Desi Grills – 5 Rivers Sports Bar, Southampton (SO14 0JR)

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Location: The 5 Rivers Sports Bar is perfect for those football fans going to an away day, St Mary’s home of Southampton FC is a mere 5 minutes drive away, and if you feel like walking well then you have 30 mins to walk the grill off to the ground. If you are at The Ageas Bowl to watch the cricket, you are only a 15 minute drive away from a grill feast.

Appearance: From the outside 5 Rivers Sports Bar looks nice and inviting. The 5 Rivers Sports Bar looks clean and very well maintained, so it would be rude not to go in. One thing about the outside that did impress was that there were no smokers outside, this can be off putting at times, and can be hard to control, so the fact we have no smokers outside highlights a well run pub. Do not be fooled by the outside, 5 Rivers is good size venue with plenty of rooms and places to sit and enjoy either a drink or food and drink.

When you think of a Sports Bar you think TV’s, pool tables and booths, we have all that inside the 5 Rivers, a nice friendly vibe and lively atmosphere, the pub is busy and has a real mixed crowd, just one word of caution: Move the stools from the bar as some people feel like it is their right to remain seated even when the bar is busy. 

Drinks & Food Ordering: The spirits selection is not the biggest or the best we have seen, but all the regulars are on display, flavoured vodka’s, gins and some shots if you plan to stay longer. The draught is impressive nice clean fresh pints (served in the right glasses).

We discuss how to order food and are promptly told how to do so and also when we asked the staff about the grill the response was “It is better now the new chef is here”. Last time we came to review the 5 Rivers when we got into the building we were told the chef was not in that night, and that left us kinda pissed off, but thankfully that issue now seems to have been addressed and a permanent chef is in place.

Our Food arrives after 35 minutes which is not bad at all as the pub is busy and it seems 70% of the people are eating!

Sizzler: We went for the large mixed grill and you know what, the size is impressive and we feel like we are back in the Midlands as the portion size is as it should be – FOR 3-4 PEOPLE

The shish kebabs are where we start, they were stacked on top of the grill so we had no choice, usually these are the poor relation of so many grills but these have that something different to them. The break apart quite easy and you can taste the meat and it is not just a mouthful of dissolving mush, you actually can feel the flavors and spice, good start this!

The Wings, these are messy and not skinny, flavoured well but we just felt they lacked that kick that makes wings special, the meat was marinated well but the spice did not come through at all.

Chicken Tikka, impressive, we have quite a few chunks of tikka and they are all cooked well and marinated well, these like the wings lack that spice kick for us, but are better than the wings.

Lamb Chops, these are not bad, they are flavoured well, cooked well, not burnt and and the quality of the meat is impressive, very little fat and the meat pulls away so easy highlighting the chef knew what he was doing.

Curries: We opted for the Butter chicken and the Lamb dish, the menu is not the biggest and that is something others should also look at, do less but do them right.

The lamb Kahari hit the nail on the head, the sauce was superb and the meat chunks were soaked in flavour, fantastic dish. The Butter Chicken dish was decent but was nothing amazing, a solid dish just not amazing, still ate it all though!!

Conclusion: Whether it be for Football, Cricket or you  just happen to be in Southampton add the 5 Rivers Sports Bar to your list of places to eat/chill especially if you enjoy a grill.

The staff are friendly the food is good and the atmosphere in the venue is lively and buzzing, we felt comfortable from the moment we walked in.

We get the feeling the 5 Rivers is all about the lamb dishes, the lamb curry was the stand out of the whole visit and the the lamb chops and shish kebabs both stood out on the grill, so if you are going make sure you try these. The grill as a whole was solid, the chicken lacked spice, but we do love spice and that was our only real issue, a good solid venue that we need to (and will) visit again. Great job lads!

Check out how the 5 Rivers Sports Bar has performed in the Desi Grill National League here

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