SquareMeal Review of
Torquay may be synonymous with Basil Fawlty and co, but The Elephant has put this Devon seaside stalwart back on the foodie map for all the right reasons. Boasting a gorgeous location overlooking the English Riviera, here is a capacious modern destination with lots of possibilities for those wanting something to eat and drink – “a Michelin-starred restaurant that the whole family can enjoy”. The action now takes place exclusively on the ground floor – a “casual but sophisticated” bare-boarded room with harbour views and a menu of bang-up-to-date brasserie cooking fuelled by produce from “masterful” chef/proprietor Simon Hulstone’s 69-acre Devon farm. A starter of heritage tomatoes, granita and consommé with buttermilk and horseradish cream might precede slow-braised sticky short-rib of beef with caramelised cauliflower and Roscoff onion or breast of Crediton duckling alongside heritage carrots, Brixham honey and blood orange. There are South Devon steaks and local lobsters too, while sustainable fish from the West Country boats might bring hake with seaweed and smoked eel butter sauce or stone bass with courgette, samphire, pink grapefruit and lemongrass cream. To finish, perhaps try walnut mousse with camomile, Granny Smith sorbet and candied walnuts. Service is “impeccable, courteous and efficient”, and the wine list offers excellent value. In short, “this restaurant has nailed it”.