Monday, 29 October 2012

Breakfast at Fifteen Cornwall














Surfers, dog walkers, diving sea gulls and the crashing surf... I'm half convinced that with all this divine distraction, Fifteen could serve toasted cardboard and its diners would absent-mindedly munch through it while gazing out of the window. It's a testament, then, to the breakfast offering, that I missed a full five minutes of cinematic Cornwall when my creamy porridge with local wild honey and roasted nuts (£4.75) arrived.

The porridge was smooth and just runny enough and served perfectly hot with the full flavour of the nuts brought out by the roasting. A stomach full of that and one could consider braving the Atlantic. There are few surprises - a full English and vegetarian variations, banana pancakes and bacon sandwich. But what the menu lacks in adventure, it makes up for in taste and provenance.

To give it its full title, the fry-up offers: two fried Legbar eggs, olde Cornish sausage, grilled field mushroom, spicy beans, Warren's butchery smoky back bacon and Da Bara Bakery toast (£9.95). It was superb - thick, succulent bacon, rich glossy eggs with dark orange yolks, a herby sausage and chunky beans with a thick and well seasoned sauce.

The vegetarian version was Da Bara Bakery's sourdough with Clarence Court scrambled egg, mushrooms, spicy beans and Newlin's wild rocket (£8.95). The beans were as above, on a thick chunk of crunchy sourdough and the mushroom was chunky and tasty. The rocket too was excellent - fresh and a little piquant. The eggs were an unusual texture - light and slightly foamy as if they had been well-whipped. They were tasty, but surprisingly light in texture. Muesli Lover couldn't quite work out whether this was pleasing or not...

While musing egg-gate. a stack of roast banana pancakes with crispy pancetta and real maple syrup (£7.25) arrived (a) ML doesn't normally have three-course breakfasts but took the hit in the name of research and b) ML vowed to go surfing to work it off). Back to the finale, a pleasing stack of surprisingly light pancakes - rather like the eggs, the texture was light and very gently flavoured with the fizz of baking powder. The wafer-thin crispy pancetta was a perfect compliment to the sweet maple, a perfect compromise for those who want a touch of savoury/salty with their sweet pancake breakfast - I doff my cap to the Canadians for this stroke of genius.

The afore-mentioned simplicity of the menu is laudable - and most people don't want to experiment at breakfast, but given the location, I was disappointed not to see any fish dishes on the menu, be it kippers, haddock or kedgeree.

There's a warm fuzzy feeling that comes from eating at Fifteen, and that isn't just the superb coffee (some of which is roasted in Cornwall), or the support the restaurant gives to local suppliers, but its social enterprise status, to train young people from Cornwall. A valiant endeavour in a county where jobs are limited, many are seasonal and few offer lifetime opportunities.

Details: Fifteen Cornwall, Watergate Bay, Cornwall; www.fifteencornwall.co.uk; tel. 01637 861000

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