The understated St Enodoc sits perched above the Camel estuary. Crossing the threshold we are greeted with warm smiles and friendly welcomes. Our room boasts panoramic views, an enormous bathroom and highly buffed taps. With little hesitation we order a bottle of Camel Valley. This arrives, perfectly chilled and in moments.
Bathed and buffed we head downstairs. With a palate of greys and whites and an air of unfussy simplicity, the little room, bar our arrival, is full. Comprised largely of fairly hushed tables for two, I am in slight trepidation that our high spirits and obvious excitement may ruffle feathers. Stephi, Restaurant Manager, greets us warmly by name and any anxiety fades. White tablecloths yes, but starchy? Not in the slightest.
It’s all about Outlaw’s passion for fish. Notably saying he would love nothing more than to serve fillets of fish with a wedge of lemon. The six course tasting menu revolves around locally caught seafood (often straight from the estuary) with a token meat hit or two somewhere between the courses.
I am unquestionably a passionate foodie, but no food critic. I can’t begin to do Jay Rayner justice to the technicalities. Michelin gives Nathan free reign. That’s all you need to know. Our amuse bouches are, in real terms, exquisite pre-starter starters of mackerel on seaweed brioche with herb emulsion. Fishy, salty and with a hint of leather on willow. Sublime. Stephi introduces her husband and Beverage Manager Damon. We have rightly opted into the accompanying wine tasting menu. Lesson one: vintage Krug. Scallop tartare with piccalilli, pork belly and cauliflower; an incredible opener. The great bonus with a tasting menu? Absolutely no call for food envy. We gasp, taste and grin in convoy.
How Nathan can take brown shrimps and mackerel and make them pretty, really pretty, is beyond me. We admire the perfection. Not for long. We learn that Oysters have hearts (of the beating kind) and tucked under the piece of mackerel fillet hides the mollusc’s soul. In tempura of sorts. Divine.
A magnificent first main is red mullet with saffron, shellfish and squid. Getting involved somewhere (looking a lot like a green olive) you will stumble across mussel butter. There is nothing finer. By the time the monkfish with slow cooked duck and mushrooms arrives, Damon, with his encyclopaedic knowledge of wine, has moved us onto red. The Chocolate Block is worthy of mention. Don’t try and buy the rest of the bottle, Damon wont part with it such is the rarity.
Of the two puddings, the cheese carrot cake with orange curd and frozen yoghurt was the winner, but this is not to knock the elegance of the blackberry jelly with fig and port sorbet.
The very best way to complete a meal of this calibre is with a large glass of Armagnac, curled up by the roaring log fire. This is exactly what we did.
Tasting menu £75 per person
Matching wine flight £60 per person
Rooms at St Enodoc start from £210