The Shack Seafood Restaurant – Falmouth

The Shack, next to the National Maritime Museum in Falmouth, looks so inviting and the front of house so friendly, we passed up eating at Rick Stein’s and a few chain restaurants just next door, waiting with an impatient toddler to try this place. We had quite a mixed experience so I’m not real sure what to make of it in the end.

We did arrive at the second lunch sitting, so had assumed the tables leaving would free up the capacity of the waiters. Strangely it took 3 attempts to get menus ( the 2nd attempt was met with a waitress saying everything was on the walls, and then walking away before I could say ‘but what about the kids menu you mention on the board outside?’. Thankfully we had the foresight to order some starters from the wall at menu attempt number 2 (calamari with the most garlicky of garlic mayonnaises) plus bread for Weasel (which she enjoyed garlicking up too) with our drinks. The kitchen seemed super quick (and Weasel’s seat overlooked the kitchen, so she enjoyed seeing giant crabs go by and eying up whatever the staff were up to in there), and starters came within about 5 minutes. This was before our 2 cans of diet coke arrived and long, long before we got menus. Such an odd place.

The food was amazing, Weasel loved all but the wait. The eventual scallop salads that came were great, if not a little short on ingredients (lettuce, tomatoes, scallops, croûtons, onions, felt like it needed something more for £10). It was a full hour before our mains arrived, so I being the naughty parent, encouraged her craziness a bit to try and get the, to hurry our order to get us out. This was not a successful plan. It’s all a bit of a shame given the great location, friendly staff, beautiful restaurant. We got the feeling they were over-whelmed by the rush of people and maybe they had been open for long. It is a little unusual to overhear the chef saying they’d have to stop letting people in and run to Asda to buy more food. I’m hoping this was for chips and leaves instead of the local crab.

Practicalities:
Changing? No, but the unisex toilet is quite large, so you may be able to cope on the floor. The very busy day meant the floor was too dirty the day we went. We headed back in the maritime museum, realised the loos were far from the entrance, and used the public toilet changing table in the parking lot. Not glamorous, but needed to be done. Without a toilet in the baby change room you didn’t get people sneaking in there to jump the queue of the main toilets at least and we could walk right in.

Kids menu: it does exist! Scampi & chips, fish goujons & chips or mussels & chips (they had run out of mussels before we got there, and crab meat, and lobster, and….). Weasel had the scampi and mostly ate the skinny fries. They put a lovely large salad on there, which seems optimistic!

Pram space? Not much, but we managed it right at the back.

High chairs? They have 2, so at peak time you might want to bring your own booster seat (there were probably 10 under 5’s in this place when we arrived).

Verdict: Despite all the issues, I would love to go back when it wasn’t a bank holiday; it was so lovely, I would love to give it a second shot. I would avoid like the plague on a busy day – I just don’t think they can handle the numbers. Read the walls and website beforehand and know what you want so you can order with your drinks – it will probably solve all the issues we had.

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