Cornwall LivingIssue #146

A feast for the senses

Porthleven was recently listed by The Guardian as one of the UK’s top-five ‘great hidden foodie destinations’ in the UK. Right on cue, Chef Jude Kereama’s popular family-style restaurant, Kota Kai, has re-opened after an extensive refurbishment. 

The restaurant, which was originally launched in 2011, is situated in the heart of the historic Cornish village, overlooking the harbour, just moments from sister restaurant, Kota. Kota Kai was originally created to provide a family friendly option with integrity – a restaurant that offered a laid back, welcoming atmosphere with a delicious menu that stood out from the usual family-friendly fayre and was a nod to Jude’s heritage with Asian elements to its dishes. Now, 13 years later, with head chef Marcus Houghton, and Jenna Sawle leading front of house, Kai has been relaunched with a full refurbishment and renovation; a version that retains it’s warm welcome, but has become a little more sophisticated.   

“After 13 years, it felt like the right time to evolve the offering at Kota Kai to something a little bit more grown up. It is important to us that it still feels like a welcoming place for families but is a destination for drinks and snacks too. The open plan layout really highlights our special location, drawing the eye to the views across the harbour. We also have a slightly different menu format with some great new dishes we’ve been working on, accompanied by an extensive drinks list. We are excited to introduce the changes to our guests,” says Jude.

Hitting the ground running, Kota Kai has been busy since opening night, and we caught up with Jude in between service to share one of his popular recipes, as an example of what guests can expect from Kota Kai: “This dish reminds me of my childhood with my family. We made a different type of bao, which had the filling in the middle, stuffed with a sticky red pork char sui mix that my Mum would make. We used to love rolling out the bun dough because we knew how delicious they would be after they had been freshly steamed. We ate them faster than we could make them! This recipe is for a Taiwanese-style bun which you can make fresh.”


Kota Kai
Celtic House, Harbour Head,
Porthleven TR13 9JY
01326 727707