Visit: 2 October 2021, lunch for six people
The Geach family have lived and worked on Trerethern Farm, overlooking the Camel Estuary, for over 130 years. Ross Geach, formerly Stein’s head chef, opened Padstow Kitchen Garden on his family’s Trerethern Farm in 2007, and now supplies locally grown fresh produce to some of the finest restaurants in the area, including Rick Stein, Paul Ainsworth and Prawn On The Lawn (POTL).
POTL Padstow first opened in 2015, 2-years after they opened their London site. For the summer season (from 21st April – 30th October this year), Prawn On The Lawn was sited at Trerethern Farm. In the Winter season they will be back in Padstow Town, at the fishmongers at 11 Duke Street.
The concept is a pop-up restaurant with a selection of small and large plates that change every day (sometimes hourly!). The local fisherman land fish right to their door. Last year they won Best UK Seafood Restaurant and have been featured in the Michelin Guide every year since they opened.
The views from the farm over the estuary and fields are memorable, as is the food! The restaurant is situated in a large marquee on the working farm, and when we first arrived in the pouring rain, the entrance to the restaurant was not that inviting. However, as soon as we walked through the doors, we knew we were in for a treat. A warm welcome, great music, fabulous food, a bar and a good wine list.
The selection of small dishes on the menu is updated as some of the popular dishes are sold out, and this is reflected by the menu written on a chalk board. There is also a selection of larger dishes such as Sea Bass, Turbot and Monkfish. The standard of food and service is top drawer.
There is a very relaxed atmosphere. You are seated at tables that are wooden benches and you can see directly into the open kitchen at the end of the marquee. All the staff were knowledgeable about the dishes and very friendly. We were a table of six, so we could try a large variety of the small dishes.
We first tried some Padron peppers, with sea salt and olive oil, which were quite fiery, and some excellent Coombeshead Country sourdough bread and butter.
Then we moved onto the fish. The Prawn on the Lawn were fresh, cold prawns, served on crushed avocado with chilli, on toast. There was seared tuna, with soy, mirin and chilli; some small tempura, shell-on prawns, served with a fried egg, and a very good spicy pork keema; you can eat all the prawn, including the shell and head. There were some very fresh scallops, perfectly cooked in a Thai marinade with Thai basil. A small Cornish sole was served with olives and chilli, and there was a very good tempura courgette flower, stuffed with crab and crème fraiche. There was also hake served with truffle oil, parmesan, cauliflower, and a porcini crumb. All these dishes were very fresh, perfectly cooked and presented, and we all commented how good they tasted.
There were some remarkable crushed, spiced, crispy potatoes with spring onions, that were served as a side dish. Other side dishes included a very fresh tomato and tarragon salad, a baby gem lettuce served with parmesan with truffle oil, and a side of Cavolo Nero served with soy, sesame, and peanuts. These were all very fresh and obviously sourced straight from the farm.
A small selection of desserts included an Affogato with excellent Roskilly’s vanilla or salted caramel ice cream, topped with either espresso, Pedro Ximinez or coffee liqueur. You pour the warm alcohol or espresso coffee onto the ice cream for a very refreshing dessert.
This is a great restaurant serving fresh fish to a very high standard. We had a very memorable experience and I highly recommend a visit when you are in the Padstow area.
Although the outside of the restaurant was not very welcoming, especially since it was pouring with rain, inside there is a vibrant atmosphere and a very warm welcome
We drank a Jean Jacques Bardin, Sancerre Blanc, 2019. This Upper Loire white wine scores 4.0 / 5 on Vivino. It’s a light wine with a touch of citrus, with good acidity and minerality, and is perfect with fish.