OK, so regardless of its Michelin starred status, it’s a daft name for a restaurant. But there’s nothing daft about the food. As you might expect with such a place, there’s the inevitable tasting menu. But there’s also a short carte that is rammed with dishes you really want to eat and you’re left spoilt for choice.
Eventually, we did make our minds up about what to order. For one of us, there was Brixham crab, an elderflower and dashi jelly, pickled cucumber and an apple geranium sorbet. The sorbet was quite sweet and needed more of the cucumber or something to balance it. The other starter was the better of the two. It featured olive oil poached Jersey Royal potatoes. And, no, I have no idea how they get Jerseys at the beginning of September. It comes with a tangy kohlrabi remoulade, parsley emulsion and crispy seaweed. A good mix of textures and flavours.
Then a fillet steak for one of us. Accompaniments were outstanding – a truffle infused potato dauphinoise, hen of the wood (our favourite mushroom) and a mushroom puree. Perfectly pink lamb rump on the other plate. Also there, a thick wedge of charred Hispi cabbage, the bitterness contrasting nicely with the lamb. A well made sauce rounded it all off and I’d have been happy if that was it. But. served in a separate pot, long cooked lamb shoulder and thinly sliced potato. Almost a posh version of Lancashire Hotpot if you will. I could have eaten a bucket load of it without thinking I was being greedy. It really was that good.
We both ordered the same dessert. Think a traditional Devon cream tea. Deconstruct it; reimagine it and rebuild it. What you get is probably our most enjoyed course – and it would be very rare for us to say that about desserts. There’s a clotted cream mousse, sliced strawberries, a scattering of scone crumbs, Earl Grey jelly and strawberry juice forming a sauce. An absolute stunner.
Coffee was decent espresso, although not piping hot but the accompanying petit fours were excellent – more evidence of the skill of the pastry chef (who deserves a pay rise).
This was our second Michelin starred meal in a week and it was a really nice evening, with efficient service which, however, never missed an opportunity to try and upsell. Perhaps unsurprisingly, bearing in mind its accolades, it proved to be the best meal of our week in Torbay.