Review by Collette
Having frequently visited the charming town of Salcombe for over 30 years, we always looked to The Salcombe Harbour Hotel as a place we must stay one day. The promise of it’s fabulous estuary facing rooms and its reputed dining have long tempted us; so you can imagine our delight when we were recently asked to come along and sample the Jetty Restaurant first hand…
The Salcome Harbour Hotel is ideally situated, overlooking the mouth of the estuary and boasting stunning views of the turquoise waters and the rolling hills beyond. During our visit, we were lucky to have been upgraded to an Estuary Room, which allowed us to watch from our balcony as quaint little fishing boasts and yachts sailed by.
The room itself was very tastefully decorated. As well as having our own little balcony (complete with table and chairs, binoculars and a knee rug) we were able to help ourselves to complimentary gin & sherry!
Time for Dinner
Dinner is served in the hotels beautifully decorated Jetty Restaurant and we were shown to our table by Sara, who took our drinks order and explained the menu and the specials for the evening. Mihai then came to take our orders and offered us a selection of bread and nibbles whilst we waited for our meal. From the outset, we were very impressed by the level of service we received and we could tell that we were in for a real treat…
To start, my husband had one of the specials of the day. This was a seafood soup, which came with a large crouton, topped with soft cheese. The broth was deep and fragrant and the dish was full of meaty fish, as well as mussels, shrimp and squid. He very much enjoyed this dish – although he felt it was better described as a stew than a soup, as it was packed with seafood.
I adore soufflés, so I was thrilled to see that one of the starters on offer was ‘Alex’s Twice Baked Mature Cheddar Cheese Soufflé’. When it arrived, the cheese around the soufflé was bubbling and the aroma was just divine. The soufflé itself was soft and light, and eaten together with the melted cheese it was fabulous. I really enjoyed this dish – a lot!
For my main course, I chose the Cod Fillet with a Devon Crab Crust, Crushed Peas, Creamed Mashed Potato and a Beurre Blanc Sauce. The portion size was hearty to say the least and the crushed peas were fresh and tasty. I thought that the cod was beautifully cooked and it went really well with the creamy beurre blanc sauce. If I had to be at all critical, the crab crust with the addition of the seaweed crumb was just a tad too strong for me and I would have preferred a little of the crab/crumb on the side to dip into instead. Having said that, the overall dish was still lovely.
For his main, my husband chose a rather curiously named dish of ‘Duck & Squid’. This plate contained duck breast, squid, confit duck leg, crushed new potatoes, spinach and fine beans. The duck breast was flavoursome and very nicely done, although the squid ring was slightly lost alongside the confit duck. We thought that the crushed new potatoes with the addition of garlic and herb were fabulous, and overall it was a great plate of food.
Time for Dessert
As a lover of classic puddings, my husband went for Crème Brûlée to finish his meal. This was served with a shortbread biscuit and had a wonderful caramel topping which shattered to reveal the creamy brûlée beneath. Meanwhile, I chose the Spiced Poached Pear with Salcombe Dairy, Ginger Ice Cream.
My dessert was beautifully presented and certainly tasted as good as it looked. The pear was soft and juicy, with just the right balance of spice and there were little pops of flavour from the micro lemon mint, white chocolate crumb and fruit gel. The ginger ice cream worked well with the dish and I could happily have eaten another plate!
After our meal, we chatted with Chef Jamie Gulliford about his passion and commitment to his craft. James made it quite clear how much he and the team value their diner’s honesty when it comes to feedback on their food, and it was clear to see that they pride themselves on striving to give their diners the best kind of dining experience.
Our waiter, Mihai, then recommended a couple of popular cocktails that we might like to try at the end of our meal. The first was an After Eight Martini – which was soft, creamy, and went down well – and the other was an Expresso Martini – which had more of a punch courtesy of the coffee.
Bar Tender Joe did a great job of creating our cocktails and we must say that all of the staff seemed to be having a great time. This is so refreshing to see and we really praise the Jetty Restaurant for it’s levels of service.
The Salcombe Harbour Hotel is a wonderful place; not only because of its fabulous location, but because of staff who go the extra mile and the wonderful attention to detail in almost every aspect of service. Everyone we came into contact with was friendly and accommodating. The food at Jetty Restaurant was made to a high quality and the decor was marvellous. Overall, I would definitely recommend you pay a visit if you happen to be in Salcombe. Without doubt, we have every intention of returning,