Table talk: Where Simon Nixon eats...

I keep going back to Rick Stein's in Padstow, Cornwall. I'm developing a villa hotel nearby, so head down once every few weeks to meet architects, project managers and planners. I always try to do business in the best possible environment, so why not at Rick Stein's?

Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

You have to book up a month ahead, so you need a good PA to get you in. It's always abuzz with celebrities and politicians holidaying in the area - last time, I was on a table next to David Cameron. The place had been starting to get tired and was relying on Stein's name a bit, but it has just had a £3m refurb and now looks absolutely fantastic: with a buzzy seafood bistro feel, it's like Cornwall mixed with the South of France.

The food is just sensational. Ninety-five per cent of the dishes are fish, as you'd expect. It's all very simple, but the fish is of the highest quality - caught locally and cooked within 24 hours - so they don't need to overdo it. I always go for the monkfish vindaloo, an amazing dish. The sauce, probably Rick Stein's invention, is different to anything I've ever had before: quite hot, but not so hot that you can't get the flavours of the fish.

Cornish monkfish is wonderful, the best in the world. There are some incredible restaurants around - look at places like Zuma in London - but Stein's monkfish is probably my favourite dish of all time. I promise you I'm not on the payroll there. I just like to feel that work isn't work. Meeting over lunch brings people's barriers down, and that's better for business.

The Seafood Restaurant
Riverside, Padstow, Cornwall PL28 8BY, 01841 532700,
Six-course tasting menu: £63.40
Favourite dish: Monkfish vindaloo £27.90

Simon Nixon is CEO and founder of

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