Earlier this week I reviewed a book and I have to say that I rather enjoyed writing it. Well now that I’ve tried a book, why not try a restaurant review, I thought last night as me and Mr R set off for a meal at an absolute favourite of ours. I must admit that taking photos of our dishes for the purpose of this review seemed wrong and I did feel slightly silly doing so. I’m sure I caught the chap on the next table giving his dining partner one of those…how naff are those people on the next table taking photos….looks!
So, here goes. My first ever restaurant review. I hope that you enjoy it and I would value any comments, good or bad!
The Seadrift Kitchen-Cafe Porthleven
For some inexplicable reason, for the first five days of our first holiday in this charming and attractive harbour village, we rather foolishly walked straight past this little gem of an eaterie without even glancing at the menu. Thankfully we finally came to our senses on our last day and decided to try it out. Since then we would never dream of leaving Porthleven without experiencing a Seadrift brunch, afternoon tea or dinner!
Maybe, I’m being a little dense but I’m not sure why the Seadrift is called a kitchen cafe. I would have expected by that name a view of the kitchen in question, but in this case the kitchen is tucked out of sight. It has no choice really as the restaurant is indeed quite small. As there aren’t that many covers, booking is definitely advisable, and I imagine at the hight of the summer, an absolute must. I love the slightly retro feel by the use of bright turquoise diner style tables and chairs that work really well with the rustic charms of low beams, stone walls and a woodburner complete with stacks of logs either side. The walls are decorated with wonderful photographic images by local photographer Carla Regler. Upstairs you will find a gallery displaying more of her work.
The cafe was busy when we arrived last night and there was a lovely buzzy feel to the place. Candles in pretty lanterns had been lit on the tables and church candles flickering in tall chrome lanterns on the counter enhanced the cosy, inviting ambiance. The greeting as we arrived by one of the lovely waitresses was warm and friendly and this continued throughout our evening. I really can’t fault the service at all. As well as being friendly, the service was extremely efficient and enthusiastic. I also liked the fact that the chef came out of the kitchen and spoke to the diners.
Water with sliced cucumber arrived at our table the moment we were settled with our menus. In addition to the menu was fish board and a couple of fishy specials. Many of the dishes came with two prices. One for a starter size, the other one for a main course. After we had ordered, along came a board of homemade english mustard and cheddar bread, a pot of butter sprinkled with flakes of sea-salt and a small pile of vegetable crisps. The bread was beautifully baked and extremely moorish. I could have eaten a whole lot more, but that would have been just plain greedy.
For a starter Mr R chose scallops with crispy duck and a sweet chilli dressing (£9.95). The huge scallops were cooked to perfection as was the duck, and the dressing complemented the dish well. I could tell by Mr R’s face that it tasted every bit as good as it looked. I had opted for grilled field mushrooms topped with Cornish cheese (£6.95). The mushrooms were big and juicy, and the melted cheese was delicious. A perfect starter for me as I tend to veer towards vegetarian choices.
We didn’t have to wait long for our main courses to arrive. I had chosen the fish pie (£15.95) as it’s a favourite dish of mine and this one just had to be the best I had ever eaten…fact! Underneath a layer of beautifully silky smooth creamed potato topped with a very cheesy gratin was a generous helping of white fish, scallops and juicy big prawns.There was definitely more fish than sauce here, in fact it was difficult to detect the sauce. It was a generous portion, but felt that a small side of green vegetables would have given a little contrasting colour to the dish.
Mr R had gone for fish again. For his main course he had opted for grilled haddock with creamed leeks and pomme frites (£15.95) The fish was so fresh that it had probably been swimming happily in the sea earlier that day! It was wonderfully moist and flaked beautifully. The creamed leeks were very tasty and the pomme frites, crisp and golden.
Sadly we were too full to go for a pud, opting instead for a pot of tea each. Earl Grey for him and peppermint for me.The choice of deserts is a little limited, but it seems that the mixed berry Pavlova was proving to be very popular judging by how many of them were coming out of the kitchen. I have never seen such big blowsy Pavlovas in my life!
To go with our meal we chose a bottle of Chilean Sauvignon Blanc (£17.85) which was perfectly chilled and went perfectly with our chosen dishes. The wine list has around 20 bottles to choose from varying from £17.85 to £30. You can of course choose to have wine by the glass.
We had splashed out a bit on our meal as it was our holiday treat, but there are plenty of other choices on the menu to suit all pockets and a couple of days a week there are meal deals to be had. You aren’t restricted to dinner either. I’ve eaten the most amazing waffles, bacon and maple syrup for brunch whilst reading one of the magazines or papers available, and indulged in a huge slice of locally made cake washed down with excellent coffee in the afternoon. We haven’t tried lunch yet, but we will in time.
It is no wonder that The Seadrift has held the top spot on Trip Advisor for places to eat in Porthleven as long as I can remember. Cornwall, and in particular Porthleven, has many amazing places to eat and this has to be one of them.The quality of the ingredients and a skillful and imaginative chef means it has to be a sure winner. Come to Porthleven and wander up Fore Street, just off of the harbour. You can’t miss it. Just look for the cheery, brightly painted sign, which I actually thinks it suits The Seadrift perfectly.
Open..Tuesday to Saturday 10am to 10pm