Thursday, 22 May 2008

Fifteen Cornwall Restaurant Review and Pictures

I haven't posted on here very regularly of late, and that is because I have been down to Cornwall for a long weekend for a friends wedding. Cornwall did not used to be known as a gourmet destination, but it seems to be heading more in that direction. First there was Rick Stein converting Padstow into Padstein, not to mention all the brilliant pubs selling local fish and meat. The now ubiquitous pasty used to be a delight only found in Cornwall, but now you can't walk 5 steps in a town centre anywhere 'Up Country' without seeing one. And then along came Jamie Oliver and set up one of his Fifteen Foundation restaurants on the beach at Watergate Bay. If you haven't heard about them, have a read of the website; it is an apprenticeship where each year there are 15 under privileged pupils taken on and taught all the skills to become a chef.

Watergate Bay truly is a stunning location for a restaurant, even on a grey day as it was when we were there, the floor to ceiling sea view windows allow you to watch the waves crashing against the beach, ogle the surfers (if that is your thing), watch the kite flyers or just look at the view! Here I am just dipping a toe in the water! See the surfers in the background too.

The food is quite reasonably priced if you go for the set lunch menu. This is 3 courses for £25, an even better deal if you opt for a really expensive main course like the lamb at £18.

We managed to take some pictures of the food in the restaurant to give you a taste of what we had. I took one of the menus to remember the description, but then lost it so I cannot recreate exactly what it was all called. But as it is a Jamie Oliver place the descriptions were peppered with 'pukka' and 'funky' and other such Oliver-ism's.

To start with, I had a delicious smoked mackerel with amazing fennel and potato salad, topped with Butervilla Funky Leaves... these were the most interesting and unusual part to me! You can probably see the flowers in the pictures, and they are some really unusual leaves - I have put a link to their website so you can read about what they do at It is great that Fifteen supports local produce, although I seem to remember them getting caught out in the press a while ago for using some battery reared eggs from Tesco!

My lady friend had a bruschetta with locally produced buffalo mozzarella, (which we decided was the richest and creamiest we had ever had), with pea and green bean purée and then topped with some more of the Buttervilla Funky leaves.

The presentation was not fantastic on the starters, but both were exceptionally good so it didn't really matter!

Then onto the main course, for which I had leg of lamb with mountain lentils and kale - and some herbs (I forget what now, sorry). As you can see here the lamb was cooked to perfection, and just melted in the mouth. The lentils as well were very tender and soft.

For her main course, she had orecchiette (pasta shaped like ears, thanks Wikipedia) with aubergine and tomato sauce, and ricotta. Not too much to say about that really, it was a simple dish but cooked to perfection, and in the words of my girlfriend 'Yum-a-licious!' I think that says it all!

Now onto the puddings, I went for a posh-er version of Eton Mess - it was Boddingtons strawberries, with meringues and champagne cream. Or it might have been champagne meringues and cream. Either way, it tasted delicious, and was presented in the traditional Eton Mess way! Messily! It didn't stay on my plate for long.

The other pudding we had on our table was called Amber's mum's amazing cinnamon and rhubarb pudding, served with with vanilla cream. I am not sure who Amber is, or her mum, but they certainly know their cakes! It was delicious, not to sweet, and the cinnamon goes really well with the rhubarb.

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Ruth Elkin said...

There you are!!!! I've been missin ya! Glad to hear you were away relaxing!

I'd love to go to a Fifteen sometime. After reading this I just wanna go even more now! Looks like you had a great meal and for a bargain price too.

AmiDarling said...

Hi, my names Ami and i saw your review whilst serching for some fifteen pictures.

Im a chef at Fifteen Cornwall, Ive been there for 2 years since it opened. I started as a trainee and then graduated with distinction last june and was offererd a full time position to stay on,work and help train up the next group of trainees. We're now on our 3rd group.

I just wanted to say that it was really lovely to hear that you had such an enjoyable meal with us and that everything was good for you and for sharing your experience :)

I recommend that you try and return maybe in an evening to experience the tasting menu and If you do I hope the weathers good for you because its truely beautiful when all the windows are open in an evening and the sun is shining.

Big Love

Ami x

Ryan said...

Hi Ami! Thanks for your comments. You can use my pictures if you like, that is fine.

We went there a couple of years ago for lunch as well, on my birthday. The food was excellent then too, I wonder if you were cooking!

I would love to come back and try the tasting menu, I don't get back to Cornwall very often these days though. My brother has tried the tasting menu at Fifteen in London before and said it was very good.