The Gastronome Restaurant Reviews - Paul Ainsworth at No 6, 6 Middle Street, Padstow, Cornwall PL28 8AP

Award: One Michelin star

Visit: 1 October 2021, dinner for six.

Price: **



Paul Ainsworth at No 6 serves a four-course menu at £110 per person.  There is a selection of dishes you can choose from for each course.  The food and service are outstanding.  Please see my previous reviews for more details of the restaurant and my visits there in 2017 and in 2019

We started with an amuse bouche of Porthilly oyster poached in its own juices, with an oyster emulsion, beef tartare, N25 baerii caviar, and served with a warm buttermilk dashi that provided a nice temperature contrast.  Because of an oyster allergy, I was served a cucumber amuse bouche with a set buttermilk custard, pickled cucumber, seaweed ketchup, and a warm cucumber velouté.

There were two choices for the first course.  The scallop was served two ways – warm and raw.  The perfectly cooked warm scallop was served with toasted pumpkin, Iberico ham and finger lime, and finished with a pumpkin broth made from the ham bone with a pumpkin puree.  This was accompanied by a raw scallop tartlet with horseradish and pickled pumpkin.

Stuart Clarke Restaurant ReviewAn alternative first course choice was salt baked Crapaudine beetroot, served on crispy pomme anna potato, with a ponzu mayonnaise, Ainsworth exclusive platinum oscietra N25 caviar that has been aged for 5 months, and selected exclusively for this dish.  The saltiness of the caviar was a perfect accompaniment, with some background nuttiness that came from the aging.

There were three choices for the second course.  The “birds liver” was roasted and served with Granny Smith apple, smoked eel, a maize crouton for texture, and a pickled carrot ketchup, served on the side, to cut through the richness of the liver.  This was similar to a very good foie gras.  An alternative was a loin of Cornish cod, cured in kelp, poached in brown butter, served with N25 Baerii caviar, with a seaweed quaver, and a sparkling Camel Valley chardonnay velouté.  The cooking of the cod was well judged, and the caviar brought a nice saltiness to the dish.  The third alternative was an excellent Roscoff Onion Fondant served as a baked tarte tatin, with a miso caramel, salt baked celeriac, Australian black winter truffle, and St. Tola goat’s curd.

There were four choices for the third course.  These included “all of the pigeon” which was pigeon that had been aged on the crown for 10-days, and then roasted on the barbecue.  The breast was served, together with a confit leg wrapped in Kataifi pastry, and a tartlet of pigeon liver parfait.  The rest of the pigeon was used to make the sauce and pigeon gravy, which had a splash of mandarin juice.  This was served with an umeboshi condiment and accompanied by a savoury pain au chocolat with a pigeon black pudding, chocolate puffed barley and pork crackling.

An alternative was Trefranck Farm Red Deer, aged for 28-days, and served with two sauces – red wine Bordelaise type sauce made with the deer juices, infused with tarragon and Madagascan green peppercorns, and a Bearnaise sauce made with butter infused with smoked bacon.  This was accompanied by a blue masa taco of deer belly, that was braised then finished on the barbecue, and served with a pico de galla salsa.

A third choice was wild Sea Bass steamed en papillote with kombu and basil, kombu butter steamed leeks, crispy kombu, Thai basil, and finished with a jack crab shell gravy.  This was accompanied by a crab tartlet with a kombu custard, fresh white crab meat and mayonnaise.

There were four desserts to choose from.  There was a Stichelton cheese dessert that was served as a mille-feuille with layers of spiced pastry made with apple butter, caramel and Stichelton, accompanied by an “apple pie” which was an apple terrine of thinly sliced apple cooked in caramel.  The cheese and apple provided a nice combination of savoury and sweet.  A glass of Cornish Orchid Heritage Cider was also served on the side.

A chocolate vol au vent dessert was inspired by the classic mushroom vol au vent. This was a chocolate puff pastry, filled with layers of chocolate sponge soaked in Madeira, a chocolate cremeaux, a cep chocolate ganache, and finished with a warm caramel.  It was accompanied by a milk ice cream.

The famous “A Fairground Tale” was superb.  There are three courses.  The first course was a bitter “coco-nut” souffle with a chilled coconut rum custard poured into a hole made in the middle.  This gave a nice temperature contrast.  It was served with some little tartlets filled with macerated pineapple.  The Carousel was served as the second course and included two treats – a “hokey pokey” with an aerated chocolate centre encased in honey parfait and finished with bee pollen and a disc of tanariva 33% grand cru chocolate, and a toffee apple croustade, with a toffee apple compote topped with soft vanilla ice cream.  The third course of the Fairground Tale was the “Monkey Bread” of spiced muscovado doughnuts, topped with butter roasted hazelnuts, and finished with chilled caramel.  This dessert was served for two people, and there was a supplement of £10 per person.

We were a table of six, so we were seated in a very nice private dining room.  The service was of a very high standard.  The pace of service was well judged, so we didn’t feel we were rushed, and Jasper, our waiter, was very knowledgeable and helpful.

No 6 continues to serve extraordinary food of a very high standard.  If you are in Cornwall, then this restaurant will provide a memorable experience that is value for money.  I highly recommend a visit.

The a la carte menu:

The Food:


The Restaurant:

Private Dining Room for 6 people

The Wines:

You can choose your wines from the wide selection available.

We chose to start with a Domaine de Bel Air, Pouilly-Fume, 2020, white wine from France.  This Upper Loire Sauvignon Blanc wine scores 4.1 / 5 on Vivino and has citric tones of lime and lemon.  Great with shellfish, spicy food and goat’s cheese:

The Schloss Vollrads, Schlossberg 2018, from Rheingau, Germany is a great Riesling that scores 4.1 / 5 on Vivino.  The light lime and petrol notes work well with shellfish, raw fish, spicy food and poultry:

To accompany the pigeon and red deer, we chose a red wine, a Selvapiana Chianti Rufina Vigneto Bucerchiale Riserva 2017 from Italy.  This Sangiovese red scores 4.1 / 5 on Vivino.  This is a fruity red, with some spiciness, and it works well with beef and poultry:

For dessert wine we chose a Donnafugata, Moscato di Pantelleria Kabir 2019 from Sicily.  This scores 4.1 / 5 on Vivino.  This Moascato is light and clean, with flavours of honey, orange and apricot:

The Cornish Orchards Heritage cider served with the Stichelton cheese dessert:

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