Cornwall LivingIssue #72
A taste of the coast
We put Hooked on the Rocks in Swanpool under the Cornwall Living tried-and-tasted microscope.
My personal favourite out-of-hours task – the secret food review – came on the perfect spring evening. Our destination was Hooked on the Rocks and its stunning location in Swanpool, Falmouth was the ideal place to spend the first warm evening of the year.
“…neither of us was disappointed; the calamari was crispy, the scampi succulent and the tiger prawns tasty.”
The location of Hooked on the Rocks really is spectacular. Seemingly dug into the coastal cliffs, your entrance to the restaurant begins with stunning panoramic views across Falmouth bay and of the fantastically regal Pendennis Castle.
Once in the restaurant we were quickly greeted by the friendly host and guided to our tables. After she took our order for drinks we were able to take in the impressive refurb that Hooked recently underwent. The interior is stylish and sleek and benefits from a well thought out balance of openness and a degree of privacy. Vintage style black boards informed us that the produce was sourced locally from Newlyn Fish Market – a good sign that our seafood was going to be fresh!
For starters, we ordered the steamed mussels a la marinière, and roasted tiger prawns in their shells with garlic and parsley, both served with crusty bread. After not ordering mussels during a meal a few weeks previous (and immediately regretting my decision once the food came out) I had been craving them ever since. Hooked did not disappoint. The marinière was brilliantly balanced and the crusty bread was dense enough to soak up a hearty amount. I also heard – over my slurping – that the tiger prawns, too, were extremely good.
Next up were our mains – we both selected the Fisherman’s Feast – steamed mussels in garlic and parsley, roasted whole tiger prawns, breaded scampi and crispy squid. All of this came served with skinny fries, dressed baby mesclun salad and garlic aioli.
Again, neither of us was disappointed; the calamari was crispy, the scampi succulent and the tiger prawns tasty. I did begin to struggle on my second portion of mussels, at least until my partner reminded me of her warning that I could not eat two portions, at which point my stomach felt miraculously emptier, allowing me to power through.
For dessert, the affogato – fresh espresso poured over homemade ice cream – was exactly what was needed. We ended our meal in a relaxed fashion, finishing our drinks on the outside terrace whilst listening to the sea crash against the nearby rocks, telling awful jokes about the new seafood diet we would go on.
"...neither of us was disappointed; the calamari was crispy, the scampi succulent and the tiger prawns tasty."