Before I start this review I should explain the above picture. This is the look Mr C pulls when you tell him that he can’t dive into his meal until after you have taken a photo. I call it his “blue steel” look.
Review Of PBC2
If Portelet Bay cafe had given birth then surely PBC2 would be its baby. New and finding its feet on the St Helier foodie scene, PBC2 is part of the Portelet Bay cafe family and, therefore, on my first visit I had no doubt that I was going to be in for a treat. However, where a lot of the charm for the Portelet Bay cafe has to be in its glorious views of Portelet Bay (you would be hard pressed to find a cafe with a nicer view), PBC2 has less of a charming view located at 2 Elizabeth Place. They have taken what was rather a dilapidated building, and brought it to back to life; looking clean and white on the outside with some rather funky and minimalistic signage to match. The inside gives way to a pared back, rustic feel that is homely. The restaurant has wooden tables, grey walls and a partially open kitchen. The message is clear, this is one modern, funky restaurant and it’s all about the food.
Now this being Jersey you know that the food is going to have to be good for this new venture to survive. We already have a plethora of good restaurants and in St Helier you are really spoilt for choice. Like I said earlier, PBC2 has the less idyllic location – we aren’t looking onto a beach but rather a busy junction and then the park. However, the fact that it is located close to the park is rather clever planning on the owner’s part. The PBC2 restaurant is small and, therefore, having the choice to take your food into the park for an al-fresco meal is a good option.
To Sushi Or Not To Sushi
The reason we decided to give PBC2 a go is because I am a massive fan of sushi and I have been waiting for a new sushi restaurant to open up. Therefore, when we found out that we had a babysitter last Friday I informed Mr C that we had to try PBC2. PBC2 is a pizza and sushi restaurant. A slightly odd combination, maybe? However, I am guessing that the thinking behind it is that they both work well as take-away food too. What I hadn’t realised before I ate at PBC2 is how important being able to see the sushi is for me. For me, it isn’t just the eating of the food but it is choosing the sushi from the little belt as it goes past and being able to eat as much or as little as you like. Sadly, PBC2 doesn’t have that option. You have to order the sushi blind. You don’t get to drool over it first, you don’t get to choose from what is presented to you. Therefore, I had to give the sushi a miss. I just didn’t feel confident enough to order it without it being there in front of me. Therefore, we decided to opt for the pizza. We arrived on a Friday night and it was busy. We hadn’t booked a table but they did manage to fit us in.
They Have Gaaaaarlic Bread! (Aka Peter Kay)
On arriving we noticed that there was no background music playing. This worried Mr C as he thought it would make the restaurant quiet. However, I found it a refreshing change. It wasn’t too quiet and it was really nice to have a backdrop of natter instead of blaring music. For starters we ordered garlic bread and hummus to share.
Now PBC2 pizzas are all made fresh and wood fired so we had the time to luxuriate in our starters. Never before have I ever tasted a garlic bread so glorious. Oozing in garlicky juices it contrasted against the crisp and thin base. Deliciously moorish. However, there was one problem we should have had a serving of hummus but there was none. We tried to get their attention but the waiters and waitresses were clearly busy and quite frankly the smell of garlic was too tantalising to resist. After about a 5 minute wait we had to dive in. The waitress realised as we took our last bite and came rushing over with the hummus. We didn’t mind in the slightest, with garlic bread that good I would have forgiven them all sorts. Clearly, this is a new restaurant and with that comes teething problems. The service might not have been spot on but the food was their saviour. The food did all the talking and boy did it shout!
The Main Event
For mains Mr C had the diavolo pizza and I had the classic calzone. Now after eating here I have realised that I have been eating pizza all wrong. I have been eating the wrong sort of pizza. This is the best pizza I have eaten in a long time. In fact, I would put it on a par with an amazing pizza I ate in Rome on our honeymoon. Mr C’s pizza was a spicy seductress. Light and delicious which gently tickled the tastebuds with its spice. Mr C is a man who likes everything to be HOT, HOT, HOT. He would have liked it to be a tad spicier. However, I found it perfect. As we were eating, there was a steady stream of new customers. This restaurant is already clearly very popular and establishing its place on the Jersey foodie scene. However, the restaurant being small means that in future we would probably book rather than face the disappointment of being turned away.
My classic calzone was crisp but also beautifully moist at the same time. A perfect pizza parcel that I am still drooling over days later. As we came towards the end of our meal it became clear that they were trying to hurry us out of the restaurant as they needed our table back. It was slightly less than subtle when they brought the bill over before we had even finished our drinks. However, I was so content and full of dough that perhaps this is a tactic they have to employ. You can’t afford to let customers dawdle when the restaurant is small and you have people queuing to get in.
I would recommend that you all pay PBC2 a visit for a pizza of the action. Yes, some elements are flawed but it is perfectly flawed. The food is perfect. The service needs working on but it is early days for this restaurant and I have no doubt that the service will improve once they find their feet. This would be a fine place to spend your dough on a Friday night.
Note: I apologise for ending this review with poor pizza puns.