[Cornwall, England] The Seafood Restaurant – The Difference between UK, England & Britain

10 06 2011

When my friends asked me where I had traveled to for summer, I was in a bit of a predicament. I had spent a week in London and had taken a road trip 500km down south to the coastal region of Cornwall. As most people haven’t really heard of Cornwall, I’d normally just tell them I had travelled to UK but then I thought to myself, “What’s the difference between UK, England, Britain and Great Britain?”. Doesn’t it all mean the same thing?

Well apparently, it doesn’t…as I found out today.

England is a country, UK and Britain are a union of countries (eg European Union) and that’s why we don’t see UK or Britain as participants in the World Cup or Olympics. UK is a union of the 4 countries comprising England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland whereas Britain aka Great Britain is a union of 3 countries comprising England, Scotland and Wales. Hope this clarifies a common misconception.

Anyway, one wouldn’t normally think of England as a place for surfing, wine tasting or doing a farm stay but all these activities can be accomplished in Cornwall. The seawater here is really clean, and just like in Porto, I found abalone growing rampant along the seashore (it’s the numerous white shells clinging to the rock in the picture).

Arriving at The Seafood Restaurant after a 500km drive from London, we were absolutely famished and we couldn’t wait to get our taste buds aroused by Rick Stein’s flagship restaurant.

The setting of the place is classy yet cosy. Food here doesn’t come cheap and a 3-course ala carte dinner would probably set you back 60-70GBP, excluding drinks. Yet despite such high barriers to entry, you’d be lucky to get a seat without making prior reservations, which goes to show the appeal and high standards that have been set through the 30 odd years that The Seafood Restaurant has been in operation.

This had to be our longest dinner ever, stretching almost 4 hours from 9pm to almost 12.30am, but I’d say it was worth the wait. CW had the 6-Course tasting menu while N and myself settled for ala carte. The staff tried to sync our starters and mains but I guess that meant N and myself had to wait slightly longer for our courses to be served together with CW’s. Didn’t try much of the tasting menu but I did take some pics.

Complimentary Bread, Olives and atas butter

Complimentary Salmon Cakes

A Salad of Octopus with Noodles, Shitake & Enoki Mushrooms, Ginger and Truffle Oil

Seared Hand-dived Scallop and Iberico Ham with Pimenton & Pardina Lentils

Grilled Padstow Lobster

Fillet of Sea Bass a la Plancha with Roasted Fennel Seeds and Sauce Vierge

Baked Cheesecake with Apricot Jelly & Fruit Salsa

Missing pictures from the tasting menu includes the “Crab, Ginger and Coriander Broth with Mussels” and “Petit Fours” because they weren’t very photogenic. At 67GBP, the tasting menu is rather pricey but CW seemed pleased with her meal and the Sea Bass was the best of its kind I have ever tasted.

The sommelier suggested a suitable light tasting white wine called Albarino Lager De Cervera to go with our seafood. Would definitely consider it again if I ever see it on a menu.

My starter of the Turbot fish and Scallops was served with a rich creamy sauce. Very appetizing and the scallop was nicely seared.

 

 

Ragout of Turbot & Scallops Vouvray and Basil

Nothing too exciting about the Halibut, especially after tasting the best Sea Bass in my life earlier.

Escalopes of Halibut with Dill, Carrots and Celery

Served with a side of crispy Naan, I was quite surprised how fatty the Monkfish tasted, and even more surprised that it went well with the Vindaloo. Would highly recommend this to people who can handle spice.

Monkfish Vindaloo

Another surprising development was the Dessert. I never expected such light tasting pastry. Normally, the caramelized pears or peaches tend to cause the pastry to turn soggy but it wasn’t the case for this Peach Tart Tatin, it was absolutely crisp with perfectly caramelized peaches. Truly perfect.

Peach Tart Tatin

Passing all 3 criteria of food, ambience and service standards, The Seafood Restaurant is indeed a place worth stopping by if you ever find yourself in Cornwall.

Bon Appetit!

THE SEAFOOD RESTAURANT

RIVERSIDE, PADSTOW PL28 8BY, ENGLAND

TEL: 01841 532700

 

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2 responses

10 06 2011
stargirl

i miss cornwall lots. pity that i didn’t get to visit padstow though. did you get to try cornish cream tea?

11 06 2011
drpiggy

oh no I didn’t! Only spent 2 days in Cornwall so sadly didn’t really have much time.

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