I can't say that this is the best restaurant in Torbay... simply because I've not eaten in EVERY restaurant in Torbay, but if there IS a better one than Memories Bistro in St. Marychurch, Torquay, than it must be pretty damn spectacular!
I have enjoyed several visits to Memories Bistro over the last few years; with my wife, family and colleagues, and so far the food has been nothing less that superb. The most recent visit was with my wife on June 21st. 2014. As always, Hazel welcomed us warmly by name and showed us to our pre-booked and beautifully prepared table. Red and white checked linen looks so nice in a restaurant.
The atmosphere in the restaurant is unique and intimate and it is decorated cleverly and imaginatively in a very apt 'memories' theme. The menu is extensive, as is the wine list, and the specials are written up over the bar. I ordered the home made crab cakes for starter and my wife opted for the home made salmon cakes, both of which were served with bread, home made mayonnaise and a fresh salad garnish. Gordon, Hazel's husband and chef, is a genius when it comes to home made menu items and you can tell. Our respective starters simply melted in the mouth.
We'd ordered a bottle of Chardonnay (and an excellent example it was too!) which had accompanied the first course and which would see us through the main event. My wife chose to have a breast of chicken, prepared and cooked in the way only Gordon can... superbly. I ordered a fillet of sea bass. The food arrived, and it was a delight. Once the accompanying veg had reached our table, we tucked in. I could see that my wife was enjoying her chicken and the obviously delicious sauce that enveloped it. As for my sea bass, it was heavenly! I can honestly say that I've only once eaten fish elsewhere that equalled this and that was several years ago in a restaurant in the Loire Valley in France! The flesh melted on my tongue and I was so sorry when it had all gone. The Chardonnay complimented it superbly.
But as though the food wasn't amazing enough, Hazel, who was working so hard waiting tables on a hot and balmy evening, still had time to chat to us and other diners on several occasions during the meal. What service!
The desert menu was just as superb as the rest. I have indulged in the home made deserts at Memories Bistro in the past and I can only say that they are amazing, but on this visit both my wife and I had to resist. One reason was that it seemed a shame to lose the taste of the main course, but mostly because of the calorie factor. We really are trying to lose weight, which is very difficult when there is so much wonderful food available here. So we opted for coffee instead, which was excellent and was served with After Eight mints. The price of our treat was extremely reasonable, considering the quality of the fare, at £54.70 in total. Very, very good.
I would strongly recommend anyone who lives in or visits Torbay or anywhere nearby to pop along to St. Marychurch in Torquay (There is a lovely and quaint little shopping centre precinct there that's well worth a look, too.) and treat themselves to a fantastic evening of culinary delight at Memories Bistro, which is situated at the top of the precinct near the church. Sadly, it's only open on Friday and Saturday evenings, Hazel and Gordon preferring to opt for quality rather than quantity, so it's a good idea to book well in advance because it is very popular, and rightly so.
We can't wait for our return visit!
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