AD | Whoop-whoop! It’s the sound of the BEEEEEFFFFFF!
This is most definitely a public service announcement for those of you looking for a place to eat in Portsmouth.
Hubbox has thrown open its doors at new digs at Gunwharf Quays bringing amazing Cornish produce and charm to my sunny corner of Hampshire.
It’s won accolade after accolade and been on my foodie hit list for a while.
I was chuffed when the kind folk at Hubbox invited* me to its newest restaurant to try those famous dirty fries out.
Take a look at the dishes I picked from the menu, which is filled with award-winning epic big eats. If you like American street food this one is going to be a piece of you…
I’ve been wanting to go to Hubbox for a while and had planned to head to its Cornish roots while on holiday recently. Thankfully though, while in the South West one opened up on my doorstep at Gunwharf Quays in Portsmouth.
Hubbox has gone from strength to strength since its humble beginnings starting in a container on Truro’s Lemon Quay. This spin-off was inspired by The Hub in St Ives opened by Richard Boon in 2003.
Since then the chain has expanded and now has a home throughout the South West serving up Cornish produce in everywhere from Bristol to St Ives and, of course, now Portsmouth!
I think my favourite bit of the Hubbox ethos is the promotion of Cornish produce. I love that it’s looking after its roots and championing local suppliers from the area it found success originally.
I was thrilled to see Tarquin’s gin stocked, in every flavour, it’s one of my all time favourite gins! They’ve got the elderflower, the blackberry, the strawberry and lime and the rhubarb and raspberry. The latter is what I had with Ginger Ale – the perfect summer drink.
Dinner choices at Hubbox
Hubbox describes itself as American street food and it sums the food up there perfectly. There’s everything from hot dogs to kebabs, burgers and plenty of fried chicken.
Henry, my better more numerically minded better half, joined me on the review, here’s what we scoffed on our first trip to Hubbox. We had starters and mains, the food is big so go with an appetite!
To start we decided to have HBX Chicken Tenders with ranch sauce and Halloumi Fries with Hub hot sauce.
OH HELLO FRIED CHICKEN GOODNESS.
Crispy – check.
Tasty – check.
Perfectly cooked chicken – check.
YASSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS – SO GOOD!
This is the best fried chicken I’ve had in a really long time, we don’t get many good fried chicken places outside of London let alone in Hampshire. These tenders were superb, the coating was delicious and I will be going back for more!
Yet another thing I adore – ranch sauce. It’s rarely an option in the UK so of course I wanted it with my chicken! Cool and creamy, it adds that extra dimension and flavour – a classic dip.
You could pick between three and five of the bits of chicken – it’s massive and a great sharing starter. And, that Hub Sauce is brilliant, not spicy but packed full of flavour.
The Halloumi fries were also an excellent choice, well executed too – the cheese was so melted and gooey, just take a look…😍😍😍
I’m finding it really hard to reign myself in writing about this meal. It was really good, hearty American style food with a Cornish slant on it.
It was deeeeeeeeeeee-licious, what a treat – the pulled pork and BBQ topping has become a modern classic! I can see why those Cornish burgers have won so many awards now.
I’m allergic to raw onion and sometime onions rings are a bit hit and miss – so the team kindly left the onions off the burger for me.
On the side I had the Mother Clucker Fries – skin-on fries, buttermilk-fried chicken, cheese sauce, Korean BBQ sauce and sour cream!
It was a lot of food and I couldn’t quite make it through all the chips and burger after the starter – it was really filling.
The Brie B King was a grilled chicken breast with Cornish brie, bacon jam, garlic and maple mayo with wild rocket. I had a bite of Henry’s and I would definitely have this another time – it was so yummy. It went down very well with Henry too. I didn’t hear much from him and it disappeared really quickly which is always a good sign.
The cocktail menu is cracking, but I stuck to a fruity gin and non-alcoholic drinks during my visit – the Elderflower cooler is so refreshing.
There’s a fantastic selection of beers from the bar too, and a few that are picked as guest beers on tap which are written on a board in the middle of the bar area.
There’s also plenty of options for vegetarians and vegans with a whole section of meals accommodating those dietary choices. Plus, lots of V and VG options are spread throughout the menu.
Future eats at Hubbox
The menu has so many things I wanted to eat on it, I really struggled to pick my dinner. Here’s a few of the things I’d like to try next time…
- Hub Wurst – Massive Cornish Bangers…
- Monkfish Kebab – in fact any of the kebabs
- The Pompey Prawn Patty – I mean, hello Panko-coated prawn and haddock cake!
- Zero Clucks Given – halloumi topped fully loaded fries!
- Side – BBQ burnt end beans
- Steak – with seaweed butter
- Fish and chips
Ok, ok I’ll stop – you get the point. I’ll have to stop there otherwise I may as well just post a picture of the menu and state my intention that I’ll just work through it. 😂😂😂
If you read this blog regularly, you’ll know by now that I love a good interior and if you don’t, now you know! Hubbox has so many gorgeous features that perfectly relay the story of the restaurant’s history and convey its connections to Cornwall.
The restaurant itself is sectioned into three parts, at the back the kitchen runs alongside lots of seating and long bench seating. It pays homage to its roots with a bright orange container front to its kitchen area.
In the mid-section there’s a long bar, with a nook under the stairs and some tall stool seating and at the front, there’s a lounge type area in the window and normal tables dotted throughout the space.There’s some fantastic street art murals which take a nod at Portsmouth’s seafront location with some cheeky seagulls and a full scale Nelson too. Take a look at @JOEGREENWAYART for some videos of him painting the walls up before the opening.
It’s safe to say I had an incredible meal at Hubbox, I’ve been craving a massive dirty burger for ages and this totally and utterly hit the spot. I went hiking the next day and this meal set me up for a good six miles trekking around the countryside.
The real surprise for me was the fried chicken. It was unreal and I can’t wait to go back to try some other items out.
Thanks to the team for inviting me to pop down to review the new restaurant, it really was a massive treat, and you’ll be seeing my face again real soon.
What lucky souls we are in Portsmouth to have this new place to go for epic big eats. Let me know if you head down and check it out.
* AD – However, all opinions are my own other wise what’s the mother clucking point? No really, honest opinions are best.
A big thank you to the team at Hubbox for the invite, I had a lovely evening, the team you have there were so friendly and attentive and those epic big eats are superb!