CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Devon Life today CLICK HERE

REVIEW: TQ9 at The Royal Seven Stars

PUBLISHED: 10:13 23 January 2018 | UPDATED: 10:13 23 January 2018

TQ9 restaurant is a classy and relaxed room

TQ9 restaurant is a classy and relaxed room

Archant

Andy Cooper enjoys a fantastic dining experience in new surroundings for him at a familiar spot

It was a hotel restaurant with a Torquay postcode, it was an invitation to sample gourmet night and our waiter was from…Barcelona. Hard to credit and yet that was the scenario which greeted us at TQ9, the restaurant which sits at the back of well-known Totnes hotel The Royal Seven Stars.

Thankfully, there was nothing ‘Fawlty’ about our dining experience, enjoying as we did a splendid meal in stylish surroundings. And our waiter provided excellent service and was a strong advocate for the locally sourced menu too – so no need to reach for the soup spoon to hammer home any kind of ‘training’ message.

The TQ9 restaurant is situated in former stables at the rear of The Royal Seven Stars and is a classy and relaxed room in which to enjoy the full-on gourmet dining experience which head chef Dan Archer and his team provide.

TQ9 is tucked away in former stables at the rear of The Royal Seven StarsTQ9 is tucked away in former stables at the rear of The Royal Seven Stars

The hotel itself was busy, busy, busy out front when we arrived and it’s a great idea to separate out the more formal dining from the always popular bar area. I’ve used this bar at the place a lot for drinking and dining over the years but hadn’t, until now, ventured into the formal restaurant space.

To start I opted for port braised pork cheek, Jerusalem artichoke crisps and purée with crackling. The promised combination of tastes and textures had intrigued me and it didn’t disappoint…a lovely blend of the tender, flavoursome meat and its crunchy accompaniment. A cracking start.

My dining compadre went for the smoke-cured mackerel fillet as his opener, eagerly anticipating its partnering with ceviche, kohlrabi purée and charred orange segments. Reports from across the table suggested it was a winner, its sweet and savoury blend proving to have just the right mix.

'A fantastic dining experience in elegant surroundings''A fantastic dining experience in elegant surroundings'

Moving onto the mains this was no time for me to avoid my usual option of choosing fish, especially when the first course my eyes alighted on was pan-seared wild halibut fillet, cauliflower couscous, Romanesco cauliflower, pickled cockles, sea vegetables and herb oil.

It didn’t disappoint. Local sourcing is taken seriously at TQ9 and this flavoursome, simple fish was expertly complemented by the action taking place around it. Again, another triumph for textures on a plate…often overlooked by chefs as a factor in a successful combination for a dish, but not in this case.

The braised blade of South Devon beef was too difficult for my pal to resist, coming as it did with Duchess potato, caramelised onion purée, sautéed girolles, shaved black truffle and red wine jus. He was rapt at the tenderness of the beef and positively delighted with the taste sensations brought forth by the accompanying elements on his plate.

We were done after two courses to be frank so manfully avoided a suspiciously tempting looking dessert menu. I think I might have to detour my way back to TQ9 soon though to try it…and once enjoy again a fantastic dining experience in elegant surroundings.

_____________________

Follow Devon Life on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Devon Life visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Devon Life staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Devon Life account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Food & Drink

Tue, 10:24

The Sunday lunch is an enduring British institution that’s incredibly important to get right. We’ve chosen 12 places in Devon that will guarantee sublime stuffing, mouth-watering meats and Yorkshire pudding perfection.

Read more
Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Devon Life’s readers and followers have been voting for their favourite food & drink stars and we can now reveal our finalists who will be attending our glamorous ceremony at Sandy Park on November 15

Read more
Tuesday, October 9, 2018

As the winter begins to close in, there’s nowhere better to take refuge than one of Devon’s many cosy pubs. Here are 9 you should look for when needing to escape the nippy British weather

Read more
Thursday, October 4, 2018

Check out Michael Caines’ column in the latest issue of Devon Life where you can read more about what this recipe will be perfect with

Read more
Wednesday, October 3, 2018

We reveal the finalists for Devon’s Tea Room / Coffee Shop of the Year

Read more
Wednesday, October 3, 2018

We reveal the finalists for Devon’s Best Sunday Roast. Sponsored by cottages.com

Read more
Wednesday, October 3, 2018

We reveal the finalists of the Pub of the Year award. Sponsored by WBW Solicitors

Read more
Wednesday, October 3, 2018

We reveal the finalists for the Restaurant of the Year award. Sponsored by Westchem

Read more
Wednesday, October 3, 2018

We reveal the finalists for the Local Producer of the Year award.

Read more
Wednesday, October 3, 2018

We reveal finalists for the Independent Retailer of the Year award. Sponsored by NFU Mutual

Read more
Wednesday, October 3, 2018

We reveal the finalists for the Hotel Restaurant of the Year award. Sponsored by Savills

Read more
Wednesday, October 3, 2018

We reveal the finalists for the Best Food Product of the Year award. Sponsored by Dartmouth / Salcombe Holiday Homes

Read more
Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Who will be Devon’s Food & Drink Hero? Sponsored by Darts Farm

Read more
Wednesday, October 3, 2018

We reveal the finalists for the Newcomer of the Year award. Sponsored by FSB

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy


Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Subscribe or buy a mag today


subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Property Search