Ah so back home in Plymouth. The parents celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary yesterday, and in the absence of Helen we made our way to Tanners which is ensconced within Prysten House.
A ‘prysten house’ is apparently a priests house, but Prysten House is a gorgeous 15th century building, I don’t believe I’ve ever dined anywhere as old as this. We were seated in the courtyard, which given the time of year was surprisingly well warmed with infra-red heaters and some kind of powerful cylindrical gas burner, which was a little noisy, but no more intrusive than the conversation of some of the other merrier guests.
The Tanner brothers are sometime TV chefs appearing on Ready, Steady, Cook (ahem) and Saturday Kitchen, who apparently have their own show now “The Tanner Brothers” on UK Food. I think I’ve pretty much managed to avoid ‘celebrity’ restaurants despite hearing many good things about Jamie Olivers Fifteen and been planning to go there for a while.
Tanners is a great venue, staff were exceceedingly courteous and friendly, seating us quickly at our table early due to a lack of space on the leather sofas in the foyer. After an aperitif and a chance to study the menu, orders were placed. I ordered a red mullet salad for starters with parmesan slices, Mum ordered the quail whilst Dad selected the smoked salmon. I swapped with Mum in the end as we were both eyeing each others dishes hungrily. The red mullet was delicious, highly recommended – the quail was also good, this was all washed down with a excellent and not so pricy Sauvignon Blanc. The salmon looked particularly good as well – light and creamy and fresh, although I didn’t want to risk Dad’s wrath by spearing some from his plate.
An appropriate pause was left between courses and mains were served. Mum plumped for the Cornish sea bass on a potato terrine, Dad for the honey glazed duck and I, feeling particularly carnivorous, went for a rare chargrilled steak to be washed down with a light but tasty Fleurie.
The mains were superlative – my Devonshire beef was served as I asked – a flame had been licked around the edges and the meat sealed, and that was about it. Served with fine green beans, a selection of wild mushooms and potato in a wonderfully tasty gravy each bite was a little slice of raw meaty heaven, even better than my rare horse steak I was served in Brussels which I raved about for at least a year. This is the one reason I will never be a vegetarian – not because I would miss bacon, or sausages, or chicken or pork or lamb, but never to have a bloody piece of tender beef in my mouth again would simply be a crime against my credo of mild hedonsim.
The bill for 2 courses each, 2 bottles of wine, 3 aperitifs and 3 coffees came to a not unreasonable £130. Well worth a visit, and in my humble opinion a much nicer dining experience than the Horn of Plenty simply because of its more relaxed atmosphere and better location in the heart of Plymouth.