Food, Days Out and Travel stories from Brighton, London and the Rest of the World


Rick Stein's Padstow and a day of sea bass

I knew Rick Stein had a restaurant in Padstow, I also knew when in Cornwall I had to try it out. What I didn't know was that he also has another restaurant, patisserie, gift shop, cookery school as well as accommodation in the pretty town of Padstow. Let's just say, if Padstow had a President I reckon Rick Stein would have a good chance of being elected.

Padstow photo by modernbricabrac

Padstow is beautiful. Ancient buildings congregate around the picturesque harbour and climb the hill in winding narrow streets that date back to the Middle Ages when the town was a busy trading port.

Padstow photo by modernbricabrac

The day we visited it was packed, although in Cornish summer terms this wasn't yet peak season. Our first task was to find the Seafood Restaurant where we had booked a table. As we drove passed it looked quite empty, I thought. We then had to park and eventually found space at the top of the hill before making our way back into town.

The Seafood Restaurant, Padstow photo by modernbricabrac

On route we passed another of Rick Stein's restaurants / hotels, St Petroc's Bistro, where a sign read 3 courses for £25. I had booked us in for a set lunch at £40 a head. I was beginning to wonder whether I had made the right choice. St Petroc's looked lovely.

St Petroc, Padstow photo by modernbricabrac

Further into town we passed an even cheaper version of the Rick Stein food experience when we passed the patisserie where we could have had a Cornish pasty to go. Should we have just popped in there instead? Hmm.

With a little time to kill before lunch we popped into Rick Stein's gift shop where in amongst tea towels and pickles I found a picture of a sea bass that I really liked, by British artist Richard Bramble.


Finally, walking along the front we reached our destination, the Seafood Restaurant. Walking into reception I realised the restaurant wasn't empty at all. I could now see a door leading into a large, buzzing room with a circular bar in the centre.

The Seafood Restaurant, Padstow photo by modernbricabrac

Ushered to a comfy looking corner table, with Petit Chablis ordered I began to get excited again as dishes emerged on trays from the kitchen.

The Starter

Although almost persuaded by the lobster risotto and despite my dislike of beetroot I decided to go for a dish that featured this ingredient heavily. What's the point of fine dining if you're not prepared to be adventurous?

I also wanted to try mackerel marinated in chilli and cooked with garlic as I thought these flavours would go well with the strong taste of mackerel. Along with this, the other starter we went for was the sea bass 'a la Plancha' with roasted fennel seeds and sauce vierge. This tasted fabulous, possibly because the sauce of olive oil, lemon juice, chopped tomato and basil, complemented the fish so well.

sea bass, the Seafood Restaurant, Padstow photo by modernbricabrac

The Cornish mackerel looked great surrounded by the deep reddy-pink of the roasted beetroot and almond skordalia puree and although I'm still not keen on the earthy taste of beetroot, it did work well together.

mackerel, the Seafood Restaurant, Padstow photo by modernbricabrac

The Mains

The starters had given us some lovely flavours but were light enough for us to still look forward to the next course. I decided to go for the hake with salpicon dressing, tarragon mayonnaise and samphire, which had been harvested from the Camel Estuary.

hake, the Seafood Restaurant, Padstow photo by modernbricabrac

The other dish we tried was the local poached ray with cadgwith, chosen by the Welsh One because he hadn't come across this on a menu before. It was cooked in a classic French way with beurre noire (brown butter), and of all the dishes was the least colourful.

ray, the Seafood Restaurant, Padstow photo by modernbricabrac

To accompany our mains, we shared deep fried courgette flowers tempura, which had come from the local Trerethern farm. Each dish was demolished and enjoyed thoroughly.

deep fried courgette flower, the Seafood Restaurant, Padstow photo by modernbricabrac

The Desserts

I ordered the vanilla cheesecake with cassis sorbet. The fruits had a slightly sharp tartness and the cheesecake was very light. We also tried the strawberry pavlova with strawberry sorbet.

the Seafood Restaurant, Padstow photo by modernbricabrac

the Seafood Restaurant, Padstow photo by modernbricabrac

I found the sorbet too watery with the pavlova and cassis too tart for my liking, but I had come for the fish and the experience and neither of these aspects disappointed. I loved our lunch at the Seafood Restaurant and definitely want to return.

The Seafood Restaurant is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, which was a great time to visit.
Having built a reputation on serving the freshest fish in inventive dishes it's great to know they 're still delivering.

Our standout dish was the sea bass. As we left, we walked along the front and passed a fisherman who had just placed his catch on the side. He'd just pulled out a fresh one.

sea bass, Padstow

Click here to find out more about The Seafood Restaurant

Click here to Follow my blog with Bloglovin
Blogger Template Created by pipdig