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Rick Stein’s Fish & Chips, A Not To Be Missed Cornwall Attraction

Friday, 16 October 2009

Reviewed by the wild boar

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Padstow, Cornwall

This is my second visit to the famous Rick Stein’s fish and chip shop. Located in Padstow, Cornwall, a town which almost seems to have Rick Stein’s name in half its stores – from what we saw in our little stroll around town, there was the main restaurant, a bistro, a café, a delicatessen and this chippy. The town itself is quite pretty but I’m not sure it warrants a drive there if not for the drawing drive of the man famous for his cooking of seafood.

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Anyway we queued up at noon to get seats at the fish and chippy along with a fair number of other patrons, got our seats and promptly ordered.

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Worth mentioning briefly the ginger beer as its actually pretty good – nice and gingery and not heavily sweetened like most soft drinks.

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We started with some oysters which were in general pretty good, very fresh, quite sweet and less salty than most of their counterparts.

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Similarly, the scallops were very fresh and cooked just right so to still be tender but not chewy at all. Unfortunately, the taste seemed to be lacking and they weren’t as sweet as usual.

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Onto the mains, we pretty much all ordered fried cod with either chips or salad. It is the most amazing fried fish I’ve ever had – the meat is undeniably fresh and flakes off in big chunks. Somehow, it is also amazingly juicy (at the end of the meal my little box had a pool of fish juice), almost as if they went around injecting some cod juice after they were done frying; my mom reckons its because the fish is so fresh. The batter itself is so-so although the lovely smell of beef drippings used to cook it is awesome.

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My brother, always adventurous, had plaice instead. I’m no expert on fish but the plaice felt like it had more fat just underneath the skin while the meat itself is still juicy but less sweet than the cod (I’m guessing this is how plaice is?).

I had nearly forgotten about this but the PigPig reminded me: my dad had ordered some fried battered scampi as well. They were a far cry from the poor fare served in the average pub as they're very juicy, succulent and prawnly sweet.

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The tartare sauce is a must have for me when eating fish and chips and the home made sauce here is just amazing with a really nice strong smell of the herbs.

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The chips were alright but nothing special (and people tend to have quite individual preferences on how they like their chips anyway).

Altogether the bill came up to about £15 each including drinks.

Food – 7.5
Service – 5.0
Atmosphere – 5.0
Value – 6.5

Would I eat here again? As soon as I found out we were going to Cornwall, I had already planned this trip to get some more of just the best fish and chips I’ve had. I think that about sums up this review.

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