Home to historical fishing villages and family run farms, its not surprising that Cornwall is quickly becoming one of the UK’s top foodie destinations. When I began searching for the best restaurants to visit I was slightly overwhelmed with the number of incredible sounding kitchens from Michelin-starred Chefs to local’s favourite Cornish pubs. With Penzance just a ten minute drive from our cottage in Marazion, I couldn’t miss a chance to sample one of the most talked about restaurants.
The Shore is Chef Bruce Rennie’s own creative kitchen. After running an impressive repertoire including Michelin starred Restaurant Martin Wishart in Edinburgh, Michelin starred Shanks in Northen Ireland, and working with the likes of Gary Rhodes and Rick Stein, Bruce finally went solo and opened up The Shore with his wife Anita.
Bruce works alone in the kitchen, serving up just four options for each course using the best of ethically sourced ingredients. With Anita’s help (who works as a vet in a local practice) The Shore became recognised for their trusted suppliers (all of whom can be found on the website) who provide local produce from day boat fishing to local farmers.
“The shore has been a constant source of inspiration throughout my life. Where the land and sea meet, it is a place of discovery, adventure and excitement. The daily, fresh produce and creative menus reflect the passion that I have for the shore and I hope that you make a new discovery of your own.”
Bruce Rennie, Chef Owner
The restaurant itself sits on a street corner just a minutes walk from the main town of Penzance and is simply yet classic in decor. Subtle seaside furnishings set the scene with a fantastic jazzy soundtrack that both Dad and I commented on how much we enjoyed! We were the first to arrive for a 7pm booking but tables soon began to fill up with the evening fully booked.
We began with a basket of warm crusty bread served with a shell of silky whipped butter, perhaps the best I’ve had to date. I selected a glass of Picpoul de Pinet Beauvignac from the carefully thought out wine list whilst we surprisingly struggled to decide from the short but sweet menu.
For starters, Dad selected the pollack, a distant relative of cod, served with coriander and mint chutney, coconut, chilli and ginger. The green Thai style sauce was a refreshing compliment to the flaky white fish, so perfectly cooked.
I chose the turbot which caught my attention due to its red wine, mushroom and samphire accompaniments. I for one have never seen fish served with a red wine and so was most intrigued to its flavour. It was of course absolutely delicious and the earthy mushroom puree against the fragrant crisp samphire was a wonderful flavoursome combination. From my first bite, I understood exactly why Bruce Rennie was known for his incredible talents.
Unlike my first course, I struggled to pick a main, torn between an Asian style monkfish and a more aromatic spiced stone bass. I went with my gut and ordered the latter, whilst Dad selected the hake served with risotto nero, roasted beetroot and basil.
I had no regrets as the plates arrived, my stone bass beautifully cooked with a crisp skin atop a puddle of intense tomato madras. Alongside was a potato and carrot curry so full of flavour yet never overpowering the fleshy fish.
Dad’s hake was contrastingly subtle with the black ink risotto a plain yet complimenting base for the fish and beetroot. It was one of the most strikingly pretty dishes I’ve seen. If the flavours of Bruce’s food don’t somehow win you over than the presentation surely will.
We decided against a pudding, feeling perfectly satisfied with our two course dinner, still absorbing the incredible flavours we’d just devoured. I can honestly say that our meal at The Shore was one of the best I’ve had to date and in their first 12 months have already been recommended in Michelin’s guide for 2017. I wouldn’t be surprised if they upgrade to a star in the coming year.