Matt and Cat\'s Isle of Wight Eating Out Guide
The Spice Lounge has closed down, and a new venue has opened under the same name nearby. This review is an archive review referring to the former venue. 2010 saw a relaunch for one of Shanklin’s most enduring eating-places: since 1983 known as the Maharaja, the latest name for... Read more

Purple Mango, Shanklin

18th February 2010 24

It’s been a tough week for Matt and Cat. Having enjoyed a wonderful Valentine’s dinner at a distinctive Island B and B, they stuffed themselves with breakfast the next morning and legged it to the ferry. A mainland carvery completed the weekend’s eating out but that wasn’t the end... Read more

Chutney Express, Ventnor

15th June 2009 17

Ah, Ventnor. Yes, the magical town where unicorns roam across the sparkling beach; and pixies giggle behind every corner. Or something. The Guardian pronounces “the place feels apart from the Isle of Wight, let alone the UK“. The Telegraph dashes up to claim “Ventnor has got its va-va-voom back“.... Read more
SWAD, Sandown

SWAD, Sandown

Reviews 15th December 2008 19

Love and marriage, they say, go together like a horse and carriage. Or maybe like Peters and Lee, the interchangeable Ant and Dec, Matt and Cat, and Indian tapas… Whoah there! Indian and tapas? Both spicy, perhaps, but a good combination? The new owners of Sandown’s latest restaurant, SWAD... Read more

Spice Express, Ryde

30th November 2008 12

Cat and Matt have been off the scene for a week or so; confined to barracks with, respectively, a cold and Man Flu. Without any sense of taste and likely to be felled by fits of coughing, M and C decided that they were not in any condition to... Read more

Purple Mango, East Cowes

2nd November 2008 18

The lights are shining bright in East Cowes these days. Despite SEEDA‘s numinous arrival in the town – now revealed disappointingly as all light and no heat – the brave entrepreneurs behind Saffron in Cowes have thumbed their noses at the economic downturn and opened a stylish restaurant in... Read more

Bengal Palace, Newport

5th August 2008 11

As regular readers of Matt and Cat’s Isle of Wight Eating Out Guide may have deduced, the eponymous writers live in Ryde and work in Newport. This geographical predictability means that the reviews on these pages have a tendency to cluster around these conurbations. And, dear reader, you can... Read more
With a population of just under 20,000 (which more than doubles on Cowes firework night), Cowes is a pretty small town. Its heart is pretty compact, with quaint bow-fronted shops and chandleries, pressed into a small waterside High Street. Also squeezed into the town are four Indian restaurants; a... Read more
Archive review: Cinnamon, Ryde
This is an archive review. Cinnamon has now closed. Heston Blumenthal‘s laboratory kitchen, what’s that all about, eh? Who in their right mind really wants to pay ninety quid for a taste of snail porridge or egg and bacon flavour ice cream? Oak flavoured crisps? Leather mashed potato? To... Read more
There’s something reassuring about seeing restaurateurs consuming their own wares. Workers need to eat and, whilst many chow down in some back room, others fuel up more conspicuously. It’s not uncommon, for example, to see the friendly staff in the Hong Kong Express at Ryde sitting down to a... Read more