What: The latest addition to the Michael Caines Collection, Mickeys is a casual bar and restaurant set against the Exmouth shoreline that forms part of the port town's new Sideshore seafront regeneration development.
Who: Chef restaurateur Michael Caines, owner of the Michelin-starred Lympstone Manor hotel and restaurant, which overlooks the Exe Estuary in Devon. Described as a 'landmark opening', Mickeys comes at a time of significant growth for Caines' West Country portfolio. Despite the pandemic, the chef has opened three new restaurants since July last year, including Mickeys. The other two, both in Cornwall, are: The Cove at Maenporth, and The Harbourside Refuge in Porthleven. Indeed, Caines' hard work has now seen him shortlisted for Restaurateur of the Year at the 2021 Estrella Damm National Restaurant Awards.
The food: The upstairs restaurant offers relaxed, informal dining. The menu centres around the wealth of locally-sourced produce available from farmers and producers in the South West, as well as seafood landed at the Devon ports of Exmouth, Brixham and Plymouth, and from Newlyn and Looe in Cornwall. Seasonally changing menus include starters such as Exmouth moules marinière (£9.95); and smoked salmon mousse with dill pickled cucumber, honey and soy vinaigrette (£10.95). Heartier fare again centres around British seafood, such as traditional haddock and chips with local ale batter (£15.95); half or whole lobster thermidor (POA); and Indonesian seafood curry (£23). Beach barbecue inspired dishes also feature on the menu, and include grilled Dart’s Farm ribeye with chimichurri (£33); Mickeys barbequed pork belly 'burnt ends' (£25); and chargrilled curried monkfish with curried mayonnaise (£24.95). The downstairs bar features a more casual offering of hot dogs, Dart’s Farm beef burgers, and a range of Neapolitan-style pizzas. Drink are as local as the food, with Devon beers and ciders, as well as an increasing list of soft drinks and wines in addition to a cocktail list.
The vibe: Featuring sumptuous views across Lyme Bay, Mickeys features a stylish, retro-inspired look that nods to Exmouth's rich maritime history. The design is intended to somewhat reflect the beach bars of Greece and Ibiza, according to Clare Mcdonald, founder and creative director at Design Command, which oversaw the project. "[Mickeys] is a place to relax and unwind by the coast and should evoke an overall sense of escapism," she says. "Exmouth beach is a place of outstanding natural beauty and it was imperative that we celebrate this through sustainable design choices. Hence the use of environmentally low-impact products such as tiles made from 98 % recycled material and reclaimed timber cladding used for the restaurant’s showcase ceiling and sunbeam feature wall. It was similarly important to support local businesses in the sourcing of design elements where possible. These included lighting design, planting areas, table caddies and interior artworks by a local photographer." Further seating is also available on the retractable glass terrace.
And another thing: Located next door to Mickeys on Sideshore is Sideshore is Café Patisserie Glacerie, which Caines has opened in partnership with Parisian chef Sylvain Peltier. Described as an 'Instagrammers dream', Café Patisserie Glacerie serves a range of French patisseries including layered viennoiserie such as croissants, and pain au raisin handmade with lashings of Devon butter. In total 16 flavours of handmade Italian-style gelato will be churned on the premises daily using Devon milk and cream. Savoury goods, meanwhile, include traditional Cornish pasties by Barnecutts Bakery, and fresh handmade sandwiches.
Unit 1, Sideshore, Queen's Dr, Exmouth EX8 2GD