02 August 2016
What was immediately noticeable about the Victoria Inn was that there was evidence of proper staff training, which is not always the case in off-the-beaten-track dining venues, and the menu had been professionally constructed to allow both the diner and the kitchen an amount of freedom to benefit from the plethora of local ingredients (with the notable exception of the Scottish salmon) and provided an exemplary level of value for money. Our party was split three ways on the starters, but everyone went for seafood, namely, a wonderful, lip-smackingly good Porthleven shellfish bisque with croutons, a deft addition of parmesan and aioli; Falmouth bay scallops in a super mix with fennel, a surprising black pudding, orange, just the right amount of capers, and oyster leaf with just the slightest touch of oyster taste; and perfect beetroot-cured salmon balanced with soused fennel and cauliflower and an excellent wasabi mayonnaise. All of these went down extremely well and prompted us into a discussion about which of the two mains we had gone for would be best. As happens sometimes, the two sides agreed that the other’s looked really good but wouldn’t change. The roast sirloin of Cornish beef was absolutely spot-on with its well-judged onion purée, roast potatoes, Yorkshire pudding like mother used to make, a good range of Sunday lunch vegetables, and proper gravy. The confit duck leg was beautifully tender and profited from a lovely crispy skin, and the cute duck bubble and squeak, local greens, carrot purée as well as the amazing hog’s pudding were all in perfect balance with each other. It goes without saying that both mains were plated up in Cornish portions which were at least the equivalent of their Yorkshire cousins. Balance was again the watchword for the desserts, an admirably light almond slice with clotted cream and Bramley apples affording some tartness but never spoiling the sweetness, chocolate brownie with banana, caramel and vanilla ice cream very moreish especially because of the absence of any heaviness, and a stunning pistachio cake topped with cream and surrounded by raspberries, raspberry coulis and raspberry sorbet; all a real credit to the pastry chef. This was a splendid effort and is definitely one to return to.