In 2008 James Nathan won Masterchef (the amateur one) and he’s sinced opened The Green Room at Retallack Resort near Padstow in Cornwall. Retallack (somewhere I’d never heard of before) is a holiday complex in what used to be an old Wild West theme park which understandably didn’t last very long.
The dining room, if you can call it that, was more of a café; the sort you might find at a leisure centre next to the swimming pool. It was also really humid. We were seated by the window which overlooked the Flow Rider – a wave machine of sorts which was supposed to teach you how to surf. It was all a bit weird to be honest – I was expecting more of a restaurant feel.
The Flow Rider did at least prove a handy distraction from the epic wait that ensued for our food. The place was empty and we weren’t exactly ordering anything exotic, why it took so long was beyond me.
My gentleman companion went for the penne pasta with Cornish chorizo in a spicy tomato sauce (£9.50) which was, quite frankly, horrendous. The sauce was topped with raw onion (raw onion!!) which was not a pleasant texture/taste and it hadn’t been mixed with the pasta properly. The chorizo was the saving grace as it was delicious and of very high quality. But still.
I opted for the steak frites (£10) which I asked to be cooked medium-rare. The tiny piece of meat, which had a distinct lack of beefy flavour, was so dry and chewy it was almost inedible and to top it off, it was gristly. The chips were underseasoned and undercooked – any chef worth their salt would have spotted this, as they were anaemic – so why send them out? The au poivre sauce (£1.50 extra) was bland and greasy – it was the worst steak I’ve ever eaten.
Taking things to an even lower point was the pulled pork baguette (£10). There was a measly layer of apple sauce smeared on the bottom of the bread but it wasn’t enough to moisten things up – there was dry overcooked pork and a dry baguette – it was horrible.
Not realising that the baguettes came with chips, we ordered two extra bowls of the things, one plain (£3.50) and one topped with bacon, cheese and aioli (£6.50). It would have been nice if the waitress had warned us we’d be in chip overload by ordering extra. As you can imagine by now, they were awful; some burnt and hollow, some undercooked and soggy and some even tasting of raw potato.
With all the sports activities on offer, Retallack Resort seems to cater for children very well; I imagine if I was 7 and staying there and I’d spent all day in the swimming pool, a quick bite to eat at The Green Room would suit me perfectly. But considering you’re near Padstow and Rock where the delights of Paul Ainsworth and Nathan Outlaw await you, I couldn’t help but feel gutted that we’d wasted a lunchtime opportunity here.