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Open beef sandwich. Served at Venus in Teignmouth

Review
Venus at Teignmouth

Jennie Cooper and family enjoy a taste of summer at Teignmouth’s newest beach café

“It feels like we’re on holiday,” our eldest daughter, Poppy, exclaimed as we arrived for our evening meal at Venus. Living a mere couple of villages away, it did feel like we had arrived at a holiday destination. The summer sunshine threw warm streams of light onto the building’s huge glass windows, which frame the sea views on one side and overlook Teignmouth’s Den from the other.

Hanging baskets are strung down the centre of the restaurant, which has a laid-back, rustic interior that all the Venus cafés share. The company’s planet-kind ethos is evident – food and drink is served using fully home-compostable palm plates, hot cups and cutlery, all of which make dining at Venus that bit more special.

There were holiday vibes a-plenty, from the warm greeting from the staff to the smell of fried food. Our first decision was easy. Jeff and I chose Devon Cove – a light, local beer that proved to be a great match for our meals.

Diving straight into mains, I chose coconut prawns. This delicate dish was a perfectly sweet balance of the two flavours, carefully encased in a light, crisp batter, with an unctuous guava mayonnaise that had a hint of the fruit’s flavour. This was a highlight for me – I hadn’t tasted guava mayonnaise before but what a cleverly matched flavour pairing.

Jeff had the mix-and-match Lebanese flatbread. He noticed that whichever options you chose, they were all complementary in flavour. He selected the thin beef strips, served slightly pink, with tangy, crumbly feta, red onion and sriracha mayonnaise. He could taste all the elements and the flatbread was thin and crisp enough to not overwhelm.

Our youngest, Eleanor, said that she may even love fish and chips a little bit more now – her generous portion of fried sole was succulent and flaky with a light, clean batter. A pea-flavoured punch came from her side of mashed peas. Poppy’s panko chicken breast was moist, pull-apart and a generous portion for a child’s meal.

All dishes were served with plenty of crunchy, hot, moreish chips – I don’t think any escaped!

Usually when it comes to selecting vegan options (Jeff and the girls are dairy-intolerant), Jeff noted that it can be a struggle to find dairy-free desserts that don’t taste like you’re missing something. Two plates of dairy-free ice cream arrived (one of which, to Poppy’s delight, was like: “actual Mr Whippy”), along with a shared strawberry and raspberry sundae, and the recommended chocolate brownie. I managed to extract the adjectives: “sweet, sticky, cooling, rich, indulgent, fudgy,” in between mountainous mouthfuls of pudding.

The dishes on the dinner menu are flavour-centric, wholesome and honest; the atmosphere is relaxed and happy; and the location couldn’t be closer to the sea, unless you were actually afloat. Can’t get better than that, IMHO.

For your chance to win a three-course meal for two, plus a bottle of house wine, visit: tastebudsmagazine.co.uk/competitions.

Sample Menu

Starters

  • Iceberg wedge: homemade Stilton blue cheese sauce, crispy onion bits
  • Calamari popcorn: served with lime mayo, homemade slaw

Mains

  • Venus 6oz bacon & cheese burger: Devon grass-fed beef, cheddar, English back bacon
  • Whole Torbay sole: oven-baked with olive oil and lemon juice, homemade garlic slaw, bubble and squeak with Japanese wakame seaweed salad

Sweet Things



  • Sticky toffee pudding soaked in a creamy toffee sauce

  • Sundaes: chocolate and brownie pieces; salted caramel and mango; strawberry and raspberry

Prices

  • Light meals from £4.99
  • Mains from £9.75
  • Desserts from £2.99
The Coopers love: the guava mayo, the mix-and-match flatbreads, and the cafe’s laid-back vibes
Venus
Promenade
Teignmouth
Devon TQ14 8BB

01626 305511
lovingthebeach.co.uk

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