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“Looking foward to trying it for real.” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Kota Restaurant

Kota Restaurant
Harbour Head, Porthleven, Helston TR13 9JA, England
+44 (0)1326 562407
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Ranked #2 of 22 Restaurants in Porthleven
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Price range: $23 - $45
Cuisines: Seafood, British, New Zealand, Pacific Rim
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Special occasions, Local cuisine, Entertaining clients
Dining options: Lunch, Dessert, Dinner, Late Night, Reservations
Description: Awarded a Bib Gourmand in the Michelin Guide 2013, Kota is also proud to be recognized by the Good Food Guide, Harden’s Restaurant Guide, the Trencherman’s Guide, Square Meal and the AA (with one Rosette). Kota is also part of Cornish Accredited Restaurants and has been praised many times in both local and national editorials, including The Times and The Telegraph. Kota was named in the Top 50 Summer Restaurants in Britain in August 09, and voted ‘The Big Eat’ in the top 10 pan-Asian eateries July 2008.)This publicity, together with word of mouth, attracts many locals, as well as foodies from Padstow, Bristol and London seeking a weekend of fun, fine dining and stunning coastal walks. And don’t miss out on a ‘Storm-watching’ break during those wild winter months (great B&B deals to be had!Chef/owner Jude Kereama is a New Zealander who has won awards for his restaurants in both London and Auckland before moving down to Cornwall.Kota specializes in organic fish and farm produce and has an exciting daily changing menu.Kota is Maori for shellfish (Jude is half Maori, quarter Chinese and quarter Malaysian) and the restaurant is renowned for its stunning seafood with Jude’s signature light Asian twist.Jude and his wife Jane, who started as a protégée of Antony Worrall Thompson 20 years ago, are passionate about wine as well as food and have created an enticing wine list of over 90 wines from all over the world. Even Decanter Magazine has praised it!There is a lovely bar area where guests can enjoy fine wine, cocktails, cold beer or a warming digestif.Don’t forget to book a room so you can truly relax!
Camborne, England, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Looking foward to trying it for real.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 4, 2014

Tried a taster of their food at the food fair and are really looking forward to trying the restaurant as the chap and his wife seem likereally nice people

Visited April 2014
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262 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
11 reviews 11 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
59 helpful votes 59 helpful votes
“Very disappointing”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 29, 2014

Having previously given good reviews for Kota I feel on this occasion there was nothing good to review.
We arrived on time to be told our table wasn't quite ready and sat in the holding area for a few minutes before being seated at our freshly hastily wiped, food smeared table in the middle of the restaurant.
My chair was delightfully positioned next to a dirty napkin that remained there for the entirety of this unsavoury experience.
We noticed there was a large, loud party of 10 seated at the same time as us, so quickly decided what we going to order, in the hope our food would be prepared before theirs and hopefully avoid a delay in preparing our main courses.
We were promptly asked if we would like water for the table and ordered a bottle of still water and 2 gin and tonics. 10 mins later we were asked again by a different member of staff, if we would like to order some drinks. We said we had already ordered and were still waiting and if it was possible to order our food.
We placed our order of scallops to share, followed by the hake with seasonal veg, and pork with ginger risotto and Granny Smith. Our drinks did arrive shortly after.

Up to now a few errors in service, but no major problems. So we waited, and waited, and waited and noticed a newly sat table next to us had been offered bread. The waitress gave them their fresh bread and whilst walking past our table noticeably realised we had not been offered bread.
This was after over half an hour of being seated.
She hurriedly came over to our table and offered us some bread, whilst the big table were receiving some sort of appetisers.

Half an hour later, after some pointing and staring and hushed conversation with the kitchen, someone (I presume the manager) came to the table and said; 'I know this is a really silly question, but, have you had your amuse bouche yet'?
Having not ordered any such thing and now over an hour since we sat down with no sign of our starters, we looked at each other and said 'no'.
The 'amuse bouche' turned up quickly, although our bouches needed significantly more than just amuseing by this point! To be fair, the tiny deep fried duck morsel was quite nice. However at this point we knew there must have been a huge mistake in our order.
I've never had to wait in a restaurant for over an hour for starters to arrive, so we hoped it would be worth the wait.
The plate of food when it arrived looked rushed and the radish garnish was part cold, part warm, and the scallops were very gritty. The thin slice of pork underneath, was luke warm and chewy. Obviously rushed out of the kitchen in an attempt to rectify the previous delays. We ate most of it through gritted teeth ( literally) because we were starving by that point.
I had noticed the celebrity chef Anthony Worrall Thompson had arrived, greeted by excited staff, and was sitting at the bar presumably looking for something to eat, ahead of his big talk show the next day, for the annual Porthleven food festival.

Any hopes of us getting fed anytime soon were dashed, when we heard the manager walk into the kitchen demanding 'Anthony needs to be next'.
Our mains arrived after an hour and 45 mins of ordering. Bear in mind we ordered within 5 minutes of being seated thinking we could get served quickly.
The hake dish was excellent, well cooked, presented and full of flavour. The pork dish was dry. The 'granny smith' was a flavourless small blob of puréed apple. The risotto was overcooked, even if it was supposed to be rice pudding!!! Absolutely disgusting.

