Last month we were kindly invited to sample the new menu at Cantina Kitchen & Bar.
Cantina Kitchen & Bar is located just a stone’s throw from Goodrington Beach in the South Devon town of Paignton. We can only imagine how great this restaurant will be during the summer months, after a day spent on the beach, sitting down amongst its trendy interiors and enjoying an evening of freshly prepared food with friends and family alike.
On the evening of our visit we met with Head Chef Barry George, who explained how everything in the kitchen is cooked fresh from raw ingredients using locally sourced produce wherever possible. Having honed his skills in Michelin stared restaurants, Barry is now using his talent to produce a menu of tempting seafood dishes and tasty seasonal fare.
Owners Queenie and Kate joined us for dinner on the evening and proved to be great company thanks to their passion for their restaurant and their knowledge of the local foodie scene. With help from Barry and their family, the pair have clearly worked hard to see their dream of running a successful bistro turn into a reality; transforming a once tired café into a fun and buzzing place to visit.
Tempura Oysters, Black Garlic Aioli & Micro Herbs
Our first dish of the evening was a beautiful platter of tempura oysters accompanied with a black garlic aioli. The oysters were outstanding. The tempura batter was light and crisp, while the subtle aioli and micro herbs made for a perfectly balanced mouthful. I have to admit, I had three of these oysters and I could have happily polished off the whole plate to myself. Maybe next time..
Brixham Scallops Coquilles St Jacques
The next course contained plump scallops served in their shells enveloped in creamy mashed potato and topped with mature cheese. What’s not to like? Since I first experienced a bowl of shrimp & mashed potato on a trip to the Dominican Republic, I’ve developed a taste for seafood and mash. When the humble potato is combined with fresh seafood the results can be really quite delicious. So, the Brixham Scallops Coquilles St Jacques was another winning plate for me.
Roasted Catch of the Day with Sautéed Sea Vegetables, New Potatoes & Wild Sorrel Sauce
One thing’s for certain – Cantina does not scrimp on portion size. Our catch of the day was a large and meaty lemon sole, which a jug of wild sorrel sauce each. Again, this was well cooked, falling off the bone, and the accompanying vegetables had just enough of a bite to them.
Lemon Posset & Shortbread
I’m not exaggerating when I say that that this dish was the best posset i’ve ever eaten. Not only was it nicely presented in a rustic bowl, but the balance between the sweet and sharp flavours was spot on. The passion fruit topping and meringue provided a lovely crunch and the amount of flavour in this bowl of food really was a credit to the chef.
I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Cantina to anyone looking for a relaxing time with good food and friendly service. The owners and staff are incredibly welcoming and it’s clear that they love what they do. If the menu we enjoyed on our evening is anything to go by, then the food Cantina serve is top notch and it’s fair to say that if we lived closer, we would probably make Cantina a regular Devon Foodie haunt.
Cantina Kitchen & Bar
Youngs Park TQ4 6BU Paignton
Book: 01803 525377