Rumour Restaurant and Bar, Totnes

Walking up the high street of Totnes you will find an abundance of eateries from pies to pasties and tea cakes to thai; anyone who leaves this high street hungry needs to seriously have a word with themselves.

Near the top of the ascending high street is Rumour; named after a 1986 Fleetwood Mac album, this restaurant and wine bar is the current resident in this 14th century building that has a long history of housing eateries. On entering you are hit straight away by a great atmosphere - staff and customers alike all appear to be really enjoying being here, with smiles and laughter aplenty in this vibrant setting.

The menu is fresh and fun, which is sadly lacking in many restaurants these days. With a mix of tapas style small plates and larger main courses, the menu offers a great variety to suit all tastes with a good selection of vegan and vegetarian as well.

We decided to opt for a selection of the small plates and a couple of main courses and asked for them to come when cooked as we were all going to dive in and share everything. First to arrive were the dusted and fried sprats, these were a refreshing change to the usual offering of whitebait, and were plump, served whole, well seasoned and cooked to perfection and served with a tasty homemade tartare sauce.

Quick to follow were whole grilled baby squid served with giant cous cous and a green harissa sauce. With a simple dish like this, any mistakes in the cooking would have stood out like a sore thumb. With perfect cooking of the squid, a spiced but well balanced green harrisa, and the lovely cous cous resulted in a very good plate of food. The halloumi chips were good and came with a nice spicy mayo.

The main course burger was cooked well and they obviously use a high quality meat as it was really rich and meaty and it's a nice change to see a burger on the menu that hasn't got a hundred toppings - I want to taste the burger and not end up with a soggy bun from toppings overload. The burger came with onion ketchup which was very tasty with almost an umami flavour, and a side salad with consisted of a few average salad leaves which, if you put your ear to them, you could here them crying out for a decent dressing; unfortunately this one tasted like the chef had found it at the bottom of a bargain bin in a discount supermarket. My advice - lose the iffy salad and instead serve some pickled veg, this will complement the richness of the burger.

Last to arrive was the pizza. With the promise of spicy sausage, sliced potatoes, rosemary and topped with a duck egg, it was a shame the egg was missing and the rosemary had been substituted for a few last minute thrown on basil leaves. So I can't really comment further on this pizza, it was wrong and not quite what was on the menu. When commenting about this to the waitress, an egg was produced but really the dish should have been remade and basil on this type of pizza is never going to work.

I do need to mention the bread! Freshly baked sour dough with roasted miso butter was a thing of beauty. I would quite easily fill up a bucket with this butter and spend an insane amount of time dipping large chunks of the bread into it.

Rumour makes a refreshing change to what has become a chain heavy high street. The few small errors did little to spoil the enjoyment of my lunch and I would recommend it - with special nights and a great beer, wine and cockail selection you could do alot worse than spending some time here.

Rumour Restaurant and Wine Bar, 30 High St, Totnes TQ9 5RY


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