s most popular spots for socialising over food and drinks. The street is not particularly long, but is packed with a number of both chain restaurants (Prezzo, Pizza Express) and independent but large, thriving restaurants (Simon’s at Oxfords, Max’s Brasserie). Scoozi is perched just on the corner at the end of the road, and believe me when I say I must have walked past it hundreds of times. A lot of friends from work have raved about the quality and food and value for money, so when Mr Greedy suggested paying them a visit after a few bank holiday drinks, I jumped at the chance.
Inside, the lighting is dimmed and we were greeted by an open bar area and an attentive waiter immediately available to guide us to a table. Straightaway, we were presented with a menu and a fresh carafe of water, and left to select our choices. The music was low and the restaurant was quiet – only 3 other tables out of approx. 20 were occupied – so we could enjoy an intimate meal. It’s likely it was only this quiet due to the bank holiday, but enjoyable none-the-less!
I ordered a 175ml glass of the house wine, Pieno Sud Bianco Sicilia, a pear and apple based medium wine. Fruity but not sweet, it complemented the meal perfectly – and at only £4.00 a glass, there were no complaints! Mr Greedy of course opted for a Peroni.
Only very rarely can I resist a cheese-based choice, so I opted for the deep fried mozzarella to start. The perfect size for a starter – personally, the 4 pieces of cheese you’re given in restaurants like Prezzo can sometimes just be too much when you’re following it with a whopping plate of pasta – it was served with a tomato and basil sauce. which tasted perfectly fresh, herby and tangy. Another issue I often find with mozzarella is that it has been under-seasoned, but this dish was just right.
Mr Greedy ordered the chicken liver parfait with toasted brioche and red onion jam – I’m not a fan myself, so similarly to seafood he takes the opportunity when possible to have it! He said it was fantastic, so I’ll take his word for it.
Main course and of course, I had to choose the risotto – one of my favourite dishes to make at home, and one I often order out simply to compare against my own efforts! The offering at Scoozi was chicken, chorizo and broad bean risotto. Sometimes, ordering chicken in a dish like risotto can be a risk, as a lot of people cook it in the pan at the beginning, generally leading to dry and overcooked chicken. I have to say, the chicken in this dish was amazing – tender chicken thigh (I believe so anyway!) with skin which hasn’t gotten slimey. The dish was finished off with a generous addition of chorizo chunks and broad beans, with a background flavour of Parmesan and cracked black pepper, plus a rocket salad. Pretty delicious if I do say so myself!
Mr Greedy is a pizza man, especially when it comes to authentic Italian pizzas. I’m like a child enjoying thick doughy bases and mountains of cheese, but he prefers the real deal. I was close to ordering this dish as the flavours sounded completely to my liking – Pizza Scoozi, topped with goats cheese, proscuitto, caramelised onions and fresh rocket. It smelt amazing as soon as the waiter placed it down at the table – the salty smells of the cheese and ham against the sweetness of the onions. If I’m honest, I think he could have easily polished off another!
Now… dessert. The night before, we had dined at Helen Browning’s Chophouse in Swindon (another review on its way!) and had finished off with a sticky toffee pudding. I’m not normally one to order the same dessert twice in a row, but the Italian desserts of tiramisu and pannacotta limoncello were not screaming out to me. What was? Of course, the sticky toffee pudding. In fact, we both couldn’t resist it! It tasted lovely, but it’s not what I’d call a sticky toffee pudding – a dense, thick sponge dripping in toffee. In fact, it was more like a steam syrup sponge, which therefore meant it was still delicious!! Served with a scoop of ice cream – we were given chocolate, which worked perfectly. More of a bitter and less sweet chocolate gelato to what I’m used to, it balanced the sweetness of the pud brilliantly.
Overall, fantastic food and attentive service at Scoozi, and I know I’ll certainly be going back. Especially when 2 of us can enjoy a generous 3 course meal with drinks for £58.00 – not too shabby! Thanks Scoozi!