Derek and Sharon James opened The Corner Restaurant in Swanage eighteen months ago and through their hard work have established a culinary delight in this quintessential seaside resort. Not strictly in the West Dorset area, but we have friends that live in the area who have been mentioning this little restaurant for a while and when Derek & Sharon invited us over to sample their food we couldn’t resist!
The Corner Restaurant is right on Swanage’s seafront just a corks throw from the Jurassic Coast, they always use fresh and, when available, locally-sourced produce. Their style of cooking is modern with a strong influence of the classics, producing some outstanding dishes. They have a great wine list at sensible prices and Vicky’s glass of merlot was top draw.
We arrived on a bitterly cold January evening, but Derek & Sharon’s warm welcome soon lifted our spirits. The restaurant is bright & twinkly with minimal fuss, it also has plenty of room downstairs for the summer rush and for private functions.
The menu had five choices for both starters & main, with plenty of local products on show and also vegetarian & gluten free dishes. Vicky selected the goats cheese & beetroot salad for starters and I was drawn to the prawn & squid tempura. For mains we ordered guinea fowl and I the fish of the day, which was stone bass? I hadn’t heard of this fish before, Derek said it was like our bass, but caught in deeper waters of the Atlantic – so not that locally-sourced but after the recent weather any fresh fish was welcome! (I have since googled it, stone bass aka wreck fish which I have eaten before and is mostly farmed in the Mediterranean)
Vicky’s goats cheese dish, with beetroot, orange and hazelnut salad certainly looked a picture and it also tasted wonderful, fresh and clean.
My prawn and squid tempura, herb & pickle onion salad and lime, also looked inviting. The squid was perfectly cooked and the fresh herby salad was well balance with the roasted garlic mayonnaise.
Vicky’s breast of guinea fowl with leg pie, roasted new potatoes, onion puree, winter vegetables and jus gras again looked amazing, she was really please that she chose this dish!! The guinea fowl breasts were succulent, the leg pie made with hot water pastry was stunning and the jus gras, well lets just say that the plate was clean at the end!!
Now to the Stone Bass, herb gnocchi, mussels, celeriac and cider emulsion! The dish again looked great, the Stone Bass was perfectly cooked with great crispy skin. It is a good meaty fish with subtle flavours and I really enjoyed it, so I would have no fear in ordering it again!! The herb gnocchi had been fried to give texture and the cider sauce went extremely well with the cubed celeriac. (I will try to reproduce this dish for sure!!) ps> clean plate here as well!!
There was a good selection of desserts and local cheeses, Vicky decided on a warm chocolate fondant, salted caramel, chocolate mousse and pistachio ice cream. I had a selection of ‘luxury’ ice creams & sorbet, well just a single scoop of vanilla ice-cream and mango sorbet, both were very good and deserved the title of ‘luxury’!!
The restaurant was now starting to fill, providing a great atmosphere and Derek & Sharon are really wonderful hosts making everyone feel at ease. This is a great no nonsense restaurant, where Chef Mark & his team produce fantastic looking & tasting dishes, so we have no hesitation in recommending this little gem of the Jurassic Coast – well done Derek & Sharon keep up the grand work.
The Corner Restaurant
1 Institute Road
t: 01929 424969
|Invited by PR company?||No|
|Guest of chef/restaurant/owner?||Yes|
|Restaurant/outlet knew ahead we were bloggers?||Yes|
|Was the meal complimentary from the restaurant?||Yes|
|Any complimentary items provided by restaurant/outlet?||No|