The Pelican is a fish and chip restaurant and takeaway in Sticklepath, Barnstaple. It recently underwent a big redecoration in the restaurant in the last year or two, and it was runner up for a National Fish and Chip Shop Award!
This was the first time I went to try it, and I was expecting good things! There is quite a good selection on the menu – traditional things like cod, haddock, chips (their website actually offers all-you-can-eat chips if you run out!), as well as curries and fish pies. They do also have specials, although the waiter didn’t really promote them to us. The specials board says they have smoked haddock fish cakes using fresh, local fish delivered on that day. We shared the crab cakes and I had scampi and chips.
The crab cakes were ok, I wasn’t a big fan of them. The portion for a starter is quite large however.
The scampi was plentiful – normally most portion sizes I get are quite small, and there is lots of scampi meat (they use scampi whole tail). They were cooked just right and the chips were delicious – the right texture and not greasy unlike others I have eaten. I also took a quick bite from my partner’s cod and chips, and the batter is light and the fish looks and tastes fresh. Again, it wasn’t greasy.
We squeezed in room for a sweet. We had the Summer Berry Cheesecake and Mario’s Homemade Apple Pie. The portions were larger than I expected!
The cheesecake wasn’t the best I have had but the apple pie was nice. I wish there was an option to have it served with hot custard – that would have been even better!
Overall, the food was to a good standard and the price is not too expensive. The restaurant is beautiful, service is friendly and there is parking on site. The small criticisms I have is that some of the cutlery was dirty and the menus are sticky. Paying more attention to detail would make this experience even better.
Last month, Barnstaple Pannier Market hosted the North Devon Foodfest. Lots of local food and drink producers set up stalls selling their wares and cooking food to order for hungry visitors. At Queen’s Theatre, cooking shows were going on during the day featuring top chefs such as Michael Caine and Thomas Carr, who recently was awarded a Michelin Star for his Ilfracombe restaurant, The Olive Room.
One of the most popular stalls was Gourmet Street Kitchen (www.gourmetstreetkitchen.com) which had very long queues for its Mac n Cheese dishes, starting from £4.50. I opted for a classic mac n cheese, excitingly named “Return Of The Mac”, which came in a creamy cheese sauce and extra cheese on top. It was very tasty and the portion was quite big!
I also tried an asparagus and leek savoury tart from one of the other stalls, which was called its Special Of The Day. This was ok, but I wouldn’t seek to buy more.
We bought a Sausage Baguette from Big Pot Kitchen (www.bigpotkitchen.co.uk), where you can see them cooking the food…in big pots! The sausage is a good quality and delicious sausage.
The market was very busy throughout the day and there is something for everyone. Lots of the stalls offered free samples in order to entice more people to buy their products. The variety is huge and it really emphasises the quality of the produce that can be found in North Devon, and the business owners who are creative in what they make.
This is all chocolate! The artistry is amazing!
Lastly to finish, here are some salted cod balls from Cafe Brazil.
On the 22nd May, Barnstaple hosted its annual Seafood Festival. In Pannier Market, there were many stalls selling snacks, fresh seafood and local produce. I tried the crab ball from Fatbelly Fred, a popular seafood eatery in Barnstaple. We also bought organic drinks from Luscombe and tried grilled scallops wrapped in pancetta from SunFish Cuisine. It was a fantastic day to sample the best that North Devon offers.