Chandlery Restaurant, Lower Dock Street, Newport

YOU don't often find a fine restaurant in an area of town such as that in which the Chandlery lies.

But there in Lower Dock Street, Newport, on the edge of the main shopping area of the city, sits one of Gwent's finest eateries.

The interior of the Chandlery is simple, understated elegance; its white walls contain few pictures and only minimal decoration.

The food, however, is anything but simple, with a wide selection of dishes with strong Welsh influences.

For starters I had Carmarthen ham and artichoke salad with quail's eggs, an ideal and delicious summer dish.

My girlfriend had something more unusual but just as tasty, a chicken and cheese sausage on a bed of lentils.

For main course I ordered the sirloin of Welsh black beef with mashed potato, and I can honestly say it was one of the tastiest and most tender steaks I have ever had.

My girlfriend had goat's cheese pithivier, a pastry-covered vegetable tart on a bed of Sicilian goats cheese.

We ordered vegetables and chips to complement our main meals - and immediately regretted it on seeing the generous portions.

Somehow we managed to fit in a dessert, my girlfriend enjoying a creme brule, and me being less adventurous and sticking to ice cream.

My girlfriend had wine and I enjoyed a traditional Welsh ale.

The bill came to £61.45, and for once I didn't mind the over-indulgence - it was worth it.

On leaving the Chandlery I couldn't help but notice a comments book full of praise for the restaurant.

Among the many plaudits was one that said: "It's about time Newport had a decent restaurant like this."

And after experiencing a superb three course meal I can honestly say I wholeheartedly agree with the sentiment.