There’s something really special about Harry’s Restaurant. Maybe it’s the fact that it’s a family run business, or perhaps it’s because they’re a true independent establishment in every sense of the word . But whatever it is, Harry’s has been going strong for over two decades and it’s not hard to see why!
We popped into Harry’s Restaurant on a busy Friday night and were pleasantly surprised to find it packed with diners. There was a real buzz to the place and from the moment we sat down the service was excellent. The interior is relaxed and there’s plenty of covers, ranging from intimate tables for two to larger family sized tables for bigger parties.
The menu is extensive and offers everything from loaded burgers to simple salads and even Mexican classics. In fact it’s so big that I would almost say there’s almost too much to chose from! But that didn’t stop me from finding several dishes I fancied…
I opted to start with the Truffle Cheese – a new addition to the summer menu that sounded right up my street. When it arrived at the table, it was charmingly presented on a wooden board and comprised of a melted Cornish boxed brie & crusty slices of bread. I couldn’t really taste the truffle aspect of this dish and I would have liked a bit of chutney on the side for more variety. That being said, you can’t go far wrong with good cheese and it was still a solid start to the meal.
My partner also chose one of the newer additions to the menu: Devon Crab on Toast. Again this was a good start to the meal, although when it arrived he felt that the crab flavour was somewhat lost in the creamy dressing. I tried it myself and thought it was really tasty, but I have to agree that the addition of brown meat would have made it a winning starter.
Since my partner robbed me of the crab starter, I couldn’t resist ordering the Crab Linguine for my main course. This dish was packed with intense crab flavour and the portion size was just right. Despite being excellent comfort food, the linguine was light enough for me to leave room for pudding and I wouldn’t hesitate to order it again.
When it comes to steak, everyone has something to say about how it ought to be cooked. My partner is no exception. Wherever we go, he likes to request his steak to be cooked ‘blue’. However, we rarely find that chefs are happy to send their steak out while it’s still mooing.. Therefore, it was a pleasant surprise to find that the waitress at Harry’s was not at all phased by this request. When the steak came out, my partner took one bite before insisting that I tried it as well. Without a doubt, chef had nailed the order. The steak literally melted in the mouth and the garlic butter was a wonderful accompaniment. Steak lovers: you have to give this dish a try because I guarantee you’re going to love it.
Just when we thought Harry’s couldn’t improve on that fillet steak main, the skillet pan cookie came out of the kitchen…
I don’t mean to sound dramatic, but I honestly think this is one of the nicest desserts I’ve ever eaten. In fact, it was so good my partner felt compelled to eat half of it too… The cookie dough isn’t too sweet and the vanilla does an excellent job of balancing the rich chocolate inside. I loved the presentation and I only wish there had been more.
Sadly, the colourful Eaton Mess that we also ordered somewhat paled in comparison to it’s skillet cookie counterpart. However, it was still a lovely dessert. Served in a unique glass, it was packed with summer berries, meringues, whipped cream, coulis and ice cream. While it was by no means a ‘light’ option, I do think it will appeal to people who enjoy fruity desserts.
During our meal we also sampled a cocktail each. I went for the Dark ‘N’ Stormy – a tasty combination of Bacardi Carta Negra rum, lime and ginger beer. My partner (being a forever child apparently) went for a hard shake, following a recommendation by the waitress. This was a fun mix of Makers Mark, chocolate, hot chocolate sauce and whipped cream. I didn’t get the chance to try it because it was all gone in about 5 min – which I can only take as a sign that it was good!
I also really enjoyed the House Red – a ‘very gluggable’‘Les Terrasses’ – which is quite fruity and good value at £16 a bottle. Something I noticed about the wine list was the fact that they included pairing recommendations based on their own menu, which I personally thought was a brilliant idea. They also source their wines from local stockist Chistopher Piper Wines, which is a nice touch.
I wholeheartedly recommend giving Harry’s Restaurant a try if you haven’t been already. The staff are great, the atmosphere is warm, and the food is made to a very high standard. This isn’t a fine dining establishment in the slightest, but that is precisely what is so charming about it. They offer a relaxed yet sophisticated setting and their menu is comprised of excellent, hearty food without any pretension. I would genuinely make an argument for Harry’s offering the best steak in town and their skillet pan cookie is worth the trip alone!
If you do visit, make sure to let us know in the comments – I’d love to hear your thoughts.