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The Lemon Twist is Falmouth’s newest tapas bar.

Having opened for business earlier this year, the restaurant now occupies a prime position on Events Square and adds a bit of independent Cornish-Spanish charm alongside the Italian chain heavyweights of Pizza Express and Zizzi.

A chilly October evening meant that this diner decided against one of the few outside tables, but its waterfront location would certainly make this an attractive option on a summer’s eve.

As you step into the restaurant you are greeted with the sound of native Latin American music, which could have felt a bit tacky had they decided to go down the “type ‘famous Spanish songs’ into Google” route, but this was not the case which was music to the ears of this former resident of Spain.

There are only a handful of tables inside which contributes to a more intimate dining experience. The semi open-plan kitchen is located at the rear with an unused piano sitting opposite, although it becomes a key feature of the eatery’s regular music and lounge nights.

The headline act on the menu is the array of tapas options, from pan-fried prawns and paella to fresh crab and chickpea stew and plenty in between, each ranging from £3.75 to £6.

If tapas are not your thing then there is a selection of mains including chicken burrito, seafood and parmesan lasagne, rump steak, halloumi stack burger and a seafood platter, along with a few daily specials.

All of the food is locally supplied, with the fish hailing from St Ives and Falmouth, while the meat is sourced from Trevarthen’s in Penryn and the bread comes from Baker Tom’s.

My other half and I opted for the tapas and were then faced with what is probably most peoples’ concern when ordering tapas – deciding how many to get.

We heeded the menu’s advice of choosing two or three dishes per person – we were hungry and plumped for three – giving us a meal of albondigas (Spanish meatballs), baked Cornish brie and focaccia, chorizo in red wine, paella, black bean chilli nachos and calamari and aioli.

We both made a beeline for the meatballs which were soaked in a rich tomato sauce and were my other half’s favourite of our six chosen dishes.

Mine meanwhile was the paella and its nicely cooked prawns submerged in sticky but not stodgy rice.

The Cornish brie was a welcome addition while the plate of nachos was almost a meal in itself, which rendered our decision to get a side of artisan bread an unnecessary one.

After polishing off the main meal we took a brief intermission – and refilled our glasses – before deciding to tackle the dessert menu.

We chose to share the affogato and a lemon and ginger crunch – the latter is highly recommended – but the chocolate fudge cake and Eton mess were considered, while the Treleavans luxury ice cream adds another Cornish touch to the menu.

All in all the Lemon Twist offers a lovely blend of exotic flair and local charm, combining to create a hidden gem within one of Falmouth’s biggest hotspots.

The beauty of tapas is that you can always find new combinations on the menu to make your ideal meal, which is enough to ensure that this diner will return in the future.

Key information

Drinks selection: A small range of local and international beers, lagers and ciders. The wine list is relatively limited but there is plenty of choice when it comes to spirits and cocktails, with sangria and Pimms also available.

Our cost (two people, without drinks): £46.75

Contact: Discovery Quay, Falmouth, TR11 3XA;; 01326 316577

Opening times: Monday and Tuesday 5pm to 11pm; Wednesday to Friday 5pm to 12am; Saturday 12pm to 12am; Sunday 12pm to 11pm.


Atmosphere: 4/5

Décor: 4/5

Food: 4/5

Service: 5/5

Overall: 4/5

In order to ensure objective reviews, the Mystery Diner is carried out on an independent basis without the prior knowledge of the establishment.