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“Slight issues but wonderful food in an amazing location”

Porthminster Beach Cafe
Ranked #17 of 151 Restaurants in St Ives
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $9 - $32
Cuisines: Seafood, International
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children, Special occasions, Local cuisine, Romantic
Dining options: Breakfast, Late Night, Lunch, Dinner, Delivery, Reservations
Description: Sorry for any inconvenience but we are closed on Christmas Day
Reviewed August 2, 2014

Dined here on 29th July to celebrate my 40th birthday with my partner. The cafe is a favourite of ours and we visit every time we come to St Ives. As always the food was delicious. The service was alright but not what we've come to expect; It was only little things such as it being quite clear that it would be a chore for the waitress to change a main course order straight after the original choice had been stated, or difficulty in gaining the staff's attention. We were not the only people to feel disappointment that night as we overheard other tables complaining or being apologised to for long waiting times. We still had a lovely evening and would still look forward to returning, hopefully this was just a bad evening in the height of the season.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Paul S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,495 - 1,499 of 2,642 reviews

Reviewed August 2, 2014

Visited last week as part of a wedding group. Service was good and the food certainly above average. I had to send my steak back as it was a bit on the cold side. This was a shame really.

Thank KarlTurner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 1, 2014

We love this restaurant, the food is wonderful and interesting. I love the monk fish curry, the sauce has an amazing flavour. I really must try something different next time but............

Thank JuliaAW59
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 1, 2014

Excellent, had the fish Thai curry, which was fragrant, filling and made extra special with the jasmine rice..

The Only slight disappointment was being asked to wait outside and seated on a cheap white plastic set of outdoor furniture before our meal these do not reflect a quality establishment, but other than this.. It was perfect..,

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Croston2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 31, 2014 via mobile

On this, our last night of our holiday to St Ives, cue violins, we decided to visit the Porthminster beach cafe on the recommendation of trusted friends. We hadn't booked, so we were asked to come back after 45mins which given that the restaurant is a bit off the beaten track we were happy to do.

We sat on the beach, had a drink from the beach bar and enjoyed the lovely view on the remains of a pleasant summers day. We headed round to the main dining area on time and were ushered through to our table at the back of the al tento dining area which had presumably been a sun terrace earlier in the day. No matter, the menu looked promising and the waitress arrived after a few minutes to take our drinks order. Now having had time to peruse the menu we placed our drinks order and the food order ( including tasters) at the same time.

Now, I love fast food, and McDonalds and my local chippy they provide me with quick and tasty morsels when time is of the essence. Imagine then that the first thing to arrive was the pasta main courses, not the bread and olives or the £32 bottle of wine, but the mains. We cancelled the bread and olives because I would prefer the tasters before the main event.

The food was mixed. I had John Dory ( this came a few minutes after the rest, I guess it took longer to cook?!) with crab in tempura batter, apple tweels and a cider vinaigrette with lovely fresh salad , it was lovely! My wife had a vegetable carbonara which was missing taste and vegetables and the children had pasta from the kids menu, pretty bland really, but not bad. No one asked if the food was okay, did we want/need anything else to compliment out fast food experience until the lady came to clear our plates. However what we did notice was the extraordinary attention paid to moving; arranging, dressing and undressing the adjacent fables with an expert avoidance in eye contact. This was not a busy restaurant with customers - but a more diligent team of table arrangers you couldn't wish to meet. It would have been nice if the same courtesy was extended to the present and paying guests, as the clearly absent ones.

We were asked how was our meal 35mins after arriving as our plates were being cleared away by another waitress, a genuinely lovely lady from Bolton, who was very professional and human in acknowledging our slight frustration that a pleasant last night out felt like a ram raid at Greggs. My biggest bug bear in these situations is the passivity of management who are consulted with but don't appear. We are reasonable people, a quick word goes a really long way. We were offered coffee (a whiskey/gin/wine would have been much more agreeable) a dessert (I am too fat as it is) having declined politely we were given some petite douceurs. We wanted to finish our drinks and go, but ironically this took a while.

As a paying customer I don't really care about the logistics of service. I care about the food, the ambience, being made to feel my experience matters. If the owner (not the manager, sadly their apathy was evident) does read these reviews please take heed, fortunes like tides turn. Make the lady from Bolton manager, she has a great work ethic and is an asset to your business. There are better eateries in St Ives with much better customer service, the walk is not as long as the disappointment!

8  Thank Richard M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MrThims, General Manager at Porthminster Beach Cafe, responded to this reviewResponded August 4, 2014

Richard M. It is always with great disappointment that I hear of comments such as yours relating to your dinner this week!

We have been open for some 23 years and have achieved a fine reputation for food and service and it deeply saddens me when a customer’s experience does not live up to expectations.

Customer feedback is incredibly important in this business and I take it very seriously, no matter how hard it is to hear of dissatisfaction. I am also a true believer that if a customer makes a genuine complaint in a respectful way, I will always deal with the persons comments respectfully, however, your references to fast food establishments is particularly unpalatable

I do unfortunately find your words insulting and also confusing! I’m not aware of the contents of the dish that you refer to in your review but glad that you enjoyed it and sorry that your wife and children didn’t enjoy their meals.

I am one of the owners and also a chef and I happened to be cooking the food downstairs on the evening that you were in. It is common practice for my staff to consult me for my thoughts when on the pass so I am a little perplexed about your comments directed at the management about its passivity and apathy, as the management team, we take our service very seriously.

We have a period of changeover at 8.30 when our staff relay the tables for the next sitting, so yes there is a small period of time maybe 15 minutes when the restaurant looks a little quieter until our second sitting of guests come in. So your comments about being quiet at that time, might well be true, however every evening in the last week we have had over 150 guests dine with us with on average 140 of these people booking their tables. For the small percentage of guests that don’t book, we accommodate them as best we can on the tables left. I know that we do offer a fine product here and one that we are very proud of and the experience that you have portrayed is unjust.

However there is one thing that you did get right in your review and that was your kind words about Liz from Bolton, she is amazing and does a great job.

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

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