UNDOUBTEDLY there will be some local wet trade for the only pub in Wroxall, but you want to know if the Star Inn is doing anything in the kitchen to make it worth a special trip.

We always like a pub with separate bar and restaurant areas.

The Star Inn's dining space was an attractive maze of little connected rooms, with up-to-date decor.

Matt didn't get past the first item on the 'fishboard' — his scallops with black pudding, Wiltshire smoked bacon, bramley apple and chorizo caused murmurs of appreciation as it arrived.

The dish looked magnificent.

Big, salty sauteed chorizo chunks, thick, crumbly black pudding and a generous allowance of pea puree.

It seemed almost churlish to note the Wiltshire ham was nowhere to be seen, and when Matt dug into what he assumed was the bramley he was taken aback to find it was, bizarrely, a generous spoonful of lemon curd.

Cat's tandoori chicken 'saladette' was an attractive construction.

For less than a tenner she enjoyed loads of gently-spiced meat, plenty of pea shoots and spinach leaves.

The chopped cos underneath was pretty stalky and slathered with a dressing that had more vinegar about it than she was expecting for mint and cucumber yoghurt.

At these prices, there's no excuse for missing dessert so we forged onwards.

Cat was delighted by her semifreddo torroncino.

Alongside was a whole fig preserved in liquor which she eagerly sucked on, and found splendidly figgy, if slightly wanting in the booze department.

Matt had a traditional chocolate torte with blood-orange sorbet, which was pleasant enough.

It's a bold person indeed who invests in a village pub these days.

At least on the Isle of Wight there are usually some tourists to keep things going in the summer.

The trick is to find a product that people will drive across the Island for, whilst at the same time respecting your local regulars who will be the ones keeping you going on those dark November nights.

As we enjoyed our dinner in the Star Inn's restaurant we could hear a young singer in the bar.

Contemporary classics drifted from the nearby room with a smattering of appreciative applause, and we thought that maybe this pub has what it takes to satisfy both camps.

Matt and Cat's bill:

Tandoori chicken salad £9.00

Scallops and black pudding £13.00

Chips £1.49

Chocolate torte £6.95

Semifreddo torroncino £6.95

Total: £37.39

Three stars: a decent place that we’d recommend.

Read a longer version of this review, and others, at Matt and Cat's Isle of Wight Eating Out Guide.

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