Restaurants - The Seafood Restaurant Reviews

Reservations 01841532700

Opening times

Open every day
Lunch: 12pm - 2.00pm
Dinner: 6.30pm - 10pm

The Seafood Restaurant
Riverside, Padstow, Cornwall, PL28 8BY

"The spacious, smart but unfussy dining room exudes and easy, informal ambience, while service strikes precisely the right balance: attentive and personal. Reporters not only applaud the breadth to the menu with its influences from the Med, Asia and the USA, but also highlight the classics of fish and shellfish soup, roast trançon of turbot (rich, meaty and very fresh turbot roasted on the bone, served with a slick of hollandaise) and Padstow lobster, grilled or steamed, with mayonnaise."

Good Food Guide 2014

 

“Seafood doesn’t get any fresher or any better says one of the many fans of this superb harboursider; thanks to the TV fame of proprietor Rick Stein, it has long been a place of culinary pilgrimage (and is able to charge accordingly), and it was on top form this past year”. 

Harden’s UK Restaurants 2005 

 

“I would recommend the Rick Stein experience to anyone with a taste for the good life.” 

Sunday Express 4th January 2004

 

"It has been a dream of mine to find myself in some charming little seaside town where there's a restaurant serving what the local fishermen are catching. At The Seafood Restaurant Padstow, I woke up happy! " 

Celeste Mitchell, The Daily Express

 

Currently on cracking form, Rick Stein's famous quayside fixture (in fact, largely run by ex-wife, Jill) receives numerous bouquets for its "unfussy and excellent fish" and "fruits-de-mer par excellence" "seriously expensive", yes, but most reporters seem to think it's worth it. 

Harden's UK restaurant survey 2012

  

 

"Celebrity chef Rick Stein may not often be seen in this north Cornish fishing port (let alone the kitchens of his various outposts), but the business empire he runs with his ex-wife, Jill, extends across the village. There are four places to sample his signature fish dishes; the bedrooms are in six separate buildings. Stephane Delourme is the chef at the flagship Seafood Restaurant on thewaterfront (dishes might include sashimi of hand-dived scallop; monkfish vindaloo). St Petroc's Bistro has an alternative menu with 28-day-aged steaks; the Café, open from breakfast, has a simpler menu; the fish and chip bar is the most informal. Mrs Stein, who is based in Padstow, designed the bedrooms. The most expensive, in St Edmunds House, have views across the Camel estuary; a room in St Petroc's Hotel, a wisteria-clad white Georgian building, was ‘loved' by a reader this year; the simplest (and cheapest) rooms are above the Café on a quiet side street (they fill up as quickly as tables at the Seafood Restaurant). The one-bedroom Bryn Cottage has a private garden. More reports, please."

The Good Hotel Guide 2012 

 

 

"Regular visitors to Padstow will have watched the Stein brand grow and develop over the years, with new venues and concepts coming on board - the desire to embrace new ideas has kept the company as fresh as the slithery seafood that appears on the menu. The flagship restaurant has, in recent years, added a seafood bar in the middle of the room where you can sip on something from the fabulous wine list, and tuck into something super-fresh, whilst watching the shellfish platters being prepared, and the entrance is now via a rather smart glass portico. But the ethos of the place remains exactly the same as when it opened back in 1975 - tip-top seafood served up in a relaxed and vibrant atmosphere. The room remains light and bright, with blond wood, white walls, flashes of colour from contemporary artworks, and tables smartly dressed with linen cloths. It is possible to take a deliciously simple route through the menu, from langoustines on ice, via whole Dover sole chargrilled with sea salt and lime, to walnut tart with crème fraîche, but equally there's a tasting menu that might include braised fillet of brill with bianchetto truffle, slivers of potato, mushrooms and truffle oil. There are influences from around the globe, too, so a taste of Spain might come in the form of perfectly cooked scallops with Iberico ham, pimentón and pardina lentils, followed by Indonesian seafood curry with monkfish, squid and tiger prawns. A seasonal dessert of apple and blackberry Pavlova shows the kitchen is more than capable outside of the seafood comfort zone."

