Eating our way around Scarborough

A few reviews of restaurants we've been eating out in recently!

An impromptu dinner

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by RLB2 on June 11, 2012

A rainy Friday afternoon saw my partner and I wondering what t do for dinner. We decided to head out and try somewhere new in Scarborough. In the past we've eaten in Le Cafe Jardin for breakfast and lunch, but during the school holidays this chic bistro style cafe is open on an evening. The menu is much the same as during the day, so there is a good selection of large and small meals to choose from, with the addition of several specials, which presumeably change quite regularly.

When we arrived, the cafe was quite quiet (probably because of the wet weather), with just one family sat in the corner. This meant we had a choice of many tables and chose to sit up near the back of the cafe, away from the rain. The waitress who was working the front greeted us with a big smile and told us we could sit wherever we liked. She then came over and asked if we would like a drink while we read the menu and was very quick bringing us our glasses of wine. In this relaxed and thankfully warm setting we perused the menu, which was extensive (and I honestly think that this is the only downside of the place, too much choice. The owners would be much better off having a limited menu, at least for the evening, that they did really well, than loads of dishes to choose from). My partner chose a special called the Euro Burger and I decided to have the chilli with nachos (both feeling rather greedy). Our order was taken and we were soon chilling out and waiting to be fed, enjoying the Parisian chic decor and tinnkling music playing in the background.

Our food arrived before long and what a huge plate of food it was, the Euro Burger had bacon, cheese, onion rings and loads of chips and salad, the nachos were piled high with loads of nicely spicy chilli. The food tasted great and I only had two minor critisims about it, firstly my nachos weren't served with any cheese, guacamole or salsa, just a little pot of sour cream, but what was there tasted great. My second tiny issue was that my partners burger was swimming in quite a lot of grease, obviously this was from the fried onion rings, and he definitely didn't mind this as was wanting something greedy to eat. All in all though the food was fab and not long later we were warm and full and quite content.

We rounded our dinner off with a piece of one of the fab cakes that were enticing us from the counter and a cup of coffee each. A perfect end to a rainy day.

I think this gem just off the high street is a great asset to Scarborough's crown. The staff were so friendly and welcoming and our waitress really couldn't do enough for us. We didn't feel rushed even though we were the only people left in and the cafe was obviously close to closing. The atmosphere inside is quite chilled out and relaxed, so we felt refreshed when we left. Everything is clean and tidy and the bathrooms were gorgeous (not something I usually comment on, but I was impressed). If you're in Scarborough try and visit this lovely cafe, you won't be disappointed!
Le Cafe Jardin
25 Huntriss Row
Scarborough, England, YO11 2ED
01723 354572

Step into the sixties!

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by RLB2 on May 8, 2012

Named after the iconic Mods target logo, this is a new eatery in Scarborough, opening only a month or so ago, and it's far away from the hustle and bustle of the seafront. You can find this retro cafe/diner in the centre of town near the Stephen Joseph Theatre and the train station (perfect for grabbing a bite to eat before heading home). This place is open from 8.30am during the week till 5pm and has a fab breakfast menu, which I will be back to try.

We arrived at lunchtime mid-week so the diner only had a few patrons and we managed to get a booth very easily. The seating is a mixture of tables, booths, a couple of sofas and a bar area in the centre, that would be handy if you were on your own. The menu isn't massive, but I thought there was enough there to choose from, and what can you expect for a new place? We both decided to have a cheeseburger which was served with potato weges. The burgers are from a pretty famous butcher called Glaves, so we knew the meat would be brilliant.

The staff were super friendly and went out of their way to make sure we had everything we needed. We didn't have to wait long to be served and the food was with us in no time. It was presented nicely and the burgers were a decent size. The taste, however was brilliant, the food was seasoned perfectly and the meat was top quality. Although we were full when we finished we had to try one of the cakes that were in the cabinet and so opted to share a slice of chocolate cake. The cake was homemade and the portion was generous, and it tasted fab, so it didn't take us long to demolish it. Alongside our cake we had two cups of coffee, that were quite honestly the best coffee we have tasted in the area, and so I will be back for that reason alone!

All in all the atmosphere here is laid back cool, with lots of 60s retro decor and diner style food. To top it all off the service and food are top quality, so if you're in the area head in here for a refuel!
The Roundel
Scarborough, England, YO12 7JY
01723 351200

Get your rock on and find your mojo!

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by RLB2 on April 18, 2012

Alongside Eat Me Cafe (reviewed in this journal) Mojos Music Cafe is one of the best cafes in Scarborough. It's laid back amosphere, music themed menu and chilled out seating area make it the perfect place to chill, relax and enjoy some top quality food. This place isn't pretentious, you'll find no airs and graces, but what you will find is a fantastically friendly local team of staff that will prepare tasty filling food.

