I've been wanting to review this place for a while, having enjoyed some top quality food there on a previous visit some months ago.

Unfortunately, last time I tried we inadvertently hit a closed day, so it's worth checking on the Stargazy Cafe Facebook page for current opening hours.

One of my favourite things about this place is that the menu is scribbled in chalk on a door and is purely based on what flame-haired owner-chef Ruth feels like making that day.

She brings into it a melting pot of different styles and cultural influences, leading to Nonna's meatballs in ciabatta sitting alongside the likes of ribollita, a Tuscan soup made from canellini beans and cabbage.

Every dish is unusual - if you want a more conventional burger / ham, egg and chips / scampi style of meal this place is not for you.

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For me personally, such a menu serves as a welcome relief and opens up the palette to new flavours - if you're prepared to go outside your comfort zone.

We were greeted by a quiet but cheery waitress who took our orders. Smiles were less forthcoming from the owner on this occasion, although what appeared to be regular customers were getting chat.

I went for the courgette, cheese and potato fritters served with pickled garlic mayo and a cucumber salad. Said salad came with what appeared to be small pieces of soft chopped lemon, which gave it an interesting tang.

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My friend opted for the pear, pork and walnut sausage roll, which was meaty and flavoursome, and came accompanied by salad and a pot of sweet elderflower and apple jelly, which worked well with the sausage meat.

Neither portion was huge, although left you feeling virtuous and would probably have been sufficient for a light lunch. We wanted a little more, however, so turned to the delicious looking cakes.

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My friend chose a generous slice of the orange, apple and beetroot cake with mascarpone tinged pink by beetroot powder, and topped with strawberries. It proved to be beautifully moist and not too sweet.

Although slightly envious of her selection, for contrast's sake I went for the fig and orange frangipani tart. This also came topped with a dollop of the pretty mascarpone and was a skilled example of frangipane.

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Arguably the best part, however, came at home, with the almond biscuits (an inferior word) I believe are called ricciarelli, which I couldn't resist taking away in a bag. Crunchy on the outside and delightfully chewy on the inside, they were packed full of ground almond and wonderful.

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Our cost (two people, including drinks and biscuits): £35

Address: 24 Lower Market Street, Penryn, TR10 8BG

Hours: Currently Thursday to Saturday, 11am-3pm and for booking 7pm-10pm

Phone: N/A


Atmosphere: 3/5

Décor: 4/5

Food: 4/5

Service: 3/5

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.