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“Romantic Friday evening to complete a lovely week in Cornwall”
Review of Squid Ink - CLOSED

Squid Ink
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$45 - US$71
Cuisines: Seafood, Contemporary, British
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Romantic, Special Occasion Dining
Dining options: After-hours, Dinner, Reservations
Description: Welcome to Squid Ink restaurant situated in the historic fishing port of Looe in South East Cornwall.This intimate 32 cover restaurant is owned by Looe resident Adrian Woodward and first opened in 2008. The restaurant itself is housed within a character filled period building dating back more than 300 years.Looe is a pretty seaside town and important Cornish port selling mainly day caught fish from small trawlers, netting boats and line fishing boats, where the highest EU quality level of E (excellent) is electronically `attached' to almost every box of fish. Day boats are considered one of the more sustainable ways to fish, and they also provide the freshest fish.We are committed to offering outstanding service and our menu includes dishes suitable for allergy sufferers or those just wishing to avoid certain foods such as seafood, gluten or dairy. If however you have any additional dietary requirements you are welcome to discuss them with the chef who will endeavour to accommodate them.
Level 5 Contributor
78 reviews
38 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“Romantic Friday evening to complete a lovely week in Cornwall”
Reviewed 9 May 2014 via mobile

A very special evening with friendly service and beautiful food.
The staff were welcoming and down to earth with clear explanations of the menu.
As we were in Looe we decided to choose fish. The chef's bouche amusant was quite spicy but certainly tickled the taste buds.
My starter of squid in tempura batter was subtle with a choice of interesting dips.
The seafood risotto was delicious but I was just full.
What a shame. I should have passed on the lovely bread.
Thanks to all. A lovely evening.

Thank grannypatYork
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

639 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Morpeth, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
40 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Another fantastic meal at Squid Ink”
Reviewed 9 May 2014

This is without doubt the best restaurant my wife and I have ever visited. The service is exceptional and the food is cooked to perfection.
This is our second visit and I sincerely hope it will not be our last.

Visited May 2014
Thank Warkworthrotarian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Liskeard, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
74 reviews
54 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
“Probably the best quality food in Looe & surrounding area”
Reviewed 8 May 2014

After reading the most recent review I can see where the reviewer was coming from. The food is of good quality and on the whole is cooked to a very good standard. The style of cuisine is both modern and imaginative, often not the case in this area of Cornwall, and presentation is of a very high standard. The waitresses are extremely pleasant and a real plus point for the restaurant.

On value for money, it is a little on the expensive side so not somewhere you could eat out on a weekly basis. But saying that it does offer better value for money, considering what you are getting, than pretty much the rest of the competition in the area until you get to Plymouth and then it falls a little short of some of the better establishments in Plymouth.
If one was to be hyper critical of Squid Ink there are a few areas where it could be even better than the high standards it has already achieved.

1. Cooking of Fish: Appreciate this is hard to perfect by the time the fish arrives at the table but bar 2-3 exceptions in eating out, and that's a lot of places up to 3*, alas once more the fish is over cooked. Fair enough, not by very much and it was still both very tasty and enjoyable, but nonetheless it was overcooked by the time it was put in front of me.

2. Website: Personally, I really don't like this style of. It doesn't really reflect the type of establishment and white or blue text on black? I hope the RNIB don't come across it.

3. Noise Levels: Well funny enough we experienced something very similar. Perhaps we were in on the same evening as the previous reviewer? If so, then my take on this was, yes it was quite noisy and it would have been better if the level was reduced by a few db. But then again, I kind of like to hear people laughing and generally having a good and fun time. If you had to choose I would prefer this level of ambience over a stale, dull and quiet library effect. Perhaps head of house should have picked up on this and asked politely if said table would turn it down a notch?

Taking everything into account, would we go back? Yes, most certainly.
Would we recommend it to friends? Again, yes we would.
Would we recommend it to guests staying in our cottages? Most probably yes, but with a caveat on the cost perhaps.

