When we first discovered The Lighthouse Kitchen during a sourcing road trip to Tenby in the height of the ‘off season’ for this beautiful seaside town, we quickly learned what makes it special.
Of course the food is good … and way more about that in a moment … but what struck us first was the excellence of the customer service. When we popped in to ask about pushing our booking back about half an hour, it turned out that ours was the only booking of the evening yet they were opening just so they didn’t let us down! Now that is commitment. Needless to say, we left the timings as they were and relished every moment (we were delighted to see other tables occupied by the time we sat down for our supper).
The warmth of the greeting when you enter the stylish but laid back surroundings of The Lighthouse Kitchen sets the tone for the evening. Open smiles, genuine interest in the customer and a gentle efficiency puts you at ease but gets you seated quickly and immediately feeling at home.
This is a local restaurant with a passion for local produce and the menu reflects the strength of that ethos. The specials board showcases the very finest harvest from the surrounding waters and the rich rural tradition of the region. Mackerel, mussels and hake from the quayside … finest Welsh beef for hearty appetites.
The cooking is disarmingly simple … but precisely executed, beautifully presented and well-proportioned (ok, so the ‘Kitchen Sink’ is all about proportions … bloomin’ big ones … but, hey, the clue is in the title and our dining companion was determined to challenge his appetite with the 12oz burger seductively enveloped in triple cheese. Man vs Food … food won!).
We love a menu that includes a cider braised chorizo dish with bread for dunking. As Emily May – who provided seamlessly splendid front-of-house to match the high quality dishes emerging from chef Nick Bolwell’s kitchen – explained, there’s a massive difference between dunking and mopping but bread can be provided for both!
The Salt and Pepper Squid with lime and chilli was the perfect modern take on a seaside treat, expertly scaled to leave room for a gourmet burger (just the modest 6oz for us). Mrs Deli is still closing her eyes with pleasure every time she recalls the exquisite delights of her Smoked Bacon, Kale and Dolcelatte Gnocchi starter.
One of these times, we’ll leave room for dessert but for now, we are blown away by the gorgeous local sourcing, the excellence of the flavours, the relaxed ambiance and the commitment to customer service which combine to make this the very best kind of neighbourhood eatery.
No wonder that The Lighthouse Kitchen was the overall winner of the 2017 Food Awards Wales ‘Restaurant of the Year‘.