Harden's survey result
“We’ve been coming for many years and still it ticks all the boxes”, according to fans of TV Rick’s original HQ, who say this “brightly-lit and buzzy room” near the harbour (but without views to speak of) “continues to be the jewel in the crown of his empire and is a must-try if you’re in the area”: “not cheap, but delivering well-cooked, top-class seafood, including all the classics”, plus some more “interesting flavour combinations” (with lots of Indian and Asian tastes). Rapturous reports are relatively few, though, and the overall verdict is a little more middling: “Love Rick but they cram in punters at very high prices”.
“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.
Riverside, Padstow, PL28 8BY
|Monday||12 pm-3 pm, 6:30 pm-9:45 pm|
|Tuesday||12 pm-3 pm, 6:30 pm-9:45 pm|
|Wednesday||12 pm-3 pm, 6:30 pm-9:45 pm|
|Thursday||12 pm-3 pm, 6:30 pm-9:45 pm|
|Friday||12 pm-3 pm, 6:30 pm-9:45 pm|
|Saturday||12 pm-3 pm, 6 pm-9:30 pm|
|Sunday||12 pm-3 pm, 6:30 pm-9:45 pm|