Muddy eats: Muddy Beach
Those of you still mourning the loss of Miss Peapods in Penryn will be happy as a pig in er mud at her reincarnation as Muddy Beach (Isn’t that a great name?) – and with more cosmetic surgery than Renée Zellweger. Visually, you won’t recognise the place – but reassuringly, you might recognise some of the staff, including chef Dave who worked at Peapods (more on him below).
I had to pop in and meet my fraternal muddy twin Christian Dann – the face behind the hugely popular restaurant in Jubilee Wharf on the Penryn River. Muddy Beach only opened in February, but already has a loyal clientèle.
Muddy Beach is a family affair; Christian works with his parents, Phil and Lisa. Lisa’s family, the Barnicoats, opened the very first fish and chip shop in Penryn, so its kinda in the blood. Christian started off at the age of 16 managing a chain of milkshake businesses (he admits his milkshake didn’t bring all the boys to the yard, shame), then moved onto running Rick Stein’s restaurant in Falmouth, pub in Padstow and lived in Florida for a year. On his return he did a stint at The Ranch Steakhouse and Grill in Falmouth, so he’s well practised in stylish catering for the masses.
A tip of the hat to head chef Dave Buttons, who popped out to say hello. Dave has worked for some top notch restaurants throughout Falmouth including Hunky Dorys and The Brig. Dave loves a bit of smoking (err food) and even has a techy smoking gun. His passion is pickling – and I can honestly say his chutney is worth the trip alone.
The new decor is light and airy and makes the most of the large windows that afford that fantastic view. The whole family pitched in on the refurb.
There’s now a comfy sofa area for lounging with the papers , and even a designated doggy spot, so you can bring your pooch and not worry about muddy paws.
We sat overlooking the harbour.
Lisa served us. She was attentive and professional and lunch was wonderfully unhurried. My chutney (and I could have eaten a stack of that with a chunk of bread and been happy) was a marvellous concoction of apple, rum (yum) and mustard. Hubba Hubba. It perfectly complimented my pancetta and chorizo frittata. Notice how I mentioned the chutney first? But that’s doing the frittata a disservice. It was light, fluffy and very bloody tasty.
Muddy senior had a mackerel and horseradish roll, with home made tomato sauce. Her verdict: moorish. And yes, get jealous – those are hand cut truffle oil chips. MMM chips. Its simple food done so well.
If you have room for pud (I didn’t – my lunch was an elegant sufficiency), you won’t be disappointed. Dulcie, Muddy Beach’s cake maker extrordinaré comes in every day and batch bakes a mouthwatering menu.
The menu changes every day, and depends on what has been landed locally (so locally the fish comes from their next door neighbour). The beach board sharing plates are really popular in the evenings and they do little plates for smaller appetites.
On the booze front, Muddy Beach is well stocked. The wine list is nice and solid, South African heavy, not too daunting but with plenty of choice if you know your stuff and want to move away from your usual safe choice. Wine is one of Christian’s passions and you’ll find some unusual offerings.
With it being lunchtime, we had a gorgeous glass of Picpoul de Pinet – aka the lip stinger. The Picpoul was refreshing, easy drinking and born for oysters and seafood. It was deliciously light, £20 for the bottle, £7.10 for a 250ml glass. This is the Muddy Beach alternative to Pinot.
We also tried the Bergsig Estate Gewurztraminer (try saying that after a few). Fruity, refreshing and gently spicy, with the aroma of lychees, stone fruits, rose petals and a twist of spice. Whaddya mean I’m reading it off the bottle?! Uh, yeah, I am. Anyway, it was a spicy as promised, and a shame we were only there for lunch. Again, amazing value at £22 for the bottle, £7.80 for a 250ml glass.
But don’t take my word for it. Come dip your toe in the
wine water and give their cheese and wine night (Thursdays) a go – 9 Cornish cheese with Dave’s amazingggg chutneys (did I mention the chutney?) and a wine flight chosen by Christian.
Here’s a quirk – why walk/ drive/ cycle to Muddy Beach when you can book a river taxi and arrive by boat? Falmouth Watertaxi – tides and conditions permitting of course – will drop you right outside on Jubilee quay. Check their website for a local tide timetable, updated daily. If you are going to drive, there’s parking on the quay right next door.
Good enough to make you move to Penryn, or at the least its a destination restaurant that really should be on your radar.
THE MUDDY VERDICT:
Good for: Foodies. You’ll find something here to delight the most sophisticated of palettes, but the unpretentious ambience makes it accessible to all. Vegans, Vegetarians. Breakfast. Their veggie breakfast is a best seller and they even offer a vegan breakfast. Lazy sunday coffee and reading the papers. The clientèle was eclectic – just how we like it – ladies what lunch, business peeps, yummy mummys and their well behaved darlings, students, dog walkers. Perfect for date nights, families or larger parties – there’s plenty of room. I’d be happy to bring the Mudlets here.
Not for: Tricky one. Hmm. Those looking to eat dinner in the early part of the week. At the moment, Muddy Beach closes at 4pm Monday – Wednesday.
£££: Sensible. No make that a steal. You’d pay double upcountry for food and service this good.
Breakfast 9:30am (Monday – Saturday ) 10am Sunday – 12pm Lunch 12pm – 3pm. Supper Fri, Sat, Sun
Muddy Beach Jubilee Wharf, Penryn, TR10 8FG, T: 01326 374424