LOCALS’ LUNCH AT FIFTEEN CORNWALL
I haven’t been to Fifteen Cornwall for a couple of years, and was invited to try out their winter locals’ lunch menu recently.
The restaurant has been recently refurbished – they’ve done away with renowned street artist Ben Allen’s brightly coloured mural, and there’s smart wooden cladding instead. I was relieved to see that Jamie Oliver’s fluorescent pink graffitied signature remains on the wall though, a reminder of the energy that the place had when it opened.
Head chef Adam Banks has been running the kitchen since May 2017, and is making his mark, with obvious changes in the menu and cooking style.
For lunch, Adam has done away with antipasti, starters and mains. The new menu lists small and large dishes in four sections: Vegetarian & Cheese, Fish, Meat and Sweet.
The current locals’ lunch offer Winter Plates & Wine includes three small dishes, or one small and one large, plus a glass of wine or a soft drink, for £19 per person.
We opted for three small plates each so that we could try lots of different dishes.
The purple sprouting broccoli tips were tiny, really fresh, and cooked perfectly al dente. They were served with crunchy pieces of toasted almond, grated Barilotto cheese, and on a swoosh of hummus. It was a gorgeous combination.
The squash dish was huge, with three enormous chunks of roasted squash, with wilted radicchio, blood orange segments, and walnut pieces for added texture. Everything was well cooked and flavoured, and I’d suggest this as a side dish to share; I don’t think anyone could eat this much squash alone.
The Italian lamb dish scottadito means “burnt fingers”, so-called because the lamb chops are so delicious you can’t help but pick them up, sizzling hot, to eat straight from the pan. A good description – this lamb chop was perfectly cooked and seasoned, and served with a zingy salsa verde.
The duck dish was another generous portion, with shredded confit duck leg atop castelfranco (soft, bitter leaves similar to radicchio) with blood orange segments.
Uncharacteristically, I opted for cheese as my third small plate. The Red Westcombe was really good, similar to a Red Leicester in flavour and texture, and perfectly complemented by the “salami”, which was in fact made with dried fruit and nuts. The pink substance you can see under the cheese is “rhubarb butter”, which was just a bit sharp, and wasn’t necessary; I’d have preferred a second slice of salami. There was plenty of carta di musica, paper-thin crispy bread.
My friend enjoyed her rhubarb and almond tart (with the pinkest of rhubarb and a moist almond base) and a generous dollop of crème fraîche.
Lunch was tasty, and I was impressed with how large the “small” plates were, definitely good value for £19. The food is more rustic than it used to be, so I’d be interested to see if the evening menu is similar, or if retains the more refined style expected of an expensive tasting menu (£65 for 5 courses, £85 for 7 courses, £50 for wine flight).
Whether you go to Fifteen for breakfast, lunch or dinner, one thing you can be sure of is a fantastic setting. The restaurant has glorious and ever-changing views over Watergate Bay.
Disclaimer: We were guests of Fifteen Cornwall. Thank you to the staff for looking after us.
Photos: Ellie Michell, Barefoot.