Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Review: No 1 Harbourside

I've drunk at No 1 Harbourside on several occasions and attended a gig last summer, but today was the first time I'd ever eaten in this waterfront retaurant.

We met early to grab a bite before Exultate's Easter Mysteries' Concert (which was characteristically superb - if you've never heard them keep an eye out for their next performance).

The bar/restaurant/music venue is ideally located with a glass frontage overlooking the harbour and outside seating for when it's warm and sunny.  This evening it was neither so we sheltered inside.  My daughter and I arrived early, ordered drinks at the bar, and read until the others joined us.  I'd hoped for a glass of Apples and Pears but had to settle for a pear cider, which was almost as good. 

The menu appears to change regularly.  It was chalked up on the board with a fuller description on sheets of paper on the tables.  There were five mains and a couple of deserts.  Homemade soup comes free with every main dish. 

Three of us chose the duck (served with parsley mash, greens and a mustard sauce), while my daughter and I opted for the Cornish mackerel (butterflied and served with an onion, tomato and chilli salsa, and bulgar wheat).  Gammon, tempura purple sprouting broccoli and mussels were the other dishes on offer, with prices ranging from £8 to £10.

Food is ordered at the bar and tables identified with brightly coloured appliqued flags.  We were grateful for the quick service, starting with a bowl of delicious root vegetable soup and a slice of decent bread.

The mains were equally prompt and acceptable.  The duck was tender and juicy, the delicate pink perfectly set against the pale green of the mash and the darker shade of the kale.  Our mackerel had a crisp skin and soft flesh, its oiliness cut through with the sharpness of the salsa.  I relished every mouthful.  This is not fancy cooking but it's all the better for being simple and precise.

We didn't have time for desert and I'm afraid I cannot remember what was on offer but if the mains were anything to go by I'm sure they would not have disappointed.

Before I end I must mention the listing flyer, designed by the talented Hannah Broadway, which not only lets you know what's going on but offers a monthly recipe to try at home!  

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