Someone once said that “when on holiday, money is an abstract concept” and consequently, you spend it like its going out of fashion. Equally, there’s another principle that goes along the lines of “you get what you pay for”.
We’ve tested both concepts to the limit, by eating in two amazing restaurants in the last couple of days.
Yesterday, we booked lunch at Outlaw’s Fish Kitchen, in Port Isaac.
As we’re on holiday, nobody bothered to check about car parking arrangements in this tiny, beautiful little place and so no one was prepared for a long, very steep downhill walk from the main village car park to the restaurant.
Add in a rainstorm and no mobile phone service to give us directions and the trip started to take on different dimensions. Fortunately, I’d taken an extra pair of shoes suitable for lightweight sightseeing and so my feet were only mildly cut to pieces. By the time we reached the restaurant, we were soaked, had bleeding feet (me) and were a bit querulous.
The Fish Kitchen sits right on the quayside, so the fish is landed and makes about a 50m journey straight into the restaurant, which dovetails with the Outlaw ethos of quality and sustainability. The building itself is absolutely beautiful, both inside and out, but only seats a small number of diners (further reduced due to current restrictions).
Food wise, the only thing on offer is a six course tasting menu. Not surprisingly, this is fish based, but if you call in advance, they can do a vegetarian option. We chose to eat both the fish and vegetarian.
And what a meal.
Freshness and quality shone through. Deceptively simple dishes had flavour, texture and were perfectly cooked and presented.
Scallops, Dover sole, lobster scampi in batter, smoked mackerel. And the most amazing chips – crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside. The dessert was a baked cheesecake with berries. Normally, I don’t much care for cheesecake, but there wasn’t a crumb left on the plate, so I think I’ve changed my mind!
Front of house staff were very professional and efficient, but not very warm. Perhaps that was because of our slightly dishevelled appearance and bleeding feet or because we ordered hot drinks with our meal, being wet and cold, rather than wine. Who knows.
It was worth it.
Want to find out more?
Try the Michelin Guide for details.