Treninnow Cliff Road, Milbrook, Cornwall, PL10 1JY 01752 822345 www.theview-restaurant.co.uk
Perched atop a cliff looking out over waves rolling in to Whitsand Bay in Cornwall, The View was a most unexpected gem. Forget Jamie’s 15 in Newquay, or Steinsville in Padstow, this remote restaurant is where you’ll get the best of Cornish cooking, and in a setting that knocks the socks off any other.
Housed in cabin, rather nondescript from the outside, are a scattering of plain tables on a warm wood floor, surrounded by white walls hung with local art. And some of the most consistently well cooked – and freshest – fish I’ve eaten in a long time.
And the setting really is spectacular. You sit there, eating fish caught by trawlers out of nearby Looe, to a beautiful backdrop of wide sea and sky, the small stone fisherman’s chapel sitting on Rame head to the east.
Owners Matt and Rachel Horne are obviously living a dream because this is not the sort of place you would expect to see cooking of this quality. The selection is seasonal, veering towards fish and seafood in the spring and summer, and more meaty fare in the winter.
The setting might be distracting were it not for the food. The menu is simple and straightforward and changes daily (I know, I went twice in two days). The dishes themselves are deceptively simple, with classics like seared scallops on puy lentils and bacon mixed in with the odd Asian influence as in the salmon dish above.
Of the starters, my favourite was definitely the salmon, although the scallops ran it close. Laid out in slim layer, the salmon had been gently marinated and was fatty smooth and unctuous. The crab added a sea inflected meatiness while the ginger really spritzed things up. It was fabulous.
Of the other starters, the scallops were meaty and sweet, with bacon providing a salty contrast. The terrine was deliciously meaty and a watermelon and feta salad was fresh and very tasty, the melon flesh standing up to the cheese.
Of the mains, all were delicious. Turbot, which came on fennel mash with a lobster sauce, and the lemon sole above were beautifully cooked. Moist and full of flavour, you could tell they were not long out of the ocean. Local hake with peas, beans and shallots was a big and flaky, and again, super fresh. This freshness, combined with Matt Horne’s light touch in the kitchen and the setting, mean eating here is very memorable.
Desserts lived up to the rest of the meal, hot chocolate mousse was the winner for me, smooth and rich chocolate mixed with cold and creamy vanilla ice cream. The contrast of hot and cold, creamy and chocolaty was luxurious.
Three courses cost in the region of £25 a head, which for the quality of the food and the location, is a real bargain. So next time you are on your way West, don’t bypass this beautiful and uncrowded part of Cornwall. Stop, eat and enjoy an unhurried lunch or watch the sun set over dinner.