Review: The Salty Dog Cafe near Millbrook
PUBLISHED: 12:31 14 September 2018 | UPDATED: 12:31 14 September 2018
Abby Driver heads to Cornwall’s forgotten corner for a meal to remember
It might be called Cornwall’s forgotten corner, but there is so much to do on the Rame Peninsula. You could go surfing at Whitsand Bay, wander the decadent rooms of the 18th-century Antony House or explore the quaint twinned seafront villages of Kingsand and Cawsand. And in-between your adventures around South East Cornwall, if your stomach rumbles or you need a caffeine fix, you’d do well to swing by The Salty Dog Café where you’ll receive a friendly welcome (dogs included).
After 20 years as a nurse, Michele Lovell was craving change. And so The Salty Dog Café was born. The idea was a good one: a jolly friendly space serving up proper fresh food for tourists and locals alike. And one year in? Things are going very well.
Situated near the village of Millbrook, in a converted old gas shop, it’s not the most likely location for a café. Yet when I arrived at just gone midday on a Tuesday threatening mizzle, it’s already half full with customers grabbing an early lunch or indulging in a proper Cornish cream tea. The atmosphere is immediately friendly; there’s a splash of bright wallpaper and pictures of customer dogs on the wall.
After ordering a couple of coffees we took a seat and read through the lunchtime menu. It was my favourite kind: small and well thought out. I opted for the avocado and tofu salad and my dining partner couldn’t resist the baked camembert. We ordered a couple of portions of chips too. The menu advised us that here they specialise in fresh food, not fast food, so we settled down for a chat over our (very good) coffees.
As it turns out, the service was fairly speedy and we were tucking into our lunch just 20 minutes or so after ordering. The camembert was topped with chilli jam and scattered with nuts, it came with several rounds of crusty bread and a fresh side salad. I didn’t try any but my dining partner remarked: ‘I’m not sure if you’re supposed to eat the rind, but I can’t leave any it’s just too good!’ – which is the best kind of compliment if you ask me. As a vegan I’m used to salad being the only option and they are often a wimp disappointment that leave me hungry. But not this one. It was packed full of spinach and topped with well over half of an avocado, deliciously marinated tofu and studded with aesthetically pleasing pomegranates. The chips were proper chips, thick and freshly fried. They made, or so I’m told, excellent camembert dippers.
With its modestly priced menu, generous portions and fresh cooking attitude, I’m not surprised that the Salty Dog Café is doing well. Next time I’m in the area, I know where I’m going for a post-coastal walk feast. To find out more look The Salty Dog Café up on Facebook or call 01752 823361.