Harden's survey result
For 25 years we've been curating reviews of the UK's most notable restaurant. This year diners have submitted over 60,000 reviews to create the most authoritative restaurant guide in the UK.
“The original and still the best! – well worth the trip to Cornwall for the perfectly cooked fish, alongside some seasonal specials like spider crabs, moules and amazing seafood curries”: that’s the upbeat and still probably the most commonplace view on the Stein family’s first and still-iconic venture near the harbour – a “huge” room “squashed-in” with tables so “it can accommodate a big number of diners”. On the downside, its profile is nowhere near what it was, service “can be slightly erratic” and it can seem “very expensive”.
The Stein empire’s original flagship by this small Cornish fishing town’s harbour is a UK dining institution, and for many fans “it’s still one of the great places to eat the freshest fish from around the British Isles, with influences of cuisines from around the world”. It’s a “huge” operation nowadays though, and some regulars say that while “there’s nowhere nicer on quiet nights”, that when busy “they cram you in, and the noise is oppressive”. Likewise, food that, at best, is “not over-complicated and respecting the ingredients” can – when the kitchen is stretched – seem “slightly underwhelming and rather costly for a relatively simple meal”.
For fans of TV-megastar Rick Stein’s original HQ (run in large part in recent years, like the rest of his UK empire, by ex-wife Jill), this famous harbourside venue is “still perfection, despite its popularity”, for when you want to enjoy “top notch” fish and seafood (of which it serves a “mind-bogglingly long menu” that nowadays incorporates numerous ethnic choices and curry). But even fans can find it “very highly priced, even by London standards”, especially for somewhere that is “crammed in”, and (some feel) “very commercial” nowadays.
“Rick Stein is an icon who deserves his star status”, say the many fans of his harbourside HQ famous for its “always-impressive” fish and seafood; those who say it’s become “way too big and commercial”, however, found renewed voice this year, damning “average food in a sterile setting”.
Seafood Restaurant Restaurant Diner Reviews
"Getting more pricey. Good spicy fish dishes from Rick's travels. Can be very good but variable."
"We only go in winter when there are some very good value offers. Otherwise it is really too expensive for what you get."
Riverside, Padstow, PL28 8BY
lunch noon - 2 pm, dinner 7 pm - 10 pm
Last orders: 9.45 pm