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Image 1: This place was a little out of the way but if you are in Cornwall and you are a seafood fan, then you have to pay a visit to Nathan Outlaw.
Image 2: We arrived early afternoon with plenty of time to enjoy the sun in the garden.
Image 3: Our room was a reasonable size…
Image 4: …with a nice view of the area.
Image 5: All seafood served in the restaurant came from the sea nearby except for the Queenie scallop which Nathan sourced them from Isle of Man. The menu has to change almost daily depending on the ingredients that he receives every morning. This is how he keeps the menu dynamic and his team challenged.
Image 6: The restaurant was on the ground floor of the hotel…
Image 7: … with two areas in the lobby for guests to enjoy cocktails before the meal.
Image 8: Each evening, Nathan, with a kitchen team of four, delivers a fine seafood cuisine to no more than twenty diners.
Image 9: Easy choice for the menu as there was none. Our seafood tasting started with warm fish cake balls as an amuse bouche.
Image 10: Nathan obviously kept his bread selection simple as the focus of the meal was the seafood ahead.
Image 11: We were told that the first three courses would come together along with three glasses of paired wine! Slices of raw turbot with orange, basil and yuzu. Good texture but a bit bland.
Image 12: The second item was pickled mackerel with cucumber and dill. This mackerel was very clean in flavour without strong smell typically associated with mackerel. Enjoyable!
Image 13: A complex third item, which already gone cold, was roast cod cooked with gherkin, shallot, caper and vinaigrette, glazed over with sweet red wine reduction. All three items had good flavours but they should serve each separately to avoid getting cold. Moreover, a bit excessive to pair each one with a wine.
Image 14: Just 15min into the meal and were already on the fourth course. Queenie scallop topped with a hazelnut crust. These scallops were small but intense in flavour. The hazelnut top added a little crunchy texture.
Image 15: Accompanied by a battered oyster resting on watercress purée. The oyster was cooked but retained a silky centre. Precisely executed course.
Image 16: Red mullet topped with rings of squid, paprika, and a green sauce made with coriander, mint, and anchovy. The fish was delicate with crispy skin while the squid ring provided a contrasting stronger texture, and the herby green sauce worked well with the squid.
Image 17: At the bottom was a terrine of two types of tomato providing a nice acidity to the course.
Image 18: The main course was a complex seafood dish comprised of seabass, gurnard, brill, and crab! Yes, all in one dish like a bouillabaisse. Underneath were mini cubes of apple and the dish was garnished with Samphire that they picked from the shore that morning.
Image 19: The astonishing component was the sauce. They even brought out a thin toast just for us to soak up every drop of it. Nathan explained the sauce was highly reduced from many tiny crabs along with taragon and tomato to give such a powerful flavour. The intense crustaceous resembled a bit of lobster bisque. Incredibly tasty!
Image 20: An elaborate cheese course with four types of cheese each paired with a condiment.
Image 21: Tor, a soft goat's cheese paired with tomato chutney; Sharpham Elmhirst, a light cow's cheese paired with pickled celery with fennel seeds; Davidstow Crackler, a '3 year old' cheddar paired with beer and onion pickle; Beenleigh Blue paired with pear and fig chutney.
Image 22: Came with variety of crackers too. This course was a tasting journey by itself. Fun and innovative cheese course!
Image 23: For dessert, Nathan prepared an enhanced version of crème brûlée with a ginger and gooseberry sorbet on top.
Image 24: The surprising part was the champagne jello at the bottom embedded with pieces of gooseberry. Excellent dessert!
Image 25: The last course, Nathan's version of French toast. Caramelised buttered bread with three preparations of raspberries - fresh, cream, and tuile. Warm and crunchy surface and not overly sweet. A superb finish to the meal with two beautiful desserts.
Image 26: For petits fours - strawberry sponge, carrot cream cheese, and salted caramel truffle to conclude the meal. At that point, after quite a decent meal with many glasses of wine, nothing was better than a few steps up back to our room!
Image 27: A small restaurant where the chef sourced fresh ingredients just a few blocks down the road - this is real and honest dining! Every course was carefully prepared making the best use of the produces. The meal didn't have a great start but it certainly picked up and got much better as we progressed.