Platters Restaurant, Plymouth

Platters is my favourite restaurant in all the world (and I told the owner so during our last visit). Situated on Plymouth’s Barbican, it’s forte is (unsurprisingly) fresh fish.  For those not so keen on sea food, they also do some excellent steaks. And possibly the best chips in the world.

The restaurant is small, cosy if you are eating with friends, but with the tables so close together, not suitable for a romantic candlelit dinner! The restaurant is family owned and run, and you can always guarantee and friendly welcome. It is constantly busy, so even if you have booked, you may find yourself being sent next door to the Dolphin pub for a drink if your table is not immediately ready. Don’t worry if you haven’t finished your drink, you can take it with you

Their regular menu is extensive, but in addition you need to check the chalk board for the days specials, which vary on what has been caught. The size of the dishes range from big to enormous, whilst the prices are reasonable, meaning that there is more or less something for everyone.

I have eaten there many times before (I may have mentioned that it is my most favourite restaurant in the world!), so have tried several different dishes.  From past experience, we know to skip the starters and go straight to the Main Course, as the portions are very generous.  On this occasion, I decided to be virtuous, skip the chips and opt for the Ciopinno, or which is basically a fish stew.  Besides, I knew whatever my husband ordered would be served with chips and with the huge portions, there would be some spare. Anyway, back to the Ciopinno.  It’s tomato based, with white fish, then King Prawns, Crab Claws, and Mussels, all in the shell. It was delicious. And messy. Do not attempt this dish in a light coloured outfit. In fact, some sort of bib is highly recommended.  Nutcrackers are provided to break your way into the crab, along with the necessary pointy implement to dig out the meat.  I enjoyed every mouthful, but still couldn’t quite clear the plate.  The fact that they give you a big basket of delicious bread at the start of the meal probably doesn’t help!

My husband is not a fan of sea food, which is how we know they do a good steak.  And he still loves the place as much as I do.  He has recently taken some baby steps into the world of fish, and so ordered ‘Surf and Turf’, which adds King Prawns to your choice of Steak.  Once again, he wasn’t disappointed, and enjoyed both Cow and Crustacean.  As previously mentioned, this dish comes with a huge side order of chips, as well as the mushrooms, tomato and peas that come on the plate.  A selection of sauces are offered.

If you have room, desserts are available, but I don’t think I’ve ever managed it!

Menus and details can be found on their website:


3 Responses to “Platters Restaurant, Plymouth”

  1. Spot on review. I have also been captivated by the place for twenty odd years probably eating with family or friends once or twice a fortnight. It is unpretentious, not yet too pricey, always offering the very freshest seafood straight off the dock on the other side of Sutton Pool, and perhaps most importantly it is always simply and perfectly cooked. Don’t come here in a smart dress or going out suit. if you bring a Platters newcomer you will only impress them with your knowledge that this well kept secret is easily the best fish cafe/restaurant in and around Plymouth. my grandchildren call it a cross between a lorry drivers caff and an anglicised bistrot. Call it what you will it is a necessary and delightful local facility and unmissable for a visitor or tourist with a need of lunch or supper. It doesn’t need sham trade puffs. It stands alone. But take note of the comment above. They may pretend to take bookings but they don’t hold rigidly to the arrangement and although you may not have to wait long, you’ll be guided into the equally delightful Dolphin pub next door which has the best kept draught Bass drawn straight from the barrel. The Platters staff will fetch you and you can take your half drunk beer to the finish with your fish.

  2. helenphillips Says:

    Hi Molly, thanks for the comment. It’s great to hear from another fan!

  3. Dave Baker Says:

    Restaurant choices in Plymouth are a mixed bag, few with near perfectly cooked food served in a vibrant but cozy atmosphere. that in a nutshell is Platters. Unpretentious, a bit like a cross between a lorry drivers cafe and a family diner. Best local fish, very reasonably priced and virtually straight off the quay. Nowhere competes locally. Take granny or the younger kids. Everyone is welcome. You may find yourself on a narrow bench seat sharing with the local presiding judge, performers from the theatre Royal or more often some of the very loyal appreciative and regular locals. Booking is virtually impossible. They will say yes but the pressure at the door is such that the table may take a little while to clear. Don’t worry, as accurately described above you will be recommended to try the Dolphin pub two doors along which has all the character and attributes of a traditional real ale (the very best kept Bass anywhere) pub. You will be fetched and can take your pint back with you. If you are a visitor to Plymouth with only one night then this is where to spend it and if you are already resident, you really don’t know what you have been missing.

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