In a fairly unassuming green building, set back from Market Street in Newton Abbot, is a restaurant with the same name serving surprisingly tasty fayre.
Market Street is a social enterprise; belonging to Young Devon, this restaurant is a base for providing a yearly opportunity to hospitality apprentices, particularly from disadvantaged backgrounds wth all ‘profits’ being ploughed back into the business.
The website states: Our passion has driven us to become a unique training centre in the heart of Newton Abbot. With our support, 30 young people a year have the opportunity to learn the ropes of working in a restaurant through our traineeships and apprenticeships.
We were established with support from River Cottage and we pride ourselves on delivering the highest quality, using local and sustainable produce as much as possible. Our menus change weekly so we can bring you the freshest of food.
We recently visited on an open evening during #NewtonAbbotHour, where bite size nibbles of the main menu were served and we were really surprised at how tasty the morsels were. Of course, we were also really taken by the charity story behind it and the vital importance it was serving to the community was also very interesting. So when we were invited back for a proper meal, we jumped at the chance to try it in normal service and hopefully help promote a good cause too.
Market Street is run by husband and wife team Andy and Alison Jarret, who are chef and front of house respectively. Both very passionate about what they do, and clearly a warm and calm couple, the business has a really personal feel to it.
This personal feel is also a huge positive for Young Devon where the business is small enough to care for apprentices whose life has maybe gone slightly off kilter or for those who haven’t got the family or financial support to start their working life in hospitality.
They are open for lunch from Tuesday to Saturday and dinner on Thursdays and Fridays only so we decided what better way to start the weekend than a Friday family dinner out. The menu changes fairly frequently, and has some really unique combinations that I’ve not seen on other menus as well asa great mix of meat and vegetarian options.
One thing to note, due to the layout and space within the building, the restaurant is only accessible by stairs with no lift, so please bear this in mind. But I can assure you, what is at the top of a dozen stairs or so, is worth the effort.
The interior is, in my opinion, New England style – fresh, crisp and white with accents of dark wood, benches with comfy cushions on, coastal coloured vertical striped walls and beautiful pictures of flora and fauna of Devon.
We dived into starters of halloumi fries with harrisa yoghurt, smoked cheddar and bacon arancini as well as the smoked mackerel rarebit. The halloumi fries are genius! This cheese holds its texture so well even when grilled, so they stood up to being battered and fried, giving this firm friend another dimension. The arancini was made using pearl barley rather than rice, a great alternative, giving this sometimes gloopy ball a firmer texture.
For mains we chose the Market Street beef burger, grilled pollock with garlic aoli and Dartmoor steak. Local meats tasted delicious with great flavour, meaty yet flaky pollock treated with care and all was cooked to perfection.
Sides dishes included homemade potato wedges, mushroom and leek bake, Spanish crisp cauliflower and courgette fries. My word, were we spoilt! The leek and mushroom bake was a perfect marriage of mushroomy goodness, the cauliflower seasoned and baked to become a bronzed Spanish beauty and the courgette fries were new to me (I don’t eat courgettes), but were so good they were utterly addictive!
I did sit back and look at the mains, realising that for a smaller appetite they are perfect but for an even better and fuller meal, you need to go for a side as well really. BUT… in this instance, the menu is so incredibly reasonable, what you are actually getting (if you order a main and a side) is still a main meal for around £10. Oh what the heck, have a main and TWO sides and you’re still only having dinner for the price around £13(!) and you get to build your meal essentially, by choosing a favourite side(s) – win win in my book.
Anyway – did we have room for pudding? Not really, but I couldn’t ignore the chocolate bread and butter pudding with chocolate custard – I haven’t had a b&b pud in forever! Unctuous, silky bread pud with lumps of chocolate in, and silky smooth chocolate custard. We were officially STUFFED! (did anyone have a taboggan to slide me down the wooden hill and out the door?)
We left very happy, and certainly not hungry, and couldn’t believe at how damn tasty everything was. Everything was fresh, punchy, textural and just delicious – one of the nicest casual meals we’ve had in a very long time.
If you want gastronomy – go elsewhere, there are plenty of higher priced, well heeled restaurants to eat in around Devon. But if you want somewhere relaxing with incredibly affordable food, consisting of clever combinations, and all in aid of a good cause (social enterprise remember = all profits ploughed back in) – then please visit Market Street in Newton Abbot. You won’t regret it.
The space is also excellent for meetings, family parties, networking events or even just a drink and some nibbles, so get in touch if you think it can work for you in another scenario apart from lunch or dinner. And if you know of someone down on their luck who could do with a leg up onto the hospitality ladder, get in touch with Young Devon, it could change their life.
Market Street Restaurant
6 Market Street, Newton Abbot, TQ12 2RB
(There is a very big public car park or Asda car park just round the corner)