The Mystery Diner has something of a soft spot for pancakes, so after hearing good reports from a few different people about Falmouth’s Little Red Rooster a visit was always on the cards.

Taking inspiration from American diners, the menu is filled with authentic sounding dishes such as grilled cheese, ‘dogs’ and burgers, plus, of course, those all-important pancakes.

From the outside it’s not the most imposing – drive past too quickly and you could easily miss it. The other downside is that, found in Bar Road down near the docks, there is no dedicated parking so it’s a case of finding a nearby street.

Falmouth Packet:

Once inside, however, the theme really hits home with red leather booths, an open-plan kitchen and enough Coca Cola memorabilia to persuade you that this place could actually be “the real thing”. More seating can be found upstairs.

Being a tricky ‘not quite breakfast, not quite lunch’ time of day I went a bit left-field and ordered the pancakes and maple syrup with added bacon, plus a baby rack of ribs on the side; like you do.

After so much build up, would the pancakes live up expectation? I’m happy to report, they did. Made fresh in-house, they were soft, sticky and oh-so-sweet (almost too much so, but just hitting the right side of sickliness), largely thanks to a river of maple syrup running over and through, with a nice little hint of cinnamon, while the bacon atop was crispy and crunchy, just like you find in America.

Falmouth Packet:

The ribs were also extremely tasty: tender and flavourful, with plenty of sauce – so much, in fact, that attempting to pick them up with your fingers, in the traditional style of eating these, would become extremely messy. And these ones aren’t served with a finger bowl for washing either, as in many restaurants.

Sadly my enthusiasm was larger than my appetite; these are decent sized portions, although if you were ordering the ribs on their own you would need to add chips or a side at extra cost to make it a complete meal.

My dining companion chose the Little Red Neck Rooster: a southern fried chicken breast with smoked bacon, barbecue sauce and ‘rooster slaw’ in a white sesame bun. Tasty and once again a good size, he struggled however to keep it intact enough to eat properly, due to so much sauce coming from the slaw.

Falmouth Packet:

This, coupled with the copious amounts of barbecue sauce drizzled on top and across the plate (the restaurant style plate decoration somewhat at odds with the roadside café checkered paper under the food) meant he actually had to go and wash his hands near the end, as he was getting so fed up with the stickiness.

Service was attentive enough without being cloying and, despite being the only pair downstairs next to the cooking area, it never felt like we were watched over – although it lacked some of the atmosphere and zing of authentic US diners.

It’s a fun idea and well executed for the main, and with a few small tweaks the experience could be even better.

Key information

Drinks selection: The usual range of fizzy drinks - with the addition of root beer - juices and hot drinks, plus milkshakes, ‘floats’ (including ‘hard’ alcoholic versions) and a small range of wine, beer and cider.

Our cost (two people, without drinks): £23.45

Contact: Bar Rd, Falmouth TR11 4BN (01326 617474)

Opening times: Tuesday-Saturday 11am-8pm (last orders). Takeaway also available. 


Atmosphere: 3/5

Décor: 5/5

Food: 4/5

Service: 4/5

Overall: 4/5

Food Standards Agency Food Hygiene Rating: 5/5

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