As many of you will probably know I’m originally from Penzance in Cornwall and when I was first diagnosed with coeliac disease my Mum mentioned to me that a restaurant in Chapel Street was advertising that they offered gluten free options on their menu. This combined with a recommendation from @gfandfabulous on Twitter meant that I just had to try it out!
According to their website, Assay House offers freshly sourced local produce for lunchtime and evening dining and their menu includes local Newlyn fish, a wide selection of gluten free and vegetarian dishes with a well chosen wine list caters to all tastes. It certainly sounded great, and I was delighted to finally get around to visiting it a few weeks ago.
I remember visiting this venue when it was under different ownership a number of years ago, but I still love the massive windows which overlook Chapel Street.
On first glance the menu appears quite pricey but as it was also a celebratory meal, we decided to have 3 courses each.
The menu really does offer a lot of gluten free options, with most of the choices stating that gluten free options are available upon request, which was great to see.
A copy of their sample dinner menu can be viewed here and you will see that not only are gluten free options shown, but also lactose free options! This restaurant certainly does its best to cater for dietary requirements :).
There appeared to be a new waitress starting on the evening that we visited the restaurant and this did cause a little confusion when ordering, but hopefully she settles in well and is a great addition to the team.
I decided to have the side of gluten free bread, olive oil and balsamic vinegar as a starter, mainly as I was inquisitive to see what the gluten free bread would be like as it’s not often that a restaurant will offer a gluten free bread alternative!
When the starter / side arrived I was very pleasantly surprised, particularly as the bread was gorgeous. It had even been warmed up which was great, the only negative was that I was given a lot of gorgeous bread but not a lot of dip :(.
Having contacted The Assay House Restaurant since my meal, they’ve confirmed that the gluten free bread is the Sliced Seeded bread from the Newburn Bakehouse (Warburtons) range!
For my main course, I chose the chicken roulade as it sounded divine! The menu description of this course was ‘chicken roulade stuffed with smoked feta and mozzarella, wrapped in Parma ham served with potato gratin, vegetable of the day and red wine jus’. How gorgeous does that sound?! It was however one of the pricier items costing £16.95 so I hoped it was going to be good.
Fortunately it was exquisite and this restaurant certainly likes to present its food well, as every course looked stunning!
The portion size was spot on and all of the ingredients were cooked to perfection. I’m a big fan of potato gratin and this was also excellent.
This course really was wonderful and writing about it is making me want to eat it all over again!
For dessert I tend to opt for quite light options like ice cream after I’ve had a big meal, but there was no way that this could happen when I saw the dessert menu….. there was gluten free sticky toffee pudding!! Surely this couldn’t be right?! I checked with the waitress and it was indeed gluten free so I obviously had to order it :).
I’ve mentioned the presentation before, but have a look at this….
Rich’s Assay chocolate truffle didn’t look too bad either….
My dessert was spectacular and the sticky toffee pudding itself was so moist, you would never have known that it was gluten free! It was only once I’d finished that I realised that the dessert should actually have come with ice cream. I mentioned this to the waitress and she offered to have some ice cream brought out, but as I’d already finished my dessert I didn’t take them up on this.
Overall, I have to say that the food at The Assay House Restaurant was amazing with big compliments going to the chef, but the menu is a little on the pricey side. As there are limited gluten free options in Penzance it does seem a little unfair to have to pay a higher price to eat out, but I guess that’s what happens when eating out in a tourist destination :(.
To find out more about The Assay House Restaurant you can visit their website (www.assayhouse.com) and you can also follow them on Twitter (@AssayHouse).