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“Simply the best ”
Review of Squid Ink - CLOSED

Squid Ink
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $45 - $71
Cuisines: Seafood, British, International, Contemporary
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Business meetings, Local cuisine, Special occasions, Romantic, Large groups
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Lunch, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Free Wifi, Full Bar, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff
Description: Welcome to Squid Ink restaurant situated in the historic fishing port of Looe in South East Cornwall.This intimate 32 cover restaurant is owned by Looe resident Adrian Woodward and first opened in 2008. The restaurant itself is housed within a character filled period building dating back more than 300 years.Looe is a pretty seaside town and important Cornish port selling mainly day caught fish from small trawlers, netting boats and line fishing boats, where the highest EU quality level of E (excellent) is electronically `attached' to almost every box of fish. Day boats are considered one of the more sustainable ways to fish, and they also provide the freshest fish.We are committed to offering outstanding service and our menu includes dishes suitable for allergy sufferers or those just wishing to avoid certain foods such as seafood, gluten or dairy. If however you have any additional dietary requirements you are welcome to discuss them with the chef who will endeavour to accommodate them.
Stoke-on-Trent, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
211 reviews
130 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
“Simply the best ”
Reviewed October 23, 2013 via mobile

We were trying all the top reviewed eateries in looe in a week and this one was so good we did it twice. Great table. Friendly. Nothing too much trouble. Food is fantastic. Wines are great.
It was my birthday and when they overheard this they decorated a little cupcake on a plate for me. Really really nice people as well. Will go again.

Helpful?
Thank Mr_Mote
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

639 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    541
    64
    21
    6
    7
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Cornwall, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
82 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 92 helpful votes
“Lovely Birthday Meal”
Reviewed October 23, 2013

My dad and I took my mum to Squid Ink restaurant for her birthday. We chose this restaurant from seeing the menu whilst in town and by the sign outside saying fresh, local ingredients. We had no idea what the food would be like but from the outside we were pleased.
On arrival we were seated on a settee to have a pre dinner drink and a chance to look at the menu. At no time were we rushed so it was nice to sit back and look at the specials that were on offer. Once we were ready we were seated, although the restaurant was small we never felt cramped and the tables were spread nicely. The food we had was lovely and I really enjoyed my steak with blue cheese sauce I had for main. My dad mentioned when booking how it was a meal to celebrate a birthday at the end they brought out a lovely made cupcake with candle to present to my mum. The staff were very friendly and the food great. Would recommend to friends.

  • Visited October 2013
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Smantha
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
The Midlands
Level Contributor
82 reviews
30 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 90 helpful votes
“How could you forget the prawns?”
Reviewed October 15, 2013

Booked Squid Ink as our special meal whilst spending a few days in Looe.
Squid Ink is located just off the Quay side in a little alley way and stands out with the illuminated bay tree (I think) outside the door. On arrival we were greeted nicely but the lady anticipated the diners' arrival and called us by another name (they arrived 5 minutes later though). Whilst sipping wine we looked through the menus and were advised of todays specials board - unfortunately the Sea Bass was not delivered so it was off the menu for this Friday night - shame as my husband was about to order it :(
The starter of Tempura King Prawns was tempting but when I enquired and discovered that prawns were in the seafood risotto I changed my starter for fresh crab and wasn't disappointed with it - it was infact the best part of the whole meal. However, when the main arrived I had chunks of salmon and cod, 4 rings of squid and just a few mussels in the risotto - hey where are my prawns? It transpires that the chef "forgot" to put them in - how bizarre is that?! Still they did try to make up my disappointment by not charging me for my ice-cream dessert.
Would we visit again?
Well, the service was brilliant and the restuarant was small and cosy but we don't think so as it wasn't actually that special meal that we were hoping to have due to:
1. Getting our names incorrect on arrival
2. Not taking Sea Bass off the specials board and
3. Of course forgetting the prawns in the so-called seafood risotto.
Surely prawns, squid, mussels and clams were more apt than salmon and cod chunks?

