We had a weekend break in Padstow and were heading home the long route. As we passed Plymouth towards lunchtime; I had read reviews of Oyster Shack and thought a little diversion for lunch was called for. Set the Sat Nav for Bigbury and it took us on a rollercoaster ride all round the narrow country lanes where we finally came to a river. Our jaws dropped when we followed the route down the narrow tidal road. It was a good thing that the tide was low as the tidal road was actually on the river bed. Thoughts of would we be able to get home if the tide came in and when is high tide did occur but we persevere in the pursuit of seafood.
The road then climbed up a hill and we drove into the top car park which was almost full. My partner didnt know what to expect as he had read the reviews and thought that it was going to be literally a "shack" for beach bums.
When we walked in we were given a very warm and enthusiatic welcome. The hostess/waitress asked if we had a reservation. We hadnt thought that we would have any problems getting a table as it was a Tuesday and for lunch and it was already 1.30pm. She apologised when telling us that they were fully booked but she consulted with her manager and they managed to find a table which was recently vacated because they prefer to eat in the lounge area. We were led into the restaurant and seated next to warm and welcoming woodburner. The decor was relaxed, colourful and informal and comfortable and the tables were not cramped in on top of each other.(every table was occupied!)
The menu looked wonderful and we could have easily enjoyed everything on it including the £12 set lunch but we decided to splurge and have the lobster. The waiting staff were friendly, helpful, informative and not at all pushy. We shared a 2lb lobster salad and had their homebaked bread to mop up the melted garlic and herb butter and gorgeous sweet potato fries. We didnt bother with any starter but had a jalapeno cheese apetiser to share. Everything was beautifully cooked, the lobster was fresh and done simply so that flavours came through and we enjoyed every mouthful and every minute of lunch. The wine list looked good but as we were driving, decided not to have any nor did we have any desserts as we were too full.
The bill came to about £70 with a beer and a g&t. I had marked value as being 4* as it always amazed me that seafood particularly in the UK is so expensive even though they are native. But I am sure that compared with eating in Padstow (especially at Seafood Restaurant) it is excellent value for money.
We really had a memorable lunch. I cannot praise enough the staff who were all very helpful and chatty. This is the sort of restaurant where you didnt feel as though the staff were snooty and you had to mind your P's and Q's, and you didnt feel like a tourist.
I hope that they will continue their good works and I look forward to returning soon.
PS there is another way to the restaurant besides the tidal road, but the tidal road is more fun.