(Disclaimer 1: This is a snippet from a longer blog post of a decadent week in North Cornwall)
(Disclaimer 2: Photos are iPhone only, apologies for the quality.)
Best Best: Paul Ainsworth @ No. 6, Padstow.
In-keeping with the fishing village foundations of Padstow, No. 6 is aptly set in a small terraced house, still on the beaten track of tourist Padstow, just down from a Stein deli and restaurant. I mean, it’s not hard to be near something Stein related. Inside, space may be reasonably tight, but it provides a welcome (& serene) break from the crowds. But I’m not here to talk about the square meters on offer. Let’s get straight to the food.
Without wanting to trawl through every stage of the lunch we had at No. 6, I really must start with THE bread. A whole loaf none the less. Complete with cod’s roe, pork crackling, and local butter. The cod’s roe may well be some of the best i’ve ever had, although it’ll have to compete for that prestigious title with my boy friend, (sorry Paul!). This set the tone for the meal; perfectly simple, perfectly executed, and perfectly presented. Word on the street is that the bread’s bought in par-baked from London, and finished in the restaurant, but, if it’s that good, why not!
Top-tip: Go for lunch, (you’re more likely to get a table anyway, especially in high-season), and you can take full advantage of the set-menu. 3 courses for £25, I really can’t recommend it enough.
The starter was a definite highlight. Loch Duart Salmon Ceviche with Asian Flavours. Flawless. Well balanced and finished with exquisite crispy salmon skin. I don’t want to brag… but… I have had the pleasure of eating rather a large amount of salmon ceviche recently, including at rival local boy Nathan Outlaw’s, at The Fish Kitchen in Port Issac and The Capital in London. Ainsworth’s however has beaten all others, hands down. The flavours, the presentation, the textures (ohhhhh that salmon skin). Bang on.
Another highlight was a treat sent from the kitchen as a pre-dessert dessert (perks of having a chef as my lunch companion). A miniature version of ‘literally my bread & butter’, complete with vanilla ice cream & toffee and oak beer. Finished with a little note explaining the personal impetuous behind the dish, this caramelised bread and butter pudding, as it had with Ainsworth himself, blew my socks off. That glorious sound as you tap into the pud is also something to savour. A bite of the bread and butter, a spoon of ice-cream and a glug of beer are the advised instructions on consumption. I don’t want to exaggerate the deliciousness, but words don’t really express how much I enjoyed it. It might’ve been the shock of making bread and butter pudding something as delicate and appealing to me as it was. But either way, if you find yourself in the area, you really should make the pilgrimage. (Too much just for a small pudding? It’s hard to say).
We drank a Muscadet. It was good.
Despite all of this being set against the back-ground of a 90’s Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen inspired interior, (an odd juxtapostion of the more rustic tableware that was leaving the kitchen,) it was a gorgeous lunch.
Whole sourdough loaf, cod’s roe, (w/ pork crackling (optional) & butter.
Set lunch starter – Salmon Ceviche – Asian Flavours.
Set lunch brown butter baked cod – Porthilly ‘blt’ – sans the ‘b’ for me.
THE bread and butter pudding.
Banana – cocoa slice, peanut pastry, yoghurt sorbet
Single espresso and petit fours, on cocoa nips.