A NEW restaurant at one of the country’s finest hotels will bring a new concept to the clifftop.

Executive chef Dominic South said the plans for The Nici’s new Old Harry Rocks restaurant will bring a new sharing concept to the West Cliff.

Dominic told the Daily Echo: “I think for The Nici, it brings us another element on which to build upon, because we’ve already got such a fantastic vibe, we’ve got such a great feel about the place.

“South Beach is your go-to restaurant, it is your starter, main, dessert.

“With Old Harry Rocks, what we want is a lot more casual, a lot more fun, a lot more vibey.”

The hotel will aim to bring a ‘different feel’ to Old Harry Rocks, with tables arranged so people can ‘snack and share’.

“I think certainly, during the summer, when the suns out, by the pool, that sense of sharing, that sense of everyone at the table together is certainly the angle we want to be pushing for there,” the chef said.

The new eatery is currently under construction next to the hotel’s outdoor pool, scheduled to open in June, creating more than 50 jobs for the area.

Dominic said he was ‘really excited’ about the opening, and the focus at the moment is making sure they have the ‘right people’.


Bournemouth Echo: The Nici

“We've got a fantastic head chef joining us,” he said.

“We've got a new head pastry chef who will be overseeing both sites with us.

“We're really focusing on making sure that both front and back of house are just great people. And I think if we've got the right people, it's going to be amazing.”

Since Dominic joined the restaurant in December, he has implemented a new menu at South Beach as well as overseeing the development of the new restaurant.

“I really wanted something that was a little lighter, a little less complex, but certainly a lot more focus on the provenance, on the technique, on the flavours,” he said.

“It's really important for me that given what this restaurant is, the food is familiar but elevated.

“I think the real focus for us was on making sure that when you read it, you want to eat it and when you have it, you feel like it's more than what you expected it to be.”

Dominic honed his skills at The Langham and Corinthia in London, but had been looking to leave the city.

He said he was ‘loving it’ so far in Bournemouth.

“I think we've created quite a nice, unique concept where we are both a destination and familiar,” Dominic said.

“We do cater to both sides; you do get your birthdays and your celebrations, but, certainly since January, I've noticed a lot more locals returning to us.

“I think we were hopeful initially of doing 30 to 40 covers a day in the slow season, whereas we're actually doing more in the region of 50 to 60 a day for lunch, which is your local market, your Monday to Thursday.

“We're quite fortunate in that respect that there's been a good vote of confidence.”