Chef’s Special: The Loop Restaurant at Retallack Resort and Spa

Crispy Fried whole line caught Sea Bass with chilli and tamarind sauce.

Stephen Lloyd

Crispy Fried whole line caught Sea Bass with chilli and tamarind sauce.

Recipe by: Stephen Lloyd, Head Chef, The Loop Restaurant at Retallack Resort and Spa

After ten years working as a chef in Australia including a number of years in the ‘Spirit House’, an award winning South East Asian restaurant in Queensland, Stephen Lloyd’s cooking follows a method of pure Asian food. “A million miles from the ‘fusion style cooking’ people talk a lot about,” he says, “or ‘confusion’ which it can easily become. I learnt completely different techniques, while working in a South East Asian kitchen, using very different flavours and produce.”

He took on the role as executive chef at Retallack Resort last August and it’s natural that he would want to introduce some Asian dishes to his new menu for coming season. Stephen also has plans for special menu events, Thai evenings, weddings and functions and it is hoped that local people will also recognise his unique dining experience in Cornwall.

“My food is very much in the style of the street hawker markets in the region where fresh ingredients cooked to order. It is traditional for many different dishes to be eaten at the same time. Of course in the restaurant they are presented in a much more refined way.” Stephen’s dish might appear deceptively simple to cook, however the recipe has large portions of sea bass that, without an industrial sized fryer or large wok, can be difficult to cook at home.

“Cornish line caught sea bass also shows complete traceability; the fish has a log number tag that will show who the fisherman was who actually caught it. However, bass is expensive so farmed sea bream can be used as an alternative. All the Asian ingredients: the tamarind, coriander root and palm sugar can be purchased from the Lana Thai supermarket in St. Austell.”

“This dish is ideally shared by two people and eaten, picking the pieces off the bone, by hand. It makes a dining experience that is actually quite intimate and romantic,” Stephen explains. “Chillies have something in them that is known to release endorphins and feel pleasure, however the tamarind sauce is a well-rounded balance of spicy, sweet and sour in one. It takes out most of the heat leaving a pleasant tingling sensation. I’m keen that people should try something new,” he adds, “but I want to keep it friendly and not scare people away by being too different.”

The Loop Restaurant offers relaxed dining in a bright, vibrant and fun environment. Using locally sourced ingredients, Stephen Lloyd creates simple, delicious, quality dishes at reasonable prices. As a family friendly restaurant, the menu caters for all ages from gourmet burgers to locally caught fish dishes.

(Serves 4)

2 x 1 kilo in weight (or less) whole Sea Bass (gutted and scaled)

To make the paste:

  • 90 grams of whole red chilli (seeds as well)
  • 30 grams of garlic and 40g of coriander root, blended to a paste.

Method to make 250ml of tamarind water:

First soak the tamarind pulp in warm water for 5 minutes then squash up; pass through a fine sieve. It should be a thick consistency.

  • 250g of palm sugar
  • 125ml of fish sauce.

Method to fry fish:

Score the fish diagonally about 1 inch apart to make diamond shapes on both sides.

Deep fry in large fryer or wok for 10 minutes, or until crispy.

Method for sauce:

Fry paste in a little oil for about 10 minutes on a low heat, add sugar and cook for 10 minutes until boiling. Add tamarind and fish sauce, bring to the boil and turn off.

Leave to sit for 10 minutes, (very hot) add basil leaves and generously poor over fish.

The Loop is hosting a special event: ‘Fresh Flavours and Flow Riding’, during Cornwall Food & Drink’s Cornwall Spring Feast

Saturday 19 March 2011, 7.00pm for 7.30pm

For this very special event a four-course Thai menu has been designed, which uses the freshest Cornish fish and other local ingredients.

The evening will culminate in a professional FlowShow, put on by some of the top riders in the World. This absolutely spectacular show is sure to leave everyone mesmerized, and a great way to end the evening.

Price – £25pp

Accommodation Available – look no further for great deals on family breaks.

To Book – Call: 01637 882400

E-mail: ben@surftheloop.co.uk

Website: www.retallackresort.co.uk

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