The Cornish Barn, Penzance

If you’re visiting Penzance in Cornwall there are two places you’ll want to eat; The Shore (read about that here) and The Cornish Barn, the restaurant inside The Artist Residence hotel on Chapel Street.

The menu is predominantly small plates and smoked meats which is in keeping with the trendy surrounds. There’s reclaimed wood everywhere and old-school school chairs around industrial metal tables while fish net light shades precariously hang from the ceiling.

We start with chicken wings (£7) in a sticky soy sauce and garlic & lemon prawns (£8.50). The wings arrive steaming hot, the skin crispy and the flesh juicy. The prawns are plump and soft with a strong wallop of garlic butter coming through.

Middle Eastern spiced scallops (£9) arrive atop tarator, a sauce made with walnuts and tahini. Not the sort of thing you’d expect to eat in Penzance but thoroughly enjoyable.

Honey roast beets, feta and balsamic (£6.50) is a little safer, with the sort of flavour combinations that never fail to disappoint; sweet, sharp, tangy.

‘From the smoker’ we go for the 12oz sirloin steak (£18.50) and it’s the first time I’ve had smoked sirloin. The texture is wet while the fat just melts away; divine stuff.

Beer can chicken (half for £13) is huge. Again, the smoker gives it a wet texture making the chick totally moist with just a mild flavour of smoke. A side of mac n cheese (£3.50) is sticky and gooey; exactly what you want it to be.

For pud, as we know our limits, we share the rum infused crème brûlée (£6.50), which comes topped with a hazelnut brittle and banana ice cream. The ice cream not tasting like e numbers and additives but the actual fruit, which is a lovely touch.

The Cornish Barn is a confident restaurant; they’re using that smoker to produce some banging meat. I still dream about that sirloin fat today. And the relaxed surroundings and service make the food all the better.

Would we go back? Yes.
We dined as guests of the restaurant