The room is tastefully decorated and comfortable, offering good views over the bay the establishment sits on, and the service is personal and friendly - while never overfamiliar – but the real star of this Torquay brasserie is the sheer inventiveness and quality of its offerings.
Although the focus is on the best local and in many cases homegrown (Hulstone has his own farm) ingredients and classically European techniques and dishes, the lengths which the kitchen goes to to add a touch of something special and individual to each makes them stand out.
Edible flowers, fine herbs, and dots of purée all adorn the plates, leading to a very artistic and appealing overall impression. But for all the artistry Simon Hulstone understands that substance should always trump style; skilful use of modern techniques and a good old-fashioned ‘less is more’ approach in some instances ensure that this is the case.
Classic combinations – Braised pork belly with windfall apple purée, Fillet of beef with truffled mash, Plaice and tartare sauce – are given new leases of life and put together with the same eye for innovation and originality as the more leftfield assemblies upstairs.