  • Visited May 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank cfitzpat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
West Midlands
Level 5 Contributor
65 reviews
45 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
“Huge Let Down”
Reviewed 6 May 2014

We chose this small elegant restaurant to enjoy an evening of good food and convivial conversation with friends. On hindsight we should have left immediately upon arrival but it was cold and being unfamiliar with Looe we did not know where else to go. The vast majority of the room was being used for a birthday party, with just a few couples and our group of four seated alongside. We are in no way 'party-poopers' but this arrangement just does not work in a confined space. Indeed, the restaurant should have been closed to accommodate a private party that evening.
We had difficulty communicating our order to the waitress because of the noise and, since the volume increased as the evening wore on, it became almost impossible to hold a conversation.
Having to shout at my companions over an amuse bouche is not commensurate with my idea of an enjoyable night out. I exchanged glances with the couple seated adjacent to us who were also struggling to have a conversation. We were all being subjected to the ambience of a Whacky Warehouse!
We expressed our appreciation of the food to the waitress but declined dessert since we had all had enough of the noise, whereupon the owner appeared to offer an apology but, in effect, only made things worse. When asked why we had not been warned about the party she tried to say they did not always know who was booked in, but presumably a large party such as this would have made their reservation well in advance of our short notice booking.
Finally, having run a restaurant myself, I can never understand why genuine complaints and obvious disappointment are not ameliorated with an offer to reduce the (not insubstantial) bill. I always leave a decent gratuity to indicate my satisfaction so why does it not work both ways? I suspect the answer in this case is because we were tourists so they were completely indifferent to the fact that our evening had been ruined.
This was the only restaurant in which we were met with this attitude in our entire holiday, which was a great shame since the food was excellent and the waitresses charming. (My poor service rating is in no way directed at them).
An establishment such as this should know better!

  • Visited May 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
4 Thank brambleyone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Catherine1966, Owner at Squid Ink, responded to this review, 10 May 2014
Firstly may I thank you for taking the time to comment on your recent visit to The Squid Ink. As a family run, independent restaurant we take all fair, accurate and constructive feedback seriously and where our diners have found us wanting, I personally feel it is important to respond to their comments.
After you and your party dined with us we reflected as a team both in regard to the night in question and your Trip Advisor review. We fully appreciate that we will never please all of our diners all of the time however we were saddened, somewhat confused and may I say rather surprised after reading what we believe is overall a gratuitous review.
Firstly I whole heartedly agree with your comments that ours is a small, elegant restaurant. We actually have 32 covers which we carefully manage by not turning tables and by spacing the booking times so as not to rush our diners. We actually only used 24 of our covers on the night in question , advertising that the restaurant was full and turning ‘walk-in’ diners away because we took the decision, when we originally opened our restaurant, not to ‘cram in our guests’. The vast majority of the restaurant was not therefore as you stated ’ taken over by a party’ and to suggest that any restaurant should close itself to other diners for a party of only 13 adults is neither practical nor financially viable.
The party in question was in fact a 50th birthday celebration with 13 adults and the most beautiful, well behaved child. The group was made up of four generations of the same family and was a delight to witness. Admittedly when any family gathering occurs and people are talking, the noise level will rise, I therefore concur that as ours is a small restaurant, the acoustics are such that others may be effected somewhat by noise; however the party were neither uncouth nor impolite and at no time were any of the front of house staff informed by any other guest that they were troubled by the noise. Contrary to your comment, we do care about each and every guest whether they be a local or a holiday maker. This is more than evident from the kind reviews of the vast majority of our diners, many of whom regularly re-visit our restaurant on their annual holiday. In response to your comment about the ambience, personally I don't frequent "Whacky Warehouses" so it would be unfair to comment on the atmosphere in those establishments.
Finally in response to your feelings that your concerns were not taken seriously, a genuine apology was offered to you firstly by your server and secondly by myself when, only at the very end of your meal, you made comments that you were disturbed by noise. Your server visited your table on at least 10-12 occasions, serving, clearing and checking your complimentary home-made bread and Cornish butter, your complimentary amuse bouche, your starter and main courses and replenishing your drinks and water and on no occasion did any of your party indicate any issue. As to your wish to be recompensed by reducing your bill, I do not feel that this is vindicated. I am sure you will agree, especially as you have ‘run a restaurant yourself’ that as a society we have become ‘compensation mad’, wanting money off for any and all complaints/inconveniences’ . It appears that gone have the days where an honest apology and recognition of such is acceptable, however I hope on reflection that you will accept my apology as compensation enough and consider visiting our restaurant again if you return to Looe.
Kind regards
Catherine, Warren and the Squid Ink Team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Daventry, United Kingdom
2 reviews
“"Fantastic Experience"”
Reviewed 5 May 2014

We were staying at The Watermark Hotel in Looe & The Squid Ink was recommended. We booked a table for the Saturday evening as we wanted somewhere a little special as we were to celebrate my Wife's 60th Birthday.
From arriving we were made very welcome & the choice of Menu & Special Board was Excellent.
The meals were superb & great value for money.
We had a fantastic evening with exceptional service & finished with a lovely touch of a Birthday cake with Sparkler for my Wife.
Many Thanks to All & we look forward to visiting the Squid Ink again.

Visited April 2014
Thank Phil P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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