If you’re in Cornwall and you don’t head to Padstow for something to eat then there’s something wrong with you. Whether it’s a battered oyster at Rick Stein’s Fish and Chip Shop or a prawn on the lawn at Prawn on the Lawn, it’s the perfect day trip.
If you’re feeling swanky, Paul Ainsworth opened Padstow Townhouse in 2016, a 6 suite boutique hotel which is the height of luxury. His Michelin-starred No.6 restaurant recently underwent an impressive refurb. Both come highly recommended. But if it’s a more simple bite to eat you’re after then his Rojanos in the Square is your best option.
It’s a relaxed, buzzy vibe with a pizza/pasta menu. We start with garlic dough balls (£5.25) which make Pizza Express’s look like peasant food. Calamari (£10.95) is crisp fried brought alive by a squirt of lime juice.
King tiger prawns (£12.50) are big ol’ buggers. The parsley-rich melted butter they’re swimming in is gorgeous mopped up with some lightly fried bread. Arancini (£9.50) are filled with Bolognese and parmesan risotto. They’re not in the least bit dry or flavourless which is so often the case.
A beast of a red ruby short rib burger (£14.95) is juicy-as. It’s all held together with Fontina cheese and sandwiched between a sesame seed and clotted cream bun. A lovely thing to eat.
A classic margherita (£8.50) has a crisp base – the crusts with some chilli oil are the best bit. A sweet san Marzano tomato sauce and campana buffalo milk mozzarella is a simple but perfect topping.
Fries (£4.95) are topped with a generous grating of parmesan and a dusting of seaweed. It elevates the humble chip to something quite special. A bowl of carbonara tagliatelle (£14.50) is made more comforting with pork meatballs and smoked pancetta. It rivals Padella – and that takes some doing.
For dessert there is just one option and it’s lots of fun. Inspired by Roald Dahl and his term ‘Whoopsie Splunker’ (translated: something absolutely marvellous) it’s basically a bowl of soft serve ice cream with spiced popcorn, chocolate fruit and nut, honeycomb and raspberry sauce. A MUST ORDER.
There’s something so generous about Rojanos in the Square. From the friendly service (led by Chef Director Paul Dodd) to the hearty portions of flavour-led food. What a lovely restaurant.
Would we go back? Yes