No. 7 – A Seafood Bistro on Park Hill Road, Torquay
On our way from Torquay Railway Station to the Imperial Hotel, we ask our friendly taxi driver if she could recommend a fish restaurant. Without hesitation, she points us to No. 7, a seafood bistro on Park Hill Road. It’s on the road to our hotel, which makes it very convenient.
It’s Sunday, and a notice on the front door of the restaurant says that except for a few tables, they are quite full. We decide to chance it and call in at 8 pm and got a table. Two other couples call in after us, without booking, and they too were lucky to get tables, but by this time, the restaurant is quite full.
No. 7 is a seafood bistro and the walls of the restaurant are artistically decorated with fish themes. There are several black boards with the extensive fish dishes to choose from. A nice touch is that the restaurant manager comes around with a tray of the different fishes that they have available and explains how each is prepared. If you manage not to be confused by the end of his rapid recital, you’re ahead.
As we’re in Devon, famous for its Devon crabs, it’s appropriate that we sample Devon’s famous seafood in a restaurant that specializes in fish. We decide to share half a dozen oysters at GBP 8.50, the seafood platter with half a crab which costs GBP 26.50 and their special 3-fish plate which costs $21.50, and a mixed salad.
The oysters are served swimming in the shell full of salt water. We think that this way of serving oysters spoils its flavour as one tends to taste the salt more than the delicate flavour of the oysters. Five out of the six oysters are large – the sixth is a somewhat shrivelled oyster, which should not have been served as it’s sub-standard.
The cold seafood platter comprises 2 large prawns, a bowl of mussels and half a crab. The prawns are sweet, the crab meat is very different to what we’re used to in Singapore. The meat is not as tender and breaks out in shreds, rather than chunks of meat. It’s hard work getting the meat out of the shell. The best part of the seafood platter is the bowl of steamed mussels. The mussels are smallish, only about 1-1/2″ in length, but the mussels fill the whole shell and are plump and succulent.
The three-fish special comprises portions of three different fishes, each one cooked differently. This is served with a bowl of salad and chips. The idea is interesting, but the fish flavours are a little bland for our liking. The chips however are excellent.
No. 7 is a serious seafood restaurant and prices are on the high side. The only thing that makes us hesitate about coming back to this place is the restaurant manager who is a little uptight in his execution and he does not appear to appreciate being asked about the restaurant’s cooking styles.