Last week I was kindly invited to a newly opened Baffi restaurant in Old Poole High Street*. Hidden away, a couple of minutes walk from the Quay near Poole Museum, this restaurant truly is a hidden gem. I hold my hands up, I had never been to Baffi restaurant before this review and I have definitely been missing out.
Baffi has a total of 6 restaurants located in Canford Cliffs, Westbourne, Southbourne, Ringwood, Southampton and the newest one in Old Poole High Street. Upon arrival, I was greeted by the lovely Manager of this branch and he instantly made me feel welcome. I was the first person to arrive for the review and he was so accommodating, he offered me a drink, asked about my blog and showed a genuine interest in what I said and even let me into the kitchen area to take pictures of the wood oven and the fresh dough and ingredients. It really set a lovely tone for the rest of the evening.
Once everyone else had arrived we were told that we could order a selection of starters to review but there was so much choice! We asked for the starters that the Manager recommended most which were, spicy pork & fennel meatballs served with wood fired bread, heritage tomatoes and mozzarella, basil, olive oil and aged balsamic, wood fired prawns cooked in chilli, garlic and olive oil & an antipasti board with coppa (Italian cold cut pork), napoli salami, mortadella (thinly slice large Italian sausage), pecorino (hard Italian cheese made from Ewe’s milk), olives and artichokes. We were all very happy with the starters and there was more than enough to share for all 7 of us attending.
The meatballs were my personal favourite starter which shocked me as I’m not usually a fan of meatballs, but they were absolutely delicious. So rich in flavour and they just melted in your mouth! The wood fired bread accompanying these was divine as well.
After our starters we were allowed to choose a pizza each for our main, however rather than us just reviewing one pizza each, we decided to choose 7 different pizzas and have a slice of each one. There were 14 to choose from on the menu and we chose 6 from the menu and also the special ‘Bolgnese’ pizza (which by the way I am delighted to say is so popular that it will become a permanent option on the menu!). We had number 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and the special from the Menu.
The bases were so thin and crispy which was perfect as I often find that when I eat pizza I feel bloated quite quickly because of the thick bread, however this was not the case at Baffi. The pizzas were loaded with toppings and each one so uniquely flavoured, you can see that a lot of care has been put into making these pizzas perfect for their customers. The portobello mushrooms & prosciutto cotto (cooked ham) was definitely one of my personal favourites, alongside the bresola (air-dried salted beef) pizza. I had never tried salted beef on a pizza before but it was absolutely delicious and is definitely the one I recommend the most from the evening. The only one I didn’t like was the pizza that had Gorgonzola cheese on, however this was just down to personal preference as I do not like Gorgonzola, I think this one was a firm favourite with the other girls though as there was none left by the end of the night!
Baffi were extremely generous to us in letting us try so much from their menu. Baffi do not deliver their pizzas as pizzas can get destroyed in deliveries and will not be up their best standards when it reaches the customer, however if you are close to a Baffi or are passing and you love a friendly, welcoming restaurant, then you definitely need to check them out. I could not fault their service or their food and I cannot wait to come back and try the Nutella Pizza for dessert!