  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank TheHappyHikers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Carlisle, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
62 reviews
29 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Amazing”
Reviewed October 14, 2013 via mobile

Mark and I ate here on Friday night after lots of great reviews from family. We weren't disappointed, I emailed whilst Catherine and Warren were on holiday, I received an email explaining they were on holiday but that they would confirm on their return. I was impressed. In a couple of days I received a phone call from Catherine confirming our booking.
As soon as we stepped through the door we were made to feel very welcome, we were seated at the bar and given a drink, there was no hurry to choose our meal and then we were asked if we were ready to be shown to our table.
The food was absolutely delicious we had mussels and duck salad to start then sirloin and the lamb for main, the lamb was beautiful I then had the lemon tart with lemon curd ice cream it was heaven. We were sat finishing our wine in the bar area and Warren the owner/chef came out and sat with us and had a chat, he then went and spent time with everyone that was in. A really lovely personal touch. We found Catherine, Georgia and the other two girls (really sorry not to know your names) attentive, polite, friendly and hard working to ensure every body enjoyed their meals and had a great time, which we did and will definatly return.

Helpful?
Thank dizzyelliott
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Catherine1966, Owner at Squid Ink, responded to this review, January 2, 2014
Thank you for taking the time to write a review of your recent visit to our restaurant in Looe. As you so rightly point out, Looe is a renowned fishing port and as restaurant owners we strive to use only the finest and freshest sea food and local produce available .

As a small family run business we take great pride in our restaurant and aim to provide a professional, yet friendly and approachable level of service to ensure our diners have a very positive experience.Customer service is one of our priorities and as part of their role our front of house staff always ask our diners at each course if they are enjoying their meals, we also ask again at the end of the meal to give each diner the opportunity to highlight any issues there may have been.
It is therefore with great sadness that we appear not to have met your expectations when you visited our restaurant. Like any restaurant we fully appreciate that we will never suit everyone all of the time and as such we take all our diners constructive comments very seriously, using their feedback to continually improve our client experience.
From your feedback it appears you were very disappointed after your recent visit to our restaurant. You state that you felt " your prawns and squid were over cooked, the accompaniments were overpowering and the sea bass was deep fried in old oil, (although this is difficult to address as the sea bass isn't actually deep fried, neither do we ever use old oil). However you also state that you felt at the time that the dishes were "not bad enough" to highlight any concerns at all to your waitress.

Unfortunately as nothing was brought to our attention at the time of your meal we were unable to offer you any replacement or rectify any of your issues, that have only been brought to my attention in your review.

As it is the aim of all restaurants to have happy diners, who will return and even recommend their restaurant to other people, I would on their behalf, encourage any diners to highlight any issues they may have with any aspect of their dining experience at the actual time of dining. As a restaurant owner, who works tremendously hard to give her diners an experience that they remember for all the right reasons, it is extremely frustrating to read a diners concerns after the event, as there is no opportunity to put right any mistakes.

I can therefore only apologise that you were disappointed with your visit to our restaurant and reassure you and other diners that as you can clearly see, from the majority of excellent reviews on this site, it is a rare occurrence that we get things so wrong.

On a more positive note its reassuring to read that you felt The Squid Ink was " a lovely restaurant with an enticing menu and was reasonably priced". Its also very encouraging to read that you " found several other pleasant restaurants in Looe" as all the restaurant owners in Looe work very hard to give their diners a wonderful experience.

We do hope that you will visit us again in the future and enable us to change your opinion of our restaurant

Kind regards

Catherine and Warren
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Total disappointment”
Reviewed October 12, 2013

My wife and I dined here in July following reviews on tripadvisor . This was a nightmare experience. Our expectations were very high based on the tripadvisor reviews we had read and the meal we had in Tapinades (Liskeard) the night before, again based on tripadvisor reviews. Based on the excellent reviews given to Squid Ink this may have been a one off experience however from the start it was a disaster. After ordering our meal we had a drink and waited for our starter and waited and waited. People who came after us were served fairly quickly and when we enquired about our starters the waitress (who we believe was the owner) eventually came back and told us "there was a problem in the kitchen" and walked away. No apologies, no further explanation and it was as though it was our fault for bringing it to her attention.
The starters were finally delivered about one hour after ordering and were okay but nothing exceptional. When our main courses came my wife's soul was dry. When we advised the waitress (owner) of this she told us it could not have been as "the chef had cooked it in a bain marie", however it was not very edible and my wife left it.
We left immediately after our main extremely disappointed with the quality of food and, in particular, the service we experienced. Again it may have been a one off bad experience but perhaps an apology for forgetting about our order would have been expected as would a bit of respect from the waitress (owner). We shall certainly not return there when we are again in the area. I fully expect the waitress(owner) to respond to this criticism with some excuse that puts the blame on us, as she seems to do in other negative reviews, however perhaps a bit of humility and acceptance that perhaps sometimes you just get it wrong may be in order

