Our editor Rebecca Moore finds an unassuming award-winning St Ives restaurant which leaves a lasting impression…
St Ives is often championed for its restaurants, talented chefs, and creative menus, but less favourable is the lack of parking for day visitors and car tailbacks, particularly in the height of summer. If you are hankering a taste of the action, without having to navigate travel logistics, allow me to point you in the direction of award-winning, Una Kitchen, just three miles outside of St Ives.
Situated above Carbis Bay, arriving at Una Resort feels like a sanctuary and not your typical holiday park. With parking aplenty, the restaurant itself has been executed with elegance and style while maintaining a laidback feel. With a view of the kitchen in action, you’d struggle to miss the striking Gozney wood fired oven. In fact this hefty piece of kit is a large player in the success of this kitchen, and was one of the main draws for culinary hero and multiple AA Rosette winning Cornish chef Glenn Gatland, joining the team back in 2017.
Having earned entries into the Good Food Guide and the Trencherman’s Guide, and scooping Restaurant of the Year at the Cornwall Tourism Awards, there’s no denying Glenn’s talent, which shines through the Mediterranean-inspired menu here at Una Kitchen. But while the dishes are very much motivated by the Med, the ingredients put Cornwall’s produce centre stage. Working with local suppliers where possible, diners will appreciate food from the likes of St Ives fishmonger Matthew Stevens, Trewithan Dairy for the creamiest dairy products, Brian Etherington’s butchers based in Redruth, and WestCountry for fresh produce, the oldest and largest specialist wholesaler in the whole of the Southwest.
We visited on a Friday out of peak season, but there was still a buzz about the place, with a scattering of families tucking into decadent pizzas and colourful dishes. There’s also a relaxed bar area, where you can enjoy a pre-dinner drink, offering a generous selection of wines, local beers and hand-crafted cocktails.
With everything geared up for a slap-up Cornish meal, the big question… how did it fair?
To start I enjoyed fried squid in a garlic, chilli and lemon oil, which I mopped up with a toasted focaccia; a hearty starter which hit all the right notes. Continuing with the fish scene, for the main course I chose the wood-roasted local fish. With fish of day being Cornish hake, a personal favourite, it was a no brainer. Served with miniature roasted ‘al forno’ potatoes, juicy heritage tomatoes and balsamic reduction, it was a well-rounded dish and the fish was cooked to perfection.
Struggling to commit to one dessert, my dining partner and I shared a creamy caramel panna cotta with a crunchy Biscoff crumb, and a rich hot chocolate mousse served with Cornish Roskilly’s vanilla ice cream, and both left a lasting impression.
As far as St Ives restaurants go, Una Kitchen had not been on my radar, but I’m delighted I found it. OK, you won’t get the traditional harbour views or cobbled streets, but the restaurant is a family-friendly space offering attentive service, a well-executed menu and delicious dishes which are fairly priced. I’ll be back… after all, it would be rude not to try a wood-fired pizza.