Padstow is home to several excellent restaurants – many of which have celebrity chefs behind the scenes – but a true showstopper for me and my favourite restaurant in Padstow has to be Prawn on the Lawn.
Originally set up in Islington by owners Katie & Rick, the Padstow Prawn on the Lawn celebrates the best of Cornish produce using local suppliers and selling seafood from their onsite fishmongers. The Padstow restaurant opened in mid 2015 and has been a roaring success ever since – so much so that the owners have opened another restaurant a little further up the same road in Padstow called Barnaby’s.
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The restaurant is cosy and small, with only three sit down tables and some bar seating – so if you fancy visiting, you’ll need to book a few weeks in advance. It’s extremely popular!
The menu changes daily depending on what the fisherman have caught, and the food is served family style – everything is designed to be shared, so bring along a couple of people and come hungry!
Starting off with a Tarquins G&T – locally produced in Cornwall, so it had to be done.
On the menu you’ll find small plates for sharing – tapas style dishes that arrive as and when they’re ready, and all carefully thought through.
Our first choice, and my first time trying oysters (I was a little apprehensive) was the Porthilly oysters, deep fried and served with garlic creme fraiche. I can’t say that I’ll ever fancy trying a raw oyster, but I’d definitely have a deep fried one again – and if you feel the same way about oysters, I’d recommend trying one that’s been cooked this way. Delicate, crispy and salty – delicious.
Next up was the Prawn on the Lawn – named after the restaurant, and deliciously simple. King prawns and avocado on freshly baked bread, topped with herbs and finished off with a squeeze of lime. An excellent combination of flavours, and something I’ll be recreating at home to jazz up avocado toast!
The next dish was possibly the best one from our meal – something I’d never tried before, but something I’m aching to have again. Seared tuna with soy, mirin, spring onion and chilli. Delicate, full of flavour and celebrating the high quality fresh tuna – this was incredible and we definitely could have eaten several of these!
When you visit Prawn on the Lawn, you absolutely have to order this. You won’t regret it.
Deep fried courgette flower with crab meat – seriously good. I love a bit of crab meat and always make sure to pick up a pot from Stein’s Deli whenever we visit Padstow – and I loved this crab with the courgette flower.
Scallops – of course! One of our favourite things to order, especially when we’re right by the sea. Marinated in a thai marinade and served with spring onions and thai basil, these were unlike any scallops I’ve had before – I loved the unique flavours and it was good to have scallops that weren’t simply pan fried.
Onto the main course – on the menu you’ll find the platters, which can be served hot or cold. Just choose your fish or crustacean of choice, choose how you would like it served and wait for your feast to arrive.
We chose to have a whole spider crab served hot with lime & coriander butter – and it was incredible. Crab is always a lot of work for your reward, and this huge spider crab was certainly worth the effort. The lime & coriander butter worked well with the flavour of the crab and made an excellent dipping sauce for our potatoes.
Order your crab, grab your tools and get cracking.
It’s a messy job – but someone has to do it!
We ordered several sides of potatoes (they were delicious and crispy) and a portion of courgettes cooked with anchovies & almonds – which was an interesting combination that really worked.
Once we had finished with our spider crab, our fish platter arrived – a whole Weever filleted just before serving, and cooked in a chinese five spice seasoning. I’ve never had Weever before (although I did come across them in my Marine Biology degree) and I’ve certainly never had fish cooked in this way before – but it was incredible. The Weever was very meaty, delicate and delicious and is something I hope to see on a menu again soon – if you spot it somewhere, try it!
We finished off our feast with a round of affogatos (always a must when on holiday), and I have to say – this is one of the best meals I’ve had. Ever.
If you plan on visiting Padstow – which you really should do – you absolutely have to put Prawn on the Lawn right on the top of your list of places to eat. There are plenty of choices when it comes to dinner in Padstow – but I have to say that Prawn on the Lawn ticks all of the boxes for me.
The atmosphere is relaxed, cheerful and welcoming, the staff are all incredibly friendly and happy to answer questions about the food, and the seafood is the best I’ve ever had. The dishes are well priced and as fresh as you could ask for – most of the ingredients make their way from the onsite fishmongers straight to the pan – and you’re guaranteed an excellent meal if you visit Prawn on the Lawn.
We’re already planning another visit when we next go to Padstow, and I can’t wait!
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