14 August 2016
This was without any doubt the dining highlight of the West Cornwall end of our trip. A window table with a beautiful view of St Michael’s Mount as the sun went down and the top-class, imaginative cooking made for a wonderful evening. The service was not terribly skilled, but it did not detract from the experience as a whole, the menu had a wide range of possibilities, and for each dish there was a good and remarkably well-priced wine recommendation. A glass of Taittinger while we discussed what to have seemed to lead us both to the same choices, which, curiously, were the dishes incurring a small supplement. As we reckoned we hadn’t satiated our appetites for lobster and crab, the ravioli-style pansotti with these two as the main ingredients was obligatory, and it proved to be an excellent choice, the combination of the two crustaceans working perfectly and the delicious tomato salsa adding a welcome element of tartness together with broad beans, capers and shallots offering an intelligent mix of flavours. The elevated level of skill and invention continued with truly brilliant roast squab which boasted a wealth of tenderness and flavour which was contributed to by the sweetness of the roasted fig and a super back-up of couscous, harissa hummus and a spicy yet almost gamey jus; all the ingredients seemed to meld together and at the same time bounce off each other to provide a wonderful taste experience. There was no tasting menu, but not to be outdone we asked for the cheeseboard (another supplement) before we dived into the desserts, and the excellent comté, local goat’s and blue cheeses were served with oatcakes and very good parmesan biscuits and a perfect quince jelly. And so on to a full house of the same dishes for both of us, this time a clever deconstructed vanilla cheesecake fruitily accompanied by plump poached peaches and flavoursome blueberries. We could hardly believe the bill, which was half of what we would have paid for a dinner of the same high quality in London, and we voted this meal one of the most enjoyable of the year.