The Orange Tree Restaurant: timeless hospitality in Torquay
Tucked away in a Torquay side street, The Orange Tree is an intimate restaurant which offers a romantic dining ambience: tinkling piano music, white tablecloths and low lighting.
The bijou eatery is the proverbial ‘little gem’ where simple decor, although pleasant, doesn’t distract from the quality of the classic cuisine. Since taking over in March 2019, owners Vittorio and Tatjana Melis have built on the restaurant’s reputation for fine dining, adding new touches and refining the a la carte and tasting menus.
As you might expect from its proximity to the shoreline, there’s plenty of local seafood on the menu here. Signature dishes include the likes of Brixham crab bisque in which flavours of tomato, fennel and tarragon are punctuated with tender king scallops.
The Orange Tree has become a favourite on the south Devon food scene and diners seek it out for well-executed classics. Sure-fire winners include tenderloin pork with a sage and onion crumb, pig’s cheek pithivier, pomme puree and cider sauce.
The puddings, too, are a delicious take on the traditional. A modern twist on a black forest gateau, for instance, is a layered dessert of chocolate sponge soaked in kirsch, white chocolate mousse and chocolate ganache served with a black cherry sorbet and a morello cherry jam.
The hospitality of Vittorio and his team turns every visit into a special occasion, with the owner frequently sharing personal anecdotes about the food and wine. There are also tasty accompaniments such as olives, homebaked bread and delightful petits fours (think mini coconut and almond sponges, and chocolate fudge).
A personally picked drinks list includes vintages from European, New World and West Country vineyards, plus a good selection of Champagnes and small curation of spirits.
14-16 Parkhill Road, Torquay, TQ1 2AL
Chef: Vittorio Melis
Owner: Vittorio Melis
- Kids welcome
- Gluten free options
Brixham crab bisque with king scallops, £12
Tournedos with wild mushroom and shallots, £32
Iced limoncello parfait with blueberry curd, £8.50
Work up an appetite for dinner with a stroll around nearby Torquay harbour.