From the sea to The Shore
Thankfully we didn't encounter any pirates on our brief sojourn in Penzance and we didn’t have to walk the plank to get a table at The Shore Restaurant as part of our Foodiemoon either but you absolutely must book ahead because there's only a single chef in the kitchen! Chef Patron Bruce Rennie, who is originally from Fife, has worked with the likes of Martin Wishart, Gary Rhodes, Rick Stein and Chris Simpson, is the kitchen! A one man cooking machine! And the restaurant fills fast - we were spending the night at nearby Chapel House and at least two other couples staying there had reservations in The Shore, which is named for its ingredients and not so much the location, it's still cosy and welcoming inside though.
The interior is warm and welcoming with little seaside touches. Not fussy or pretentious at all with down-to-earth friendly staff.
We had choice of two menus, five (£46) or seven courses (£66) from the set menu or a two - three dish daily specials menu. Paired wines could also be added to the set menu for £28 or £39.
As it has been our honeymoon (Foodiemoon) we have been eating lots of delicious food so we kept our eyes and stomach in check on this occasion and picked the daily specials menu (£32 for 2 courses, £40 for 3). It also meant we didn't have to fight over food and take three hours to photograph everything as we were eating the same things, well, apart from pudding.
Bread & butter
We say that you can always tell a great restaurant by the quality of the bread on offer...and Bruce doesn’t stint here. A good omen for the meal ahead. Crusty bread with a fluffy interior served with creamy butter.
Cured pollack, citrus dressing, fermented cabbage, passion fruit and dill.
Firstly, we discovered that pollack is not the same fish as pollock. Secondly, fermented cabbage with a fish dish sounds a bit weird right? Not to fear as there wasn't a whole lot of it and it was offset by the citrus dressing. It could be a little overpowering, or refreshing depending on your mood. A really bright, colourful dish which brought with it a light and refreshing start to the evening.
We haven’t eaten much ray but will be looking out for it more now! This was beautifully cooked, a meaty fish but also tender, a bit like lobster. Served with simple asparagus and homestyle crushed potatoes. The garlicky bouillabaisse sauce kept the fish moist.
A good mix of cheese and served at the right temperature with crackers and chutney. 😍
Although listed as a white chocolate dessert, strawberry was the main flavour here, which goes oh so well with basil. Dainty, summery and fruity but with the welcome savouriness that basil imparts. A pleasant way to end the meal!
After finishing our dinner we even got to have a brief food-related chat with Bruce, and to prove that yes, there is indeed only one chef in the kitchen!
It's the most popular place in town and for a reason! We had a very pleasant evening at the Shore, despite having only Bruce in the kitchen, our delicious three-course meal was served up in under two hours but we do regret not going for the full seven courses as I'm sure that would've been quite an experience! There's a focus on sustainable and ethically-sourced food here so the Shore is ideally placed in Cornwall, not just for the seafood but for general farm produce, apples & cider of course, and nowadays excellent wine is coming from the area too.
If you're in Penzance and need a place for an evening meal then this should be your first port of call. A few groups got turned away during our dinner so book ahead, not only will you get a table but it gives Bruce a heads up to plan his day! The toilet was clean and tidy.
+ Cosy, popular restaurant
+ Excellent bread
+ Relaxed fine-dining
+ Perfectly cooked ray
+ Central location, near public transport and hotels
+ Helpful staff
- Not a fish fan? Look elsewhere
- No impulse dining, must book!
The Shore Restaurant 13/14 Alverton Street, Penzance, Cornwall, TR18 2QP
Evenings only, Tuesday to Sunday : 18:30-21:00
Booking / Contact
Telephone: 01736 362444
Disclaimer: we received a complimentary meal but Fred vouches that he would've made light work of the dishes above too so it must've been a good meal, and therefore a truthful review.