AA Restaurant Guide, 2012

 

"Relaxed, stylish seafood restaurant dominated by large stainless steel bar. Daily menu of fresh local fish and shellfish ranging from three types of simply prepared oysters to chilli crab or monkfish vindaloo. New England style bedrooms boast quality furnishings, some have balconies, terraces or bay views."

Michelin Guide, 2012

  

"In 1975 a young chef called Rick Stein opened a restaurant in Padstow. Thirty-five years on and he has three more, a deli and a patisserie, a seafood cookery school and 40 beautiful bedrooms. Despite this success his homespun philosophy has never wavered: buy the freshest seafood on the quay from fisherman, cook it simply and eat it with friends. It is a viewpoint half the country seems to share and The Seafood Restaurant is now a place of pilgrimage, so come to discover this glorious stretch of Cornish coast, walk on the cliffs, paddle in the estuary, then drop into the lively restaurant for a delicious meal, perhaps razor clams with garlic and parsley, chargrilled Dover sole with sea salt and lime, apple and quince tartlet with vanilla ice cream. Book in for the night and a table in the restaurant is yours - though beautiful bedrooms are so seductive you may find them hard to leave. They are scattered about town, some above the restaurant, others over at the bistro or just around the corner. All are immaculate. Expect the best fabrics, gorgeous bathrooms, and the odd terrace with estuary views."

Sawday's, 2012

 

"Just across the harbour from where the fishing boats are moored each day, Rick Stein’s original Padstow address still draws fish lovers from far and wide. They come in search of the freshest seafood, and are treated to the sight of it being prepared at the great circular bar in the centre of the room. Sign up for the tasting menu to appreciate this bounty: lobster salad with lemon and chive dressing, half-shell queenies, sea bass with roasted fennel seeds and sauce vierge, and red mullet with girolles and sun-dried tomatoes were enough cumulatively to send one reporter away in a state of bliss."

The Good Food Guide, 2012

 

"We left The Seafood Restaurant deeply satisfied and smiling. We liked the ambiance, the staff delivered the best service I have experienced in the Westcountry for over a decade, the various wines we enjoyed at the suggestion of the sommelier were superb and exactly what was called for - and I am still dreaming happy dreams about the fruits-de-mer."

The Food Inspector, Western Morning News, June 2011

 

‘The atmosphere was perfect, intimate and glass-clinkingly busy at the same time. The staff were the right balance of friendly and attentive. We chose the tasting menu and its array of delights brought to us including Padstow lobster, caught about 50 meters away from our table, scallops, sea bass, bouillabaisse, braised fillet of brill and a stunning pavalova dessert. My partner always complains when dinner takes too long. But he didn't even notice the two-hours-plus slip away as we chatted, drank and consumed the Cornish feast. A truly great meal.'

Kenny Rattray, Daily Record, February 2011

 

"The large, buzzy restaurant on the Padstow waterfront is one of the reference addresses of the recent British restaurant scene. It's where what has become Rick Stein's empire began, humbly enough, and is still dedicated to serving the freshest fish and seafood in ways that can be as simple or as inventive as you desire. Centred around a great seafood counter, where you can watch it all come together, it's an infectiously relaxed place, run with positive cheer by staff who clearly love what they do. Japanese notes are rung in an opening dish of sashimi, comprised of scallop, salmon, sea bass and kingfish, served with wasabi, pickled ginger and soy, or you might opt for shangurro, a Basque dish of crab baked in its shell under a parsley and breadcrumb topping. At main course, the most straightforward offerings are often the most favoured ones, such as chargrilled Dover sole seasoned with sea salt and lime and served with a light butter sauce, or steamed lobster with mayonnaise and salads. There is meat for those who want it - perhaps duck breast with red wine sauce and sautéed potatoes - and desserts include mandarin soufflé worth waiting for, served with lemon and yoghurt sorbet."

