Hot from scooping Best Restaurant glory at the food Reader Awards – beating some of the South West’s most decorated dining spots in the race to top honours – it’s been a sweet start to 2017 for Plymouth’s Rock Salt Cafe, discovers Kathryn Lewis
A cafe winning best restaurant you gasp? Rock Salt’s name may allude to its humble beginnings but this family run restaurant is more polished cutlery than greasy spoon.
Chef patron Dave Jenkins has combined his passions for Asian flare and local ingredients to create a unique all-day-dining spot, where breakfasts of poached eggs and pancakes morph seamlessly into sumptuous occasion dining.
VISIT FOR fine food and easy-going vibes; this is the kind of place where mopping up every morsel of spicy parsnip velouté is encouraged and where loosening your belt a few notches following the molten cocoa fondant is considered a compliment.
DON’T VISIT if your palate lacks a sense of adventure. Sticky pulled pork flirts with the sweet thrill of fresh papaya, and black pudding scotch eggs swoon over velvety smoked haddock chowder in a South West/South East Asian love in.
While you’ll find brasserie faves along the lines of the house burger and steak and chips, ditching Dave’s dynamic dishes for comfort eating could be considered cowardly.
WE LIKED the MASSIVE tables for two; perfect on those brunchy mornings when you want to eat your way through the cafe menu. Oh and the too-damn-good-to-stop pick ’n’ mix of homemade breads at dinner were a winner.
INSIDER’S TIP Avoid the dreaded food FOMO and treat yourself to the tasting menu. Seven of chef’s best dishes, a lustworthy line-up of matched wines and no plate plundering from your fellow diner. What’s not to love?
What we ate (dinner)
Starter Black pudding scotch egg, crisp ham, smoked haddock chowder
Main Confit beef blade, pearl barley risotto, artichoke, horseradish, trompettes
Dessert Dark chocolate fondant, mint ice cream, white chocolate crumb