Alba St Ives Restaurant
Old Lifeboat House, Wharf Road, St. Ives, Cornwall TR26 1LF
Restaurant Type: Modern British
Price Range: ££-£££
Amount I Paid: £100 (2 People)
We often come to Cornwall in June, and it usually falls on or around our wedding anniversary. Each year I will book a nice meal or two, one of which will be to celebrate, this year we decided to go to the Alba in St Ives.
We didn’t stay in St Ives but was only a 20-minute drive away, so it was ideal. Having been to St Ives a couple of times before, we parked up and took a casual stroll down to the waterfront.
If you have not been, St Ives is nice. I could sit out looking at the sea and the boats all day long, just watching people as they go about their business (ideally with a gin or wine in my hand).
About Alba St Ives
In 1938 a Panamanian steamer grounded on the rocks of Porthmeor beach, it was called the SS Alba. The building itself used to be an old lifeboat house and was opened as a restaurant in 2002, and it was then later refitted in 2015.
We booked into the Alba Restaurant as I wanted to treat Rach and it is said to be one of the best fine dining restaurants in St Ives. They primarily are a seafood restaurant, which you would expect since they are right on the bay. (The views are great in the evening if you get a window seat).
The restaurant itself is on the 2nd floor, and the ground floor is a beautiful bar area. The bar itself is not the biggest, but when we went there was plenty of seating, and even though we didn’t have a drink, it looked like they had a nice selection.
The Decor Of Alba Restaurant
If you are a fan of art galleries, then you will like the decor. Dotted around all of the walls are different art pieces, some of which are good! It’s quite a long and narrow restaurant buy the tables are not too close to each other.
If you are lucky enough to get a window seat, you will be able to look out across the bay. I did request one, but unfortunately, there must not have been one available, although it did ruin the meal for us.
The Menus - What Did I Eat?
The menu we got offers a 3-course dinner, with an Amuse Bouche. Even though it is a fine dining restaurant, I didn’t think the courses were too expensive. On average your looking at around £9.50 for a starter and £22 for a main.
They do however also offer a 2 or 3-course set menu if you are seated before 7 pm. These cost £25 and £29, which to be honest is very good value and if you don't mind eating a little earlier can provide great savings.
The majority of the menu is fish or seafood, which you would expect. I was however surprised to see no scallops on the menu, and these are usually my go-to starters! There was a good varied selection, and I did find it hard to decide on which to go for, which in this case is a good thing as it means I’ll have to come again and try another dish.
Starter - Beetroot Cured Salmon - £9.50
For my starter, I decided to go for Salmon that had been cured in Beetroot. After seeing this being done a few times on TV, I thought I’d give it a taste, and it was nice. The salmon came with Asparagus, Pea, Pickled Cucumber, Pea Shoot and a really tasty sweet and sour dill mayonnaise.
All of the different elements complimented each other and made for both light and refreshing starter.
Main - Trevaskis Farm Fillet of Beef - £31.00
If you have read any of my other restaurant reviews, you will no doubt know I love my steak. I was torn between the beef, pork and the hake. (all of them sound great!). With the steak, I like that they tell you which farm it came from. Showing that at the Alba they care about supporting local produce.
The steak came with Pommes Anna, which is a French dish of sliced potato which is then cooked in melted butter.
It was also served with spinach, smoked bone marrow, and beef jus. I have never had bone marrow before, and this is one of the reasons why I chose it. It was all very tasty, and the steak was cooked just as I asked.
Dessert - Flourless Chocolate Cake
One thing I always do when eating out is to look at whatever desserts other people are having. I am a firm believer that a dessert can either make or break the meal. I found it again hard to pick between a couple of the desserts that I saw, as they all looked great.
In the end, I went for the chocolate cake, which was very light and did not taste dry. It came with Matcha ice cream, which is ground powder from green tea leaves. The ice cream was not overpowering of green tea and just had a subtle but nice flavor.
There was also a chocolate and hazelnut mousse with chocolate crumbs and white chocolate aero, which I could have eaten all day! Finally, it had some meringue which was flavored with Star Anise, giving it a very unusual flavor.
I think you got just enough, as any more then it could have got a little sickly but overall it was very tasty!
How Was The Service?
The service itself was good; we arrived early so waited downstairs for a little bit till our table was ready. We were soon shown to our seat and menus brought to us, water arrived pretty quickly and then the waitress took our drinks order.
It was fairly busy, but we didn’t have to wait too long for our food, and at the same time, it didn’t come out too quickly. The staff seemed very friendly and always seemed to have a smile on their face.
Final Foodie Thought
If you are staying in or around St Ives and look for a quiet and romantic meal, then I would recommend the Alba Restaurant. The bar on the ground floor is perfect for pre and post drinks, and the food and atmosphere upstairs is ideal for a nice meal.
The quality of the food was really good, and you can tell they get their seafood and meat from local suppliers as it tasted very fresh.
If you have already been or had any questions, please do comment below. I would love to hear from you and also to find out what you thought about this review.
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