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Posted on Mar 11, 2015 by

Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Cornwall overlooks Watergate Bay on the north Cornish coast. The restaurant was set up in 2006, inspired by Jamie Oliver, and runs a hugely successful apprentice programme training disadvantaged young people to work in the food industry.

Not only does Fifteen Cornwall do a huge amount of good, it serves consistently fantastic food. With its professional, friendly staff, comfortable surroundings and far-reaching sea views, it is easy to wile away hours in the restaurant.

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The Barefoot team visited Fifteen Cornwall during December for their special “Game On” lunch offer: £21 for three courses.

Head Chef Andy Appleton is a very lovely man, and he sent out a huge selection of antipasti for us to share. Three little plates arrived, then another couple, and then a few more. We were surprised, and delighted, and very grateful.

There were huge meaty olives from Puglia, arancini with aioli and bruscetta laden with ‘nduja (a spicy, spreadable sausage). Roasted butternut squash, coppa and salami, parma ham and rich, oozing mozzarella drizzled with balsamic vinegar. Beautifully coloured beetroot, salty, crispy cheese fritters and a refreshing mandarin and red chicory salad. And, should we need it, chunks of Da Bara bread with dipping oil.

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We all chose the same starter: mozzarella di bufala, with roasted pear and little leaves drizzled with balsamic (below, left). The cheese was beautifully creamy and salty, perfectly balanced by the sweetness of pear and balsamic and the bitter leaves.

For my main course I enjoyed the crispy fillet of salted hake, cannellini beans, kale and salsa verde (below, right). The succulent fish and wintery vegetables were packed with flavour, really savoury and moreish.

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Others enjoyed the mafaldine of balsamic pork ragu with crispy sage. Pasta is one of Fifteen Cornwall’s specialities, all made by hand by the chefs in the restaurant. If you happen to be there when the pasta machine is in use, then make sure you visit the pass and watch the action – it’s mesmerising.

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For dessert we were given the choice of an apple and cinnamon cake with toffee sauce and clotted cream, or honey and thyme panna cotta with spiced plums and pine nut crumble. But before we could decide, Andy took our decision into his own hands and gave us some of everything, including chocolate tart, meringues and sorbets. Everything was utterly delicious, and despite having eaten a huge lunch, we took it upon ourselves to work our way through the amazing puds.

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As for coffee? We didn’t quite have room. One more waffer thin mint could have had disastrous consequences.

Fifteen Cornwall’s current Sicilian Season lunch offer is available Monday to Saturday, from 23 February until 27 March. See the sample menu featuring fresh, bright, springtime flavours. Three courses are priced at £24, and there is a children’s menu available too.

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Fifteen Cornwall is owned by the Cornwall Food Foundation, a charity which is funded mainly from the restaurant’s profits.

For table reservations please call 01637 861000 or book online.


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