The Times – 20 best places to eat by the beach

Porthminster Beach Cafe was surprised and thrilled to be included in this feature in The Times (Thurs 8th August). Chosen by top chefs, the places picked from around the coast were a diverse range of architecturally impressive Beach Cafes, old-world pubs and classic brasseries.

Executive Chef Mick Smith and Head Chef Ryan Venning were both very pleased to have been singled out from so many great place to eat by the seaside. Ryan commented “The whole kitchen team work so hard on a day to day basis, especially at this time of year. This kind of recognition has given us a great boost and put a little spring in our step today.”

Here is Porthminster’s entry in full:

Porthminster Cafe

St Ives, Cornwall

“Aussie chef Mike Smith forages on the nearby coastal path for ingredients for his wildly eclectic menu at this casual beach-side cafe that has high culinary ambitions. Feast on air-dried Cornish duck ham with compressed melon, nastursium and fennel followed by a roasted whole lemon sole with white crab and tomato, cucumber and vanilla salsa while taking in the wonderful St Ives bay views.”

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Fellow Cornish restaurants The Hidden Hut, Fifteen Cornwall and Outlaw’s in Rock were also included in the list of top spots.

Cornish Crab & Mussel Linguine

A recipe from ‘Porthminster Beach Cafe – The Cookbook’ to tantalise your taste buds this weekend.

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This is one of Michael’s favourite recipes and a really popular dish on the menu at the restaurant; it goes down a storm at lunch on a sunny day, accompanied by a glass of Rosé! Michael says “this classic combination of simple ingredients – chilli, lemon, garlic and parsley – works so well with the crab and mussels here.”

Cooking technique is very important in getting this dish right. Using fish stock can be a bit strong and make the crab overpowering so we use chicken stock instead, which gives a rounded flavour to the dish.

Serves four

Ingredients

120g picked white crabmeat

350g dried linguine

100ml mild olive oil

40 mussels

2 red chillies, deseeded and finely diced

4 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped garlic

300ml light chicken stock

Juice of 2 lemons

Half a bunch of flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

First pick through crabmeat to make sure it’s free from any bits of shell. Scrub the mussels under running water and remove any grit and pull off the little ‘beards’.

Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and add the linguine, cook as per instructions until al-dente.

Meanwhile, in a pan large enough to take all the mussels comfortably, heat the olive oil, add the mussels and stir until they begin to open. Next add the chilli and garlic and cook till softened, stirring regularly, do not let them brown. Add the chicken stock and lemon juice to the pan and bring it to the boil.

Drain the pasta and reserve a little of the cooking water. Add the drained pasta to the mussels with the parley and crabmeat and toss together until everything is evenly mixed – loosen with a little of the cooking water if the pasta looks too dry. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

The book will be available to buy from the 18th May, from the restaurant and online (and at the St Ives Food and Drink Festival, taking place over the weekend 18th and 19th May).