6 Middle Street, PADSTOW, PL28 8AP
Paul Ainsworth's is only the most recent Padstow career to have gone into orbit as a result of TV appearances and a growing presence in tourist Cornwall's favourite little town. If the swirling crowds can all get a bit much, his original venue (since joined by Rojano's) remains very much a refuge from the press. Buried amid the narrow streets off the harbour front, it occupies a Georgian townhouse, its confined spaces cleverly fashioned into agreeable nooks with eye-catching decorative touches and clued-up staff running the show. John Walton's kitchen produces impressive renditions of carefully conceived modern dishes, often given to formal experimentation but with a strong supporting foundation of premium Cornish ingredients, with tongue-in-cheek appropriations from the world of haute cuisine. Fallow deer comes with a trio of cabbages, a little pig trotter sauce and a serving of 'pâté en waffle' for a main course that bursts with native wit as well as flavour. The opalescent cod, timed to the second, is ably served by local crab in mayonnaise, alongside the earthy texture of kohlrabi and a seasoning of fenugreek. Prior to those, there may be a reworked quiche lorraine made with smoked haddock, or a daring serving of sashimi scallop with kimchi and umami-drenched anchovy paste. Vegetarians may begin with a tangle of tagliatelle turnip with smoked portobellos, before proceeding to a botanical textbook main course of roots, alliums, tubers, brassicas and fungi. Desserts hark back to the golden days of trifle, albeit with rhubarb and saffron, and bread-and-butter pudding, as well as offering a tiramisů and chocolate tart fix with yogurt sorbet, while cheese - perhaps a mature Barkham Blue - comes in the Lancashire fashion with an Eccles cake and port.
Tel: 01841 532093
Please quote 'The AA'.
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Days closed: Sun-Mon (excl BH Sun)
Dates closed: 24-26 Dec, 19 Jan-12 Feb
Cooking type: Modern British
Chef: Paul Ainsworth, John Walton
Number of seats: 46
Accessible for wheelchairs.
Steps for wheelchair: 1
Vegetarian meals available.
No children under 4 yrs.
A La Carte Dinner Main Course from: £30.00
Prices are for guidance only. Please check when booking for current rates.