Our favourite spot in Plymouth has to be the city’s historic barbican. Packed with restaurants and bars, its quaint cobbled streets and artistic community make this area a real gem for foodies and tourists alike; and that’s just one of the many reasons why we we were excited to pay a visit to The Barbican Kitchen last month. Another important reason is that this trendy restaurant – located right above the famous Plymouth Gin Distillery – is the brainchild of Chris and James Tanner, two brothers who have been making waves in foodie circles for years.
The Barbican Kitchen shares it’s entrance with the famous gin distillery and as you step inside you are greeted by a quirky and stylish interior that brings the past together with the present. Head upstairs (if you can resist the lure of artisanal gin) and you enter a light and contemporary dining space that feels modern and vibrant while retaining much of the buildings authentic nineteenth century characteristics.
On our particular visit we were pleased to have booked ahead for lunch, as the restaurant was quick to fill up and was buzzing with activity. We were also pleasantly surprised by the value of the set lunch menu, from which you could select up to three courses just £12.95.
I chose to start with The Soup of the Day, which was a velvety and flavoursome butternut squash soup, served with delicious Artisan bread. The portion size was just right and the addition of a drizzle of crème fraîche was much appreciated. It was a warming and tasty start to the meal.
Both of my dining partners opted for the Rainbow Trout Rillette with cre’me freiche and watercress. This dish was also perfectly portioned and you could tell that the ingredients used were incredibly fresh. The trout rillette was just the right texture for spreading on toast and was a really nice alternative to your standard seafood pate or crab starter.
For my main course I decided to test the Tanner Brothers ability to do Plymouth’s maritime heritage proud and so I opted for the Fish of the Day. This turned out to be Haddock, a fish that one might normally expect to find beer battered and served alongside chips. However, the fillet of fish was soft, juicy and meaty, and came on a bed of crushed potatoes, greens and squares of tomato. The dish also came with a lovely citrusy butter sauce that tied it all together beautifully.
Again, both of my dining partners opted for the same main course: BBQ 5oz Hanger Steak with peppercorn butter, skinny fries and watercress. This dish required a £5 supplement but boy was it worth it. I am told that the slices of steak were perfectly cooked (that’s rare by the way, for the true carnivores out there) and the peppercorn sauce was not too overpowering.
By the end of our main courses we were all a little too stuffed to tuck into dessert. However, had we had room we no doubt would have opted for either the Dark Chocolate Mouse with Chantilly Cream or the English Raspberry’s, Meringues, and Sorbet.
Overall, we were very impressed by The Barbican Kitchen and we will definitely be returning on an emptier stomach to indulge in those dessert options! For great quality food at exceptional value for money, you’ll want to give this gem a visit. The staff are incredibly obliging and you can look forward to a stroll around the distillery after your stay.
For more information & to view their Christmas menus visit: barbicankitchen.com