Saturday, 7 December 2013
Rick Stein's, Falmouth
One of the first things my Mum said when I confirmed my offer at the Exeter Penryn campus was 'oh, Rick Stein has a restaurant in Falmouth'. Being just a little interested in cookery (could you guess?), I've watched my fair share of cooking programmes, and so did have a bit of a fangirl moment when I found out I would be living a mere bus ride away from such a cool place. I'm told that Mr Stein only has a handful of restaurants in the UK, and Falmouth is the only one that is specifically seafood, so it's quite special to be living so close.
Apparently, you can tell when Rick is visiting because he parks his white Porsche outside. Unfortunately he wasn't around when I went out for a meal a few weeks back. Shame, we were hoping he'd be able to whip up something special just for us, but the experience was still lovely. One of the best meals I've had in a while. Probably the best since Cafe Citta...
Not being the biggest seafood fan I was a little skeptical that I'd find the food great (even if it was Rick Stein's). In fact, I was tempted for a moment to order a vegetarian pasta dish, but it was pointed out that seeing where we were, that would be insulting to both Rick, and to Falmouth, a fishing town. I got the point. I ended up ordering cod and chips, classic and simple, but at the same time easily one of the nicest meals I've ever had. Ever. We couldn't get over how nice it was. Every so often we'd stop our conversation just to point out how unbelievably good the food tasted...
Obviously, it was a tad more expensive than your local chippy's fare, but you certainly get what you pay for. my date, insisting YOLO, went for three courses for just under £20, I ordered the same main, and we shared both the starter and the dessert. From my memory my fish and chips main was around £12 or £13.
Our starter was fish cakes with a small salad and a Thai dipping sauce of garlic, chili and ginger (I think!) which was great. We shared the 4 cakes so got 2 each, which was just the right amount. Any more and I would have been too full to enjoy my main properly, which would have been a tragedy, because it was stunning.
Anyone who like fish and chips even a little bit should try them from Rick Stein's if they get the chance, it's totally worth the extra price, you can even takeaway your gourmet meal like you can from a normal chippy, but why would you when you can enjoy it in the lovely modern, friendly restaurant? But back to the food. The chips were perfect, crispy but fluffy, and not greasy at all. The fish was the same, it was nice to not get that really heavy I've-just-ingested-too-much-oil feeling that you get with normal fish and chips. The meal also came with a small serving of mushy peas, and a wonderful horseradish mayonnaise that was heaven with the chips.
Dessert was a sticky toffee pudding with ice cream, delicious as well, but the highlight was definitely the main.
Drinks were kind of expensive, but if you go to a restaurant like that I think you have to expect that.
The atmosphere in the restaurant was great; the kitchen was open to the seating area, which I really liked, and the staff were super helpful and nice. The place had the feel of a very very high class fish and chip shop as there were bar stool tables lining the glass walls, meaning we were looking out across the lit marina as we ate, which I thought was unusual but a great idea.
We both agreed that we'll be returning soon, but probably when we have our parents to pay!