Bruce Rennie, owner of The Shore in Penzance, Cornwall, doesn’t make life easy for himself; it’s just him in the kitchen – not even a pot wash. Which makes it all the more impressive then that the food is so bloomin’ good.
The man himself has worked in Michelin starred restaurants in Edinburgh and Northern Ireland so he knows what he’s doing. But with this, his first restaurant, it’s a far more relaxed approach he’s taken. The dining room is basic; brown carpet and white walls dressed with a few pictures of the sea. It feels seasidey – in a good way.
The menu regularly changes and comprises of the best, locally caught fish. We start with scallops, cauliflower, oats and Jerusalem artichoke (Â£9) which is a real looker. Sweet cauliflower, soft fatty scallops and crunchy oats make for a well balanced mouthful.
Lightly cured pollack (Â£8) comes with a lip smacking ponzu dressing which brings the whole thing to life. A sprinkling of crisp garlic slices is an unusual but most welcome flavour combination.
Grilled plaice (Â£19.50) is a glorious piece of fish – we’re talking top quality. Some accompanying garlic mash and pig’s cheek gives the whole thing substance. My gentleman companion’s dashi, a Japanese soupy broth, has thick chunks of meaty monkfish and mushrooms. It’s the sort of thing you’d like to eat on a wet and windy Cornish afternoon.
For pud, a blackberry semifreddo with pistachio sponge and an almond cake with lavender ice cream (both Â£7.50) are proof that puddings are definitely a culinary strength. Both sponges are so moist; proper lovely stuff.
The whole vibe at The Shore is very Cornish – chilled out and relaxing. The fact all this food is produced by just one man (at lunchtimes at least) is pretty incredible. Our young waiter, also working solo, was sweet and charming. If you’re visiting Penzance, this one’s a must.
Would we go back? Yes.
We dined as guests of the restaurant