We are on the road to spend a few days in Pembrokeshire and we have spent some time researching the best place to stop on the way. Y Polyn is an award winning restaurant/pub owned and run by Mark & Sue Manson for over 10 years. It should be the perfect spot for lunch.
We are warmly greeted as we arrive and the place is already quite busy with diners. I’m keen to try a Welsh ale and they have two on tap from the Tomos Watkin Brewery. I decide to start with the IPA which is a golden ale with an extraordinarily smoky taste. Initially, I find it too smoky but once the food starts to arrive – the smokiness makes more sense.
Bread, butter and oil are placed on our table – both styles, foccaccia and seeded, are excellent. The restaurant is using a Spotify playlist of 1980s classics….ok, but I would prefer something a little more interesting and contemporary. Rock begins with the duck ragu served with papardelle, pangritata (a mixture of breadcrumbs & fresh herbs toasted in olive oil) and parmesan. It is very good.
I have the roast guinea fowl breast, pithivier of slow cooked leg, roast root vegetables, savoy cabbage and parsley velouté. The breast is moist and succulent, the pithivier is made with melt in the mouth pastry and the filling is full of deep flavour. The root vegetables (a mix of carrot, parsnip & celeriac) are sensational. I don’t usually rave about root vegetables, but wow!! To celebrate I move onto to the Tomos Watkin OSB – darker than the IPA and much more to my taste.
The main dishes and the sight of desserts being delivered to other tables have encouraged us to try one or two desserts ourselves. Rock has the warm treacle tart with maple & pecan ice cream. The treacle tart is obviously sweet but there is a noticeable citrus element that really heightens the flavour experience. The pastry is fantastic and the ice cream is really nutty.
I have the baked egg custard tart with blackberry ice cream. Again great pastry and the baked egg custard is probably one of the richest custards I’ve ever tasted – full of cream. The blackberry ice cream is nice but I’m not entirely sure it is the best accompaniment for the egg custard.
As coffee comes with ‘sweeties’ we cannot resist. A small bowl of biscotti, shortbread and a rich chocolate fudge leaves us feeling well and truly fed.
We have had fantastically friendly, efficient and well-informed service from Gloria and Steve, the food has been fascinating and high quality – this has set the standard for our trip. Let’s hope that some of the other places we visit can hit this standard.