The last night had arrived, I had ‘grazed’ less during the day as I had a big evening ahead of me, I had secured a table at a special restaurant, Paul Ainsworth at No.6 and I didn’t want to spoil it by being full up before I even arrived!
I did not know what to expect, well that’s not completely true as in previous weeks I had taken my family to experience Michelin Star Restaurants, and even a Chef’s table and all had been exceptional, until now, this evening was going to be beyond special, but I had no idea, no real understanding as to what would happen……….
The Michelin Guide Uses The Following Ratings:-
1 star : “A very good restaurant in its category” (Une très bonne table dans sa catégorie)
2 stars : “Excellent cooking, worth a detour” (Table excellente, mérite un détour)
3 stars : “Exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey” (Une des meilleures tables, vaut le voyage).
A warm welcome on arrival, ushered politely to my table and the first booooom of the night!
My table looked straight into the kitchen, this was going to be an interesting night, I could see the brigade preparing the food, awesome. I loved the ‘Make it Happen’, ‘Make it Happen Together’ signs on the wall, to me it sums up so much, better to work as a team than on your own! I ordered a glass of chardonnay brut, camel valley from Bodmin in Cornwall, it was a special last night so why not go out in style. Rather than a flight of wine, I chose a bottle of de loach, ‘heritage collection’ Chardonnay from California.
I was presented with the menu, the first time a beautifully printed menu I can keep, a memento for me, the night was getter better and better what next? I had to decide what to pick for each course, some were very obvious, and took seconds to decide, Beetroot (well, caviar was involved), Pidgeon (a no brainer in my book), and having had a ‘Cep Fudge’ at an awesome vegetarian restaurant in London that has unfortunately had to close permanently because of COVID, the Chocolate as it had a Cep Caramel and I was intrigued! I noted some other words on the menu, I am not going to describe each event, just book and go like I did, you won’t regret it.
The 1st ‘treat’ was the Tales of Porthilly, I am not going to spoil the story, suffice to say it was fascinating and the delicate, complex morsel of food was good, no very good, no, extremely good, I cannot describe it, just bloody good! I did take tasting notes on my iPhone with descriptions to help write this post as all the food was complex in so many ways.
Crapaudine Beetroot, what on earth! Only probably the oldest variety in existence, translated it means Toad Beetroot, apparently resembling said animal this beast came with a spoon of exclusive Paul Ainsworth No.25 Caviar, jeez this course was blinding, the underlayer of crisp Potato indescribable, it had a soft texture like layers of thin ribbons, sublime, decadent and another booooom!
Anyone for a Scone, yes please, preferably Cheese, your wish sir…………This was a pleasant surprise, I happen to adore Cheese Scones and whilst, like many decent restaurants, you don’t fill yourself up with bread before eating…. Well actually there is another reason, the bakers seem to have been the ones that disappeared during COVID, so rather than buy bread in, they don’t serve it! Anyway, back to the ‘scone’ course, served with No.6 home made butter. There is another local story attached to this delectable morsel, book now!
Kelp Cured Cod (changes textures, helps season), exclusive to Paul Ainsworth Camel Valley Brut Veloute which was delicious, rich, smooth, velvety….. Boooooooom! Throughout the evening the front of house had been the best, especially Olivia, Chelsea and several of the kitchen brigade, who personally served dishes, describing each one with obvious pride and passion, this restaurant was nothing short of epic.
Pidgeon anyone, yes please, how about all of the Pidgeon with an umeboshi condiment….. wait a minute One of the chefs came out of the kitchen and proudly served my Pidgeon, and explained the story behind the dish, nice. And then….
The Pidgeon keeps giving, I am not going into the details of this course other than to say that I have eaten in multiple 1 star and a 2 star restaurants twice (in France), and this is probably the best plate of food I have ever eaten, yes I know its actually 2 plates but who cares it was bloody AWESOME, BOOOOOOOOOOOM!
This is yesterdays scone, to be honest I don’t care if it was last weeks scone, I want the recipe, I want to learn how to make it, it was off the planet, nuts, delicious how many BOOOOOOOMS have we reached ? It was a clever, cunning palate cleanser setting me up for the final course.
And what do we have here I asked? Bit of a Vel au Vent, Ganache type of Milk Ice Cream Arrangement with as my notes say, ‘Mind Blowing Complex Cep Sauce!’ I see and hear another BOOOOOM coming!
During the evening I had been watching and listening to the activity in the kitchen, it was quiet, everyone seemed relaxed, the mechanics of a well oiled machine was in full flow. I had been able to speak to several of the chefs during service, and after service too. I was amazed to see them getting prep done for the next day AFTER they had cleaned down, not seen that before. They were obviously all good friends, the body language gave it away.
Olivia went out of her way to make sure my questions were answered, being a curious nosey foodie, it was a very special evening and one that will stay with me forever.
At the beginning of this post I described the 3 Michelin stars, what you need to do to get each one. I drove 230(ish) miles to get to Padstow, albeit for a foodie week, where would I place Paul Ainsworth at No.6 Well its definitely not 1 Star, it definitely IS 2 Star, and considering how far I drove, and I would do it just to take my family to experience the food, that makes it 3 Stars in my book, but what do I know about food!
………………………..Until Next Time……………………….L8ers……………………