Located just a 5 minute walk from the town centre, the cafe is open Tuesday - Saturday during the day and you can get breakfast, lunch or afternoon snacks. We often go here for a breakfast roll of bacon and egg, but sometimes when we have time off we head out for lunch, which will often be a themed pizza or burger. The portion sizes are epic, so don't think you'll be leaving here hungry. If you don't have such a large appetite then there is a section of a menu called mini-mojos, which is designed for children, but you can order from it if you wish.

The whole cafe has a very bohemian feel to it, with good music playing and quirky decor. There are comfy, leather sofas that you can sit and eat on and when quiet you could while away a raining afternoon here with a few cups of coffee and a good book. Alas this cafe is often far too busy to allow this kind of luxury. This is of course great news for business but does mean that you sometimes have to wait a little longer for your food, so don't go here if you don't have time for a leisurely lunch.

One of the secrets of this place is that you can hire it out for an evening for free. If you've got a group of about 10 friends that all want to eat out then you can order from the menu and get the whole place to yourself. Of course they don't have a license so you can bring your own booze for nothing. We had to order in advance, but this was quite easy because the owner e-mailed it to me and I just sent the orders in via e-mail, when everyone had decided.

The night we were there the whole place was lit up with fairy lights, the tables were set up down the middle of the cafe and the music was rocking away in the background. It was such a great feeling to have the whole place to ourselves and we enjoyed a delicious 3 course meal that only cost £12 each. Since that evening I have been back with a bigger group of friends (30) and we just had a big chilli in the middle of the tables and loads of nachos and dips that was deliciously spicy and filling.

I think I can best sum up this is a great , relaxed place to get your fill of scrummy comfort food, if you're hungry then head here!
Mojo's Music Cafe
55 Victoria Road
Scarborough, North Yorkshire
01723 503 666

Thai Food.....Yummy Yummy!

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by RLB2 on April 18, 2012

This restuarant and take-away is one of the first Thai restaurants to reach the town of Scarborough. I was very excited when it opened because I love Thai food and up until then I had had to travel to the nearest city ot get my fix. Suffice to say it didn't take me long to visit this restaurant and I have to say I wasn't disappointed. We have since visited several times and although we have booked a table I've never seen any need to if you're in a small enough party. The staff are always friendly and polite when we visit and you'll soon find yourself sat inside this modern, sleek restaurant. The lighting makes the place feel very relaxed and you'll soon be pouring over a menu trying to decide what to order.

We have visited with fellow Thai food lovers, friends who have never tried Thai food and some downright fussy eaters. Yet each time we have visited everyone has been able to find something that they enjoy eating. If you're not sure what something is or what it will taste like, the staff here always seem happy to help with some advice. You can even ask for food to be cooked to your taste, be that spicy or mild.

We (my partner and I) usually order Tom Yum Soup and chicken satay skewers to start and both are delicious and presented beautifully. Main courses can be anything, I think we have tried most things on the menu and like the thai currys and my other half likes the grilled dishes, like the weeping tiger steak. We don't often have room for dessert and I have to say this is probably the area that the restaurant lets itself down. I've yet to visit any Thai restaurant that does an exceptional dessert, but I don't hold that against them because their food is flavoursome that you don't often want a sweet pudding.

In terms of cost I find this place incredibly reasonable and they often have deals mid-week making it even cheaper. And if you don't want to sit in (although I can't see why you wouldn't) then they do take-aways that are 20% cheaper than the sit in menu.

All in all a very reasonable place to eat out, the food is delicious and the atmosphere is relaxing and modern. the staff are very friendly and helpful to those who have never eaten Thai food before and this has to be one of the most unique restaurants in Scarborough. If you fancy something a little bit different after a day of sightseeing or shopping then I would recommend heading here for a Thai feast!
Saba Thai Cuisine
10-12 St. Thomas Street
Scarborough, England, YO11 1DR
01723 355272

Be treated like a king in this Indian restaurant!

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by RLB2 on April 17, 2012

Indian restuarants are pretty ubiquitous in the U.K., but finding one that is actually good can sometimes be difficult. Scarborough is like anywhere else and has it's fair share of Indian restaurants. We've tried pretty much all of them over the years, but this is the only one that we consistently go back to. I wouldn't say that we are regulars or that we are recognised. When we arrive we are greeted by a member of staff who is always all smiles. We get shown to our tables and left for a good few minutes to mull over the menus. There isn't a particular dish that I would recommend, we usually order a selection of dishes and all have a bit of each. There is plenty of choice for vegetarians, with every curry able to come as a vegetarian option, but there are also plenty of dishes that are purely vegetarian.