Before we paid the bill, we expressed our disappointment to 'the manager' and her response was... 'everyone else has said its really nice'.
After pouring my own wine all night, I decided I'd get my own coat as well.
Before leaving we re-iterated our concerns and were told every order of the risotto was cooked from scratch. Although very very highly unlikely its true they cook each portion of risotto from scratch, it might explain why it took so long! But you would think that if the chef demonstrated this much attention to detail, he would make sure it didn't end up with the texture of wall paper paste mixed with rice pudding.
Needless to say I'm sure Mr Worrall Thompson received first class service.
I've been visiting porthleven for over 30 years, and in general all the local restaurants and business are very nice.
The way to make the most of this beautiful location is take out fish and chips and enjoy the harbour view. And if a celebrity chef pushes in, direct them to Kota where I'm sure they will be a priority over us normal folk.

P.s there is a sign to say don't feed the seagulls.
If only there was a sign to say - '' don't feed the celebrity chefs''

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JaneKereama, Owner at Kota Restaurant, responded to this review, April 30, 2014
I am seriously saddened by your review here, not only that you have chosen to vent your frustration on trip advisor rather than to me personally, but for the inaccuracies as well.
As I explained at the time, and as I apologised profusely at the time, the kitchen order did get swallowed up in the kitchen printer - but as soon as we became aware that the chefs did not have your order, we immediately rectified it. When printers do this, it is a nightmare, luckily it is the only time it has happened in many years and I am extremely sorry that it was you that suffered the delay with your meal.
However, it was by no means an hour before you got your starter - the amuse bouche of confit duck leg with miso, and goats cheese mousse with beetroot, came out immediately after we realised the problem and your scallops as soon as you had finished your amuse bouche - which we do in fact give to all our customers,
When I checked back on your mains, you did mention the risotto was little over cooked for you but said you had eaten it all. I apologised and said I would pass it on to the kitchen, but your plate was totally empty so he could not check it.. We did serve over a dozen portions of pork that night and had excellent feed back, so I am sorry that it was not to your liking.
We had a nice discussion and you said how you were disappointed with your evening, which I understand due to the delay in the order, however you said that you would definitely be back again as you usually have a lovely time.
Re the coats, you went off to what I assumed was the gents, however came after you when I saw you were going to get your coat - I said not to worry, I would get it for you, but you smiled, said it was no problem, and got it yourself.
Most inaccurate however is your often mentioned point of Antony Worrall Thompson being here.
It was only Antony on his own having dinner and his meal at no stage interrupted any other meals whatsover - and his meal was certainly not put in front of any others.
During our nice chat, you told me you were in the trade which is why I am even more upset that you choose to post this inaccurate report - you know how detrimental and upsetting trip advisor reviews can be - how you can possibly give Kota 1 star is completely beyond comprehension.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
11 reviews 11 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Fantastic...book now!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 28, 2014

Stunning fresh Cornish ingredients meets Thai influence and technique with fantastic results!
We stumbled across this restaurant which was only 10 minutes from our holiday accommodation. We could see from the acclamations that it was highly regarded but the test is in the taste. We both had the set menu which was fantastic value at £21.50 for three courses. We were treated well, given tasters and left to enjoy the meal in peace.
Starters of Cornish Mussels was amazing, well prepared, fresh and so tasty. Flavours were balanced and subtle but delicious.
I had Hake and my husband had the pork. Decent sized portions, and just brilliant! The best meal I have had in a long time.
Puddings left a little to be desired and after the high standard the mains set, it was hard to follow. I had an apple pudding which was a little dry but the creme angalise and ice-cream carried it well enough.

The restaurant changes menu regularly as to what is in season and what is fresh and available locally which is great - I can't wait for a chance to go back and sample something else.

We hadn't booked as we were passing and they managed to squeeze us (without rushing us) but I would definitely book in to secure a tasty meal.

  • Visited April 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
26 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
“Simply wonderful”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 24, 2014

We decided to book a table here to celebrate our six month wedding anniversary when we first arrived in Porthleven.

It's always a bit of a gamble trying out somewhere new as we discovered from an experience earlier in our week's holiday in Cornwall.

Kota proved be a winner on every level.

The serving staff were attentive and very efficient, even the young lady who told us this was her first day working there. I can only assume she has worked in the restaurant trade or she had been very well trained by this establishment. Yes, champagne was the right choice for this special meal.

In terms of food, I can honestly say the quality and presentation were on a par with perhaps the best meal we've ever enjoyed which was the Waterside at Bray, and that is Michelin two star.

The crab claw's presentation was inventive without being pretentious and taste; just superb.

My main course, the steak coated in tempura, simply divine.

Would I recommend Kota? Absolutely! If you're visiting Porthleven and want a very special dining experience this is the place to come.

Full marks to Jude & Jane. We will definitely be returning. Thank you for the wonderful food.

Good luck with the forthcoming food festival.

  • Visited April 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“What more can be said”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 21, 2014

I was there last week with my wife, my sister and brother in law for an evening meal. From the moment that we arrived, the staff were welcoming and helpful. The cocktails were excellent and from that point on, the food was everything that the previous reviews have already said.
The chef has set out to create a memorable experience that brings out his experiences and fuses them with local produce. All I can say is that this works and added to the wine list, makes for a wonderfully enjoyable dining experience in simple but warm surroundings.

  • Visited April 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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