We were invited to try out Newquay’s very own Australian restaurant “Bush Pepper,” it is located on Fore Street, nestled in amongst surf shops, coffee shops and bars. Bush Pepper is quite a small intimate restaurant with quite a hipster feel. The Australian artwork ties in the look nicely and there’s even a cuddly kangaroo and koala in the corner. On arrival we were greeted with warmth and friendliness and as it was a quieter period we had the pick of a table, but the restaurant soon filled up. There was nice atmosphere with chilled acoustic covers playing in the background. Australian owner and head chef, Chris Brookes came out to greet us. Bush Pepper is his and his wife Helen’s baby. When Chris informed us that he would be cooking for us, I was very excited to try it out.Once seated we scanned the menu, I decided to go for the most Aussie meals I could find. To accompany our food we settled on having a bottle of wine, we picked a bottle named ‘The Paddock’ a smooth and fruity 2016 Australian Merlot. Before our starter arrived we were presented with complementary home made Damper bread (still warm I might add) with a rapeseed oil and balsamic dip, and a Queensland macadamia dukkha (a combination of herbs, garlic and seasoning).The combination of the flavours was lovely. Very intense but left you wanting more.
Out came our starter, we went for the bush tucker sharing platter; this consisted of a crocodile Scotch egg, calamari and crab cakes. I loved the novelty of trying the crocodile and I have to say it was delicious though not what I expected it to taste like.The calamari was cooked to perfection and seasoning was spot on, some of the best calamari I have had. The crab cakes were surprisingly filling and had a subtle yet punchy chilli and ginger dip to go with it.
For mains I of course went for the kangaroo steak whilst Stu went for the Barramundi, both came out beautifully presented.
My kangaroo steak was so scrummy, it was cooked medium/rare just how I like it. Accompanied with crunchy sautéed greens, and crispy hand cut sweet potato wedges with a sweet port and bush pepper reduction. Something I could have eaten again and again.The crispy skin Barramundi fish dish came with smashed avocado, chilli, nuts and seeds and a generous portion of hand cut sweet potato wedges and sautéed greens.Then came my favourite part, dessert. I have a real sweet tooth so always look forward to dessert.
We both deliberated over what to have for ages, in the end I picked to have the Passion Fruit and Banana Pavlova. This came with a sharp passion fruit puree and fresh sweet slices of banana. The perfect balance of sharp and sweet and of course a big dollop of Cornish clotted cream.Stu picked to have the upside down Mango Cheesecake with a crunchy macadamia nut crumble topping. He found it was a lot lighter than typical cheesecakes and the mango was a refreshing note to end on. Bush pepper were the gift that just kept on giving, after all of that amazing food we were presented with a little night cap, a shot of homemade baileys, an old recipe of Chris’s mums. There was only one word for it ……. DIVINE.
We ended the night full and delighted with the quality. The flavours of the food and the great service we received left me feeling like we had truly experienced a snippet of what Australian dining would be like, and will certainly be eating here again. I may even have to work my way through their highly recommended breakfast and lunch menus.
Thankyou so much Bush Pepper for providing us with a truly fabulous night.
*We were invited for a complimentary dinner for the purpose of a review, but all thoughts are my own.