Review: The King of Prussia in Fowey's relaunch as a fine-dining restaurant is just that, fine

We tried Sunday Lunch at the revamped former pub King of Prussia in Fowey
We tried Sunday Lunch at the revamped former pub King of Prussia in Fowey -Credit:Cornwall Live

Usually when I write a review of a restaurant I like to look at it as an entire experience, in part because I'm not a chef and there are experts out there who are far better placed to chat about the complexity of the food and partly because I don't think it should ever be just about that.

Having been a previous fan of The King of Prussia pub in Fowey, alongside many locals and visitors, I was lining up eagerly to try the new menu after the famously pink-façade building was taken over and given a complete revamp in recent months. Near enough drooling at impressive pictures of the culinary delights and cocktails, as they were being released to the prying eyes of the public, I finally booked a Sunday lunch earlier this month.

And while I, perhaps criminally, didn't try the oysters - which seem to be a huge selling point - I did find myself enjoying the food but feeling like the entire experience just wasn't all it was cracked up to be. What I thought would be a proper fancy, fine-dining experience turned out to be just, well, fine.

READ MORE: New Greek restaurant in Looe is exactly what Cornwall's been missing

READ MORE: Four-star hotel is a special place for fine food lovers with dogs in tow

After drudging up the iconic steps towards the restaurant area - now referred to as 'The King' - we were greeted with a smile inside the rather stunningly, and ever-so classy, remodelled pub-turned-restaurant. If you're a fan you will be forgiven for thinking this is an entirely different building altogether and the new owners have clearly spared no expense when it came to the reimagined vision.

I was so impressed that I can only imagine how exquisite the rooms are looking - and with plans for a downstairs oyster and champagne bar in the works, I'm sure that will be equally as pleasing to the eye. On sitting down for dinner we were presented with plenty of choice in the way of local beverages with a well-curated wine list, an array of spirits and an envious choice of cocktails (put together by Bearded Barman, Chris Jarrett).

The King of Prussia Fowey
The cocktail was an ideal summer tipple -Credit:Cornwall Live

Being a Sunday, a rather limited, although delicious-looking menu, is all there is to choose from - which I'd say is fairly common practice for restaurants these days. But the first thing that struck me was that there were zero vegetarian options. Having asked the waitress if there was a separate menu I was stunned to hear there were no vegetarian options at all, which is a complete first for me I must say and I was taken aback.

Luckily, I'm pescatarian so made do with the fish alternatives but knowing at least a handful of friends who are vegetarian or vegan - and that's just in my tiny circle - I was really surprised. There were no vegetarian starters whatsoever and even the roasted celeriac option for roast came with potatoes cooked in duck fat.

⚠️ Want the latest Cornwall breaking news and top stories first? Click here to join CornwallLive on WhatsApp and we'll send breaking news and top stories directly to your phone. We also treat our community members to special offers, promotions, and adverts from us and our partners. If you don’t like our community, you can check out any time you like. If you’re curious, you can read our Privacy Notice. ⚠️

A little glance at the evening menu however shows a vegetarian option for both starters and mains - so you'd be best placed having dinner if you are meat-averse like myself. Settling in with our delicious drinks (I can recommend the 'Passion Punch' cocktail which was an idyllic summer tipple), the live pianist was also a dreamy surprise that fit well in the setting.

And soon enough, along came the food. The crab and gurnard bisque was the first thing I ate and the star of the show. Delicious flavours, and an all-round fantastic dish. The lobster on brioche starter was lovely and also very fresh tasting but not nearly as good as the bisque dish, to which my friend agreed (we had to share both because the bisque was that good).

Starters at The King of Prussia in Fowey
The starters looked very impressive -Credit:Cornwall Live

Our main courses arrived sometime later before our starter plates had even been cleared, so it was pretty tricky for the waitress to navigate as we tried to lift and move those plates as she put the new ones down in what little space we had. I was surprised this had been missed as it wasn't a particularly busy day by any means.

For mains, my friend opted for the roast pork which she said was perfectly cooked and tender and came with a host of vegetables, plenty to fill you up. There was even an extra gravy dish on the side which is always welcome as some places can be a little stingy on the sauce. The apple sauce listed as coming with the dish was missing though and we had to ask for it a little while later.

The roast pork was an ample portion and very much enjoyed -Credit:Cornwall Live
The roast pork was an ample portion and very much enjoyed -Credit:Cornwall Live

I opted for the fish and chips, which I was happy with despite it being my only available option. The fish was perfectly cooked; fresh and flaky inside with a beautiful golden crust. It was a decent portion too. The tartare sauce was also sharp and tasty. The chips (which I presume were triple-cooked) were a little tough for me on the inside and nothing to write home about.

The King of Prussia Fowey
The fish and chips -Credit:Cornwall Live

At this point, with the restaurant promising a "one-of-a-kind experience" with "little surprises throughout the experience" I started to wonder where those surprises were. The only surprises so far seemed to be forgotten things and having to top up our own wine or help to clear our plates.

For dessert, we ordered the chocolate cremeux dish which was as tasty as it was stunning. Very rich and dark but an expertly made pudding, it was the second most special part of the meal in my book. Soon after that came our surprises. Some tiny, albeit delicious, little samplers on a dish of pebbles.

The King of Prussia Fowey
An expert balancing act by the chefs -Credit:Cornwall Live

The waitress had no clue what these were when we asked but was more than happy to run back and find out. One sweet and one savoury, the sweet pistachio nougat was particularly impressive.

On account of the restaurant still being fairly new, I'll forgive the staff for not knowing much about the menu, having to ask back about ingredients and forgetting things. Despite clearly still getting into the swing of things, they were more than helpful though when we did ask questions or needed extras and that's worth a lot.

The King of Prussia Fowey
The surprise tasters on pebbles -Credit:Cornwall Live

The food was good too, but it just wasn't wow. And at £37.50 each for three courses (on a special offer price I'll add) it felt like the experience should have been more. If you've, like me, read the description of the restaurant and seen photos of the dishes I think you too might be expecting something a bit different from what was our reality.