Thirteen – lucky for some

An ambitious new restaurant opened in Poole this week under the name Thirteen – after the number of courses served on its tasting menu.

With a sharp focus on seasonal Dorset ingredients, including many foraged or grown in the restaurant’s own urban garden, Thirteen is the debut from chef-patron Alex Naik and represents the realisation of his family’s “long-held dream to open a fine dining restaurant“. 

It is very much a family enterprise, with Alex’s parents and sister Frances heavily involved as co-owners. His father Hem is a retired engineer and active wine enthusiast, while his mother Elisabeth is herself a brilliant cook who originally sparked Alex’s interest in becoming a chef.

Alex, formerly head chef at Abbots Court country retreat and wedding venue near Blandford Forum, is also a photographer and has lived in North America – both of which, alongside his Indian heritage, influence the flavours and plating of his dishes. He has spend the past year refurbishing and kitting out the restaurant, which is based around an open kitchen.

Thirteen is at 222 Ashley Road in Parstone, Poole. The full 13-course set menu is served in the evening at £95 a head, with a shorter a la carte version offered for lunch at £50 a head.

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