Tolcarne Inn, Newlyn
TOLCARNE INN: NEWLYN
*AD: Gifted - this was a press meal and I received a complimentary meal (but paid for drinks) for an honest review.*
Why you should visit:
For delicious and unique fish dishes
To dine in a proper pub
Enjoy the twice-daily changing menu
Dig into mouthwatering desserts
During a recent visit to Cornwall with Steve, we made time to fit in a meal at the Tolcarne Inn in Newlyn, which is the pub of Cornish chef Ben Tunnicliffe. I had heard some great things about the food here, and with it being a stone’s throw from the famous Fish Market, I was excited to enjoy some fresh fish dishes.
As the name suggests, the Tolcarne Inn is a pub with a restaurant. The black and white cottage style building is situated on its own down a winding lane in the seaside town of Newyln and inside it’s half restaurant and half pub. There were plenty of regulars drinking in there the night we visited and the dining room was also fully booked. There is an old fashioned feel to the decor, with beamed ceilings, panelled walls and vintage wooden tables and chairs. There are also hints to its seaside location, with coastal artwork, fisherman’s lights and an old boat wheel on the bar itself, celebrating Cornish maritime history. It feels like a proper pub and I liked that.
Whilst the decor is relaxed, the food is incredibly modern and not necessarily what you’d expect. If reputation didn’t already precede the Tolcarne Inn, of course. I was told that they change the menu twice a day, as there is a lunchtime menu and an evening menu. The fresh is fish from the nearby market - the pub is literally next to the harbour - and often dishes sell out, so we were lucky that we could still take our pick when we arrived.
To be honest, everything on the menu sounded delicious and it was hard to decide what to order. Dishes are priced at around £8 for a starter, £18 for a main course and £8 for a dessert.
We both chose different dishes and I opted for Breaded Monkfish, Guacamole and Chilli Jam to start and Fillet of Hake with Celeriac, Silver Skin Onion, Pancetta & Parsley for main. Steve started with Seared Scallops, Confit Pork, Apple Puree, Smoked Bacon & Hazelnuts and then chose Fillet of Silver Mullet, Curried Swede, Sweet Potato Pickle, Coconut Spinach & Coriander Oil for his main course.
The monkfish starter was quite a simple idea but one that I wouldn’t have thought to put together and it was packed with flavour. The scallops were impeccably cooked and were match-made with the smoky bacon, sweet apple and onions and the crunch of the nuts. The confit pork was a crisp succulent mouthful which was divine. My main course was actually a risotto and it was perfectly al dente with a meaty fillet of silky hake on top. I think Steve’s silver mullet was the star of the show though - it’s difficult not to drown a delicate piece of fish with Indian spices but this was done with care and precision and was a true delight to eat. I definitely leant over and stuck my fork in his dish more than once!
I felt satisfied after two courses but there was no way we were missing out on dessert, as again, I wanted to try everything. After much debate, I settled on Yoghurt Panna Cotta (my favourite pudding) with Baked Rhubarb and Fennel Shortbread and Steve went traditional with Pecan Pie. Although it was made all the more interesting with a serving of Thyme & Honeycomb ice cream. Both desserts were exceptional and a highlight had to be the fennel shortbread, which was a sweet and savoury triumph.
We really enjoyed our meal at the Tolcarne Inn. The food was unique and a pleasure to eat and it’s definitely one of the best meals I’ve eaten in Cornwall. It’s a must visit.
Tolcarne Inn, 9 Tolcarne Terrace, Newlyn, Penzance, TR18 5PS.