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank JJR120
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Catherine1966, Owner at Squid Ink, responded to this review, October 13, 2013
Thank you JJR for taking the time to comment on your visit to our restaurant back in July of this year. We always take any accurate and fair comments, both negative and positive, very seriously to enable us to improve the experience of future diners . Furthermore we use every source of feed back from our clients as a training opportunity for our team. In deed client comments have led to several very positive changes at the restaurant. It also goes with out saying that as with any service which comes into contact with the general public, that we will never please all of our diners all of the time and that of course we will sometimes get things wrong. However our customer care principles of encouraging our clients to express any concerns at each stage of their meal usually enables us to ensure they leave us having had an enjoyable time.

It is therefore with great sadness to read that you and your wife felt "total disappointment" after your visit to our family run restaurant. As co-owners of The Squid Ink , (my husband is the chef and I am front of house co-ordinator with part of my role being one of a team of waitresses) , we take great pride in the food and service that we provide to our clients. It is with particular disappointment to read your remarks in regard to the service you received together with your very personal comments that I was "disrespectful, show no humanity and blame our diners for any concerns expressed" . These comments are so out of character for the restaurant and our team. This view is reinforced by the 221 trip advisor reviews we have previously received with, I believe, yours being the only one that has ever commented negatively on the service we provide. As a team we have discussed at length your visit and your review. Together it was felt that there are several inaccuracies in your review and as such the team felt obliged to comment with the hope that on reflection you will agree.

If you remember back to July , although you were over 30 minutes early for your dinner reservation you were accommodated in the lounge area by the waitress and served a drink whilst the diners who had reservations before you were seated. We have a booking system which is designed to allow 15 minutes between each allocated table. As owners we took the decision not to rush our guests by taking reservations all together, instead we ask that diners arrive at their reservation time or sit and have a pre - dinner drink whilst they wait. This does mean that early arrivals may have to wait which occurred in your case. The diners who came in after you came at their pre-booked reservation times, I am sure you will agree that it was only reasonable to seat them first. This was explained to you by the waitress and did not seem to be an issue to you at the time. You were then taken to your table at your specified reservation time, where you had complementary warm home made bread and then an amuse bouch prior to your starter being served.

I concur that after your complimentary courses there was then a delay with your starter of approximately 15 mins. I was made aware of this as the waitress that had been serving you informed me that you were understandably displeased with the time you were waiting. However I can not agree with you that you were not given any explanation, as the waitress apologised to you for the delay and explained that there had been a mistake with the order of service to the table, this is a rare occurrence but as hard as we try we do sometimes get things wrong. If you remember I then served you for the remainder of your meal, again apologising for the delay when I cleared your table, with you informing me that both you and your wife enjoyed your starters. It was myself again that served you and your wife your main course and I spoke to your wife about the Lemon sole which is indeed as you state cooked in a "bain Marie" to ensure the fish maintains its moisture whilst it is gently cooked. As a point of reference, we have trained all our waitresses never to disagree with our clients if there is a concern with their food, we always ask if a replacement is wanted or if an alternative is preferred. As your wife felt the dish was not to her liking I offered her both these choices immediately, however she declined a change of dish. Of course we did not charge your wife for the dish and on the completion of your main course you did not indicate any other concerns simply asking for the bill.

I can only apologise that you did not enjoy your visit to our restaurant, we would simply ask you and your wife to reconsider your decision not to visit our restaurant again as we always aim for all our guests to leave having had a meal to remember for all the right reasons.

On a positive note however its lovely to read that your dining experiences in Cornwall were not a total disaster, your review dated the same as this one, regarding the lovely Tapinades restaurant in Liskeard was very positive. We eat out at a lot of our competitors restaurants in the local vicinity and agree that after having eaten there many times Tapinades is well worth a visit .

Kind regards

Warren and Catherine
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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