We’d been told by friends that Fifteen was a place not to miss when visiting Cornwall. Set up above the spectacular Watergate Bay, not far north of Newquay, we booked here for lunch on our way travelling up from St Ives to Padstow.
First impressions and the view certainly didn’t disappoint. Watergate Bay was a sight to behold in in the glaring sunshine. And Fifteen, despite being packed, was light and airy, with great floor to ceiling windows, all open, with magnificent views over the beach – a great place sit a relax and enjoy your surroudings and even to watch a bit of surfing. We were lucky enough to get one of the tables right by the windows which was fantastic.
The restaurant is owned by the Cornwall Foundation of Promise, a registered charity who’s actions mirror those of Jamie Oliver’s Better Food Foundation. The aim is to ‘give disadvantaged young people in Cornwall a platform to discover their true potential.’ According the the website, around 70% of apprentices employed since 2006 have remained within the catering industry.
There was a great drinks list, and some delicious sounding cocktails, pity I was driving so couldn’t try any alcoholic ones, but I did sample one of their ‘virgin’ versions – a Watergate Cooler which was made with Fresh orange and Cornish apple juice, with grenadine and a shot of homemade ginger syrup.
On first look at the menu, it looked interesting. There was the options of a set lunch menu of 3 courses, or the A La Carte. There was a bit of a gulf between the pricing of these menus, the set lunch seemingly pretty good value, 3 courses for £28, but very little choice of these. The A La Carte on comparison seemed really expensive; main courses (£19-£29) and mostly at the higher end of the bracket unless you wanted pasta. We didn’t really fancy any of the set menu for that day so went for A La Carte, hoping to be suitably impressed.
To start with we had the Pig Platter which was for 2 to share. Essentially this was a plate of various pork based cold cuts, some caper berries, cornichons and pickled green chilies. It was perfectly pleasant to eat, but it didn’t have anything that involved any skill to do. Now I’m not condemning antipasti boards like this – I like them, but I like to see one or two little things on it that make them stand out, make them memorable. Something like a bit of homemade pickle or tapenade.
For our mains, Lee went for Rib-Eye steak with watercress, while I went for Confit Duck with Lentils and Salsa Verde. My duck was great without being ‘wow’- falling off the bone, a zingy salsa and well cooked lentils. Lee unfortunately was disappointed with his steak. It was cooked fine, but not well rested ( lots of visible blood seeping onto plate) and he didn’t feel it was anything special. For the money (£29) it was literally a piece of steak on a plate with a big heap of watercress on top and an oil heavy (you could see it pooling on the plate) ‘sauce’. It didn’t come with anything else, and we had to pay another few pounds for a side of some potatoes to accompany it.
Feeling underwhelmed in general with the food, we decided to pass on dessert. Despite this we did enjoy the great views and attentive service, but I don’t think we will be back in a hurry.
On The Beach
Disclosure: We paid for our own meal, and all opinions expressed are honest and our own