Nicola and Rachael are my guides on this trip to Cornwall, having come down together a few times. They are taking me to places they know I’ll like too and it’s rather nice to have decisions about where to eat made for me when it’s by people who know me well.
I’d heard a lot of good things about the original Prawn on the Lawn in Islington, North London and tried to go there once with a friend but couldn’t get a table. So I was particularly interested to hear from Nicola that the Padstow branch is one of their favourite places to eat here. A fishmonger by day, the small shop turns into a restaurant by night. When we arrived last night there was even some fish left on the display front.
There are only 24 covers and the kitchen at the back is tiny, but that doesn’t stop them producing wonderful food. The menu changes daily reflecting the seasons and what was caught locally that day, and is displayed on a blackboard on the wall. They work with local suppliers to bring the best – and mainly sustainable – fish and seafood found here.
The most popular way of eating here is to choose a selection of sharing plates, so this is what we did. It’s a great way of enjoying a meal together but also getting a chance to try lots of different things. It was suggested that 2-3 plates per person was the right amount.
Nicola and I wanted some local oysters. They were wondeful, so tasty and creamy. Of course we had to have a plate of Prawn on the Lawn which is a modern take on prawns & avocado – this one with an Asian twist with chilli and lime.
It was really good – made all the better for the high quality of the prawns. We also had some Szechuan prawns.
The flavour was amazing. These were one of my favourites of all the lovely dishes. Most have an Asian influence with that gorgeous balance of spice and freshness. This followed through with the Crab Som Tam, a fabulous crab salad.
I loved the cool freshness of this. Rachael chose a whiting fish curry.
This was also a delightfully fresh curry, light and smooth but with a gorgeous spicy flavour that nicely complemented the fish.
The baby gem salad with truffle oil and shavings of Gran Padano cheese was heavy on truffle, which Nicola found too much but Rachael and I liked. The Crushed Spiced Potatoes were wonderful.
They were light and fluffy inside and beautifully crisp and spicy on the outside. We indulged in desserts too with Nicola and Rachael sharing a salted caramel pot with creme fraiche and raspberries.
I chose Affogato – espresso to pour over ice cream.
We’d shared a bottle of Muscadet with the meal and had glasses of Monbazillac with our desserts. It was a fabulous meal in a great informal setup and atmosphere. The fish and seafood, as expected, were top quality and I can see why it’s become a favourite with Nicola and Rachael. I think I must definitely try out the Islington branch once back in London.
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