IT says something about a place when it can last for more than 30 years without really having to promote itself.

And Carn Brea Castle is such a place. It’s probably also one of the most unusual places to eat in Cornwall, too.

Even more surprising, to the uninitiated at least, is the fact that you’ll be enjoying Middle Eastern cuisine while you dine in cosy corners of this unique setting.

The restaurant has been in this building since the 1980s and is run by the Sawalha family.

Just getting there is a bit of an adventure – a drive up a tight track that’s not for the faint-hearted, especially on a dark winter evening.

When you arrive it takes a firm knock on the door to be let in. The welcome is warm, as is the fire in the reception area.

The castle itself is a 14th Century building, remodelled in the 18th Century as a hunting lodge for the Basset family.

It fell into disrepair before being brought back to life as a restaurant.

And what a restaurant it is. You must book and it’s rarely quiet.

There’s plenty on the menu and it’s not pretentious at all.

Your first thought might be that it’s not for you, but options include tiger prawns, steak, chicken kebabs, lamb cutlets and veggie dishes that include fresh veg in a spicy tomato sauce with rice.

So it’s varied – most diners will find something they like.

Full disclosure – this was not my first time at Carn Brea.

That does, however, mean I have now sampled various dishes from the menu and they’re all excellent.

To name a couple of examples, starters of garlic mushrooms are excellent, with lots of flavour. Baba Ganoush, which is hot pitta bread, olives and a smoked aubergine dip, is full of taste – and both are spot-on portion-wise.

For those wanting just a nibble of a starter, look no further than sharing a buttered naan.

Mains-wise the Carn Brea Special is top notch, a rump steak fried in butter oil and served with sautéed green peppers, onions and pine nuts. Beautiful and unfussy, a lovely combination of flavours with a hint of saltiness.

The chilli chicken is also a favourite – curry-like in presentation, it’s chicken fillets cooked in tomatoes, onions and green chillies, served on naan or rice.

It’s bursting with fresh flavour.

On my most recent visit I tried the lamb cutlets. As with everything else, they had lots of taste and that nice salty edge to them, combining wonderfully with a yoghurt dip, onions and salad.

It’s this variety and authenticity that keeps people like me going back.

No wonder they don’t need to advertise.

Key information

Drinks selection: A small selection of beer, lager and cider, plus house red, white and rose wine.

Our cost (two people, without drinks): £37.40

Contact: Carn Brea, Carnkie, Redruth, TR16 6SL, 01209 218358

Opening times: From 6.30pm, seven days a week.

Ratings (out of five)

Atmosphere: 5/5

Décor: 5/5

Food: 5/5

Service: 5/5

Overall: 5/5