The AA Restaurant Guide, 2011

 

"The Seafood Restaurant was the first of Rick Stein's extensive interests and it's still a must-do on many people's Padstow itineraries. Built around an alter-like seafood bar in the center, where chefs assemble the groaning platters of fruits de la mer, served classically with mayonnaise and shallot vinegar, it's a spacious, loquacious venue on the waterfront. Adventures into more ambitious dishes often meet with sulks, and the prices still feel hard to justify when so many of the menu items are landed so locally - thus a bouillabaisse of sea bass, gurnard, monkfish, langoustine and mussel, served with rouille and Parmesan seems better value at £28.50 than the £34.50 asked for a piece of baked turbot with hollandaise."

The Good Food Guide, 2011

  

"Rick Stein's seafood show. Flagship and nerve-centre of the Rick Stein phenomenon (‘empire' is too small a word), the Seafood Restaurant is a large, cheerfully bustling, sometimes slightly chaotic space. There's a dramatic seafood bar in the centre, where you can see the brigade assembling the famous platters, and the extensive menu specialises in what's been landed in the immediate vicinity. However, one or two items have made a longer journey - langoustines from western Scotland, say. Many dishes are the kind of unmuddled preparations people love, as in fish soup with rouille and turbot with hollandaise. More involved offerings often meet with quizzical responses, though they deepen the repertoire (as in Indonesian seafood curry with monkfish, squid and prawns).

The Good Food Guide, 2010

  

"Food lovers continue to beat a well-trodden path to this legendary establishment that has benefitted from considerable recent investment. Situated on the edge of the harbour, just a stone's throw from the shops, the Seafood Restaurant offers stylish and comfortable bedrooms that boast numerous thoughtful extras; some have views of the estuary and a couple have stunning private balconies. Service is relaxed and friendly, perfect for that break by the sea."

AA Hotel Guide, 2010

 

"It should be easy enough, but it clearly isn't or everybody would be doing it. Maybe it is the personality and determination of Rick Stein. And what is ‘it'? ‘It' is serving the very best seafood in an uncomplicated way, never following fad or fashion but not standing still either, cooking the freshest fish and shellfish with passion and still managing to, after nearly 35 years, give an experienced inspector the best piece of brill she's ever had. Every coastal town should have a restaurant like this...few do. The entrance by the quayside is via a conservatory with a distinctly designer look, hinting that behind the brick and granite façade is a restaurant of real class. The centerpiece of the room is a mosaic and stainless steel-topped circular bar counter. It's a smartly unpretentious space, with linen-clad tables and splashes of colour coming from contemporary artworks. The menu isn't exactly cheap, but the produce (as discussed) is spot-on and, if you really want to push the boat out, there's a tasting menu, too. Shrimp and samphire risotto is a dish that relies on much more than sparklingly fresh seafood, and it is a triumph in the art of risotto making: just the right degree of bite and creaminess and wonderful flavours and textures. Turbot with hollandaise (on the bone) is simplicity itself, served with some mixed vegetables, while braised fillet of brill is given an earthy richness in a dish with black truffle, mushrooms and truffle oil. Desserts are not neglected (panna cotta with rhubarb compôte) and the wine list does great justice to the fruits of the sea."

AA Restaurant Guide, 2010

  

"First-class breakfast: wonderful buffet table; crisp toast; four types of cooked fish, excellent sausages, eggs and bacon."

The Good Hotel Guide, 2009
 

"Both Rick Stein and his restaurant are British institutions and the latter is just as good as ever after its recent £2.5m re-fit; a few reporters find prices ‘hard to digest', but most speak of ‘orgasmic' fish and ‘slick' service, leading to a perfect dining experience overall."

Harden's Restaurant Guide 2009

 

"A £2.5m refit has given Rick Stein's flagship restaurant a fresh new look, and brought a seafood bar to its heart... As Stein puts it, this is not supposed to be a temple of gastronomy, it's a relaxed environment in which to enjoy exhilarating fresh fish."

The Good Food Guide, 2009