NESTLED amongst a parade of shops in the neighbourhood of Southbourne, it would be easy to miss Roots restaurant. But such is its reputation as a modern fine dining destination, it doesn't really need much by way of an introduction these days.

The contemporary 18-seater restaurant in Belle Vue Road is run by head chef Jan Bretschneider and his wife Stacey. Jan originally hails from Germany and has worked at some of Europe's most well known Michelin starred restaurants.

Stacey is a specialist pastry chef who is originally from Bournemouth and has worked at many country houses across the UK. Front of house is the erudite Geza who gave us a warm welcome.

Apparently 65 per cent of their clientele are from outside the locality with many travelling down from London.

Roots certainly has a very different vibe to any other restaurant in the area. Decor is stripped back elegance, wooden floors, exposed brickwork on one side behind the bar, and large abstract seascapes adorning the rest of the room.

Geza explained that the menu changes every four weeks or so and includes a choice of midweek tasting menus as well as Sunday roast and vegetarian options.

A tasting menu is always a perfect showcase for a chef’s creations so the ten course Discovery menu (£65) seemed an obvious choice, and it wasn't long before we realised we were in the presence of culinary genius.

First up was an amuse bouche of Baba Ganoush, pureed smoky aubergine with natural yoghurt, topped with crispy wild rice served in delicate mini cornets, followed by a salad of fresh, fragrant herbs and leaves with sliver of radish, and an orb of honey and mustard ice cream that worked as the salad dressing topped with a crispy linseed twirl.

Next up was the Poole Oyster. Although I’m not a big fan of oysters, you feel as though any ingredient prepared here will be exquisite and this dish was no exception. Served in its shell and topped with a crushed wasabi and dill coating on bed of passion fruit puree it was an inspired combination. It's also worth noting that it was beautifully presented in a little box of pebbles.

Next up was the Berlin Supper which included a little pyramid of golden Bloxs Butter (a New Forest based producer of the finest handmade butter) warm, mini brown loaves, a mouthful of creamy cheese spread and a pickled herring curled around a cube of pickled cucumber.

Other courses includes Roast Dinner Carrot which had been slow cooked, served on a bed of puréed carrot with a roast chicken gravy with thyme and a sliver of crispy chicken skin perched on top; Poached Halibut served with courgette, baby artichoke, saffron and basil and The Roots Refresher, a combination of Champagne, elderflower and gin topped with Asian lemon which was the perfect palate cleanser.

Our last savoury course was Quail served with girolle mushrooms, a couple of sweet cherries and black garlic which had been fermented so it was almost like a balsamic glaze.

Dessert was a light raspberry soufflé made with New Forest raspberries served with lemon verbena custard and toasted coconut ice cream. For our final course, we were presented with a large cheeseboard of artisan cheeses and asked to select three of our favourites which were then served with selection of crackers, a Bramley apple cub and a delectable truffle and honey dressing.

(We also had the chance to dip in and out of the wine tasting menu (£32.50) created to compliment each course including a 50ml glass of Ambriel Classic Cuvee Brut NV with the oyster, Circle of Life White from South Africa with the halibut and a Cheddar Ale with the Berlin Supper).

The expression 'you eat with your eyes' certainly applies at Roots. Each dish is a masterpiece, not just in terms of flavour, balance of textures, colours and presentation, but also in terms of creative flair. It certainly delivers on its promise of providing a new perspective on eating out.