The atmosphere is always chilled out and I've never seen it so busy that you cannot get a table. The staff are all very courteous and bend over backwards to make sure you are happy. The food comes to your table beautifully presented in metal bowls, smellling delicious and tasting great. We've never had a bad experience with the place and would recommend it above all other Indian restaurants in the town. If you don't feel like eating in the restaurant they do offer a takeaway service. You'll often find you get given a treat in a takeaway order, perhaps some extra poppadoms or even a bottle of beer!

In summary if you fancy a laid back night out with lots of tasty curry then head here for friendly service and yummy food!
Tikka Tikka
61-65 Castle Road
Scarborough, England
01723 377 573

Tasty Little Gastro Cafe

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by RLB2 on April 17, 2012

Eat Me Cafe is a hidden gem in Scarborough's crown, you can find it just off the main street opposite the train station. Hanover Road itself has undergone a bit of regeneration in the last year, so there are plenty of other little shops to have a look in. This gastro cafe is open Monday-Friday 10am-3pm and Saturdays 8.30am - 3pm for breakfast and lunchtime food and is also open three evenings a week for a more intimate dinner experience. I would advise arriving early because the cafe fills up quickly at lunchtime and there are only 6 tables, which means you will either have to be patient if it's full or get a takeaway.

It is always worth the wait though, I have been many time since it opened and am always greeted with a smily face even when the staff are rushed off their feet. The menu changes quite regularly, but my favourites are the welsh rarebit or the vegi burger. The food is cooked fresh to order, so it's not a fast food experience, but it is a good food experience. Everything I have ever had has been deliciously flavoursome and the portions are big enough to fill even the hungriest of diners. What sets this cafe apart from all of the others in the town is not only the fantastic food, but also the presentation of that food. Everything is presented in a quirky, fun way, with lots of enamel plates and wooden boards. The cutlery is kept in old golden syrup tins, the walls are adorned with quirky, yet pleasant pieces of art and the whole place as a completely unpretentious feel about it!

Now that's lunchtime, when there is so much food to choose from you take plenty of time making your mind up. When the sun sets for 3 nights a week this fabulous place turns into an intimate, candle lit dining experience, where you never feel rushed, you're not sat too close to your neighours, yet you don't feel like the only people in there. The menu is reduced to just a few of their best dishes, which change on a regular basis. To make things simple all starters are the same price, all main courses are the same price and all puddings are the same price. So you don't have to feel guilty about ordering the tasty burger rather than the salad. The prices themselves are ridiculously reasonably, nothing costing more than around £8. My recommendation is to try one of the thai dishes because the chef spent 5 years working in Thailand so you can be assured that they are authentic. The only thing to remember is that the cafe is not licensed, so you have to bring your own booze, but you will only be charged 50p for each person drinking no matter how much you bring. On top of that the corkage money is all donated to the local theatre's youth groups, so you can feel virtuous while you drink!

What more can I say, the food is amazing, the atmosphere is relaxed, the cafe is quirky and fun, the produce is all local, the owners believe in supporting local businesses, they donate to local charities and they are really really friendly. Ring ahead before you visit on an evening, as they are frequently booked up for a couple of weeks in advance. But most of all enjoy a unique experience in this seaside town!
Eat Me Cafe
7 Hanover Road
Scarborough, England, YO11 1LS
01723 373256

Mediocre Italian Restaurant

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by RLB2 on April 17, 2012

When you wander around the seafront in Scarborough there are a wealth of fish and chip shops to choose from, however other food types are pretty rare. A few years ago a new modern building was put up overlooking the harbour and along with a few other bits of regeneration, it now offers a nice alternative to the ubiquitous fried food. Instead of an independent local restaurant though, we got a chain restaurant called Ask. Everyone in the town was pretty excited about a new option, as on the whole the town doesn't have that many chain restaurants as compared to bigger cities.

I've eaten in this Ask a few times now, but I am going to review my most recent visit, because the chain has had a bit of revamp recently. We managed to get a table at tea time (5-6pm) just walking up and we had 4 adults and 2 children in our party. The staff were all smily and polite on our arrival and showed us to our table and left us with menus. The children were given their own menus and some crayons to colour with, which kept them nice and amused while we decided what to eat. I have to say I was impressed with the children's selection and the price, for £5.95 a child can get a starter, main course, dessert, drink and even a babycinno if mum and dad are having a hot drink afterwards. The portions aren't huge, but for the price there was more than enough for each of our children (aged 8 and 4). For adults the menu is pretty standard, there are a few pizzas, a few pastas, and a few meat dishes for your main course. Starters are a choice between garlic bread and standard Italian fare such as antipasto, bruschetta and caprese salad. Prices are, in my opinion, quite high for Italian food. Perhaps I think this because we have a few independent Italian restaurants in the town centre that are considerably better quality and value than this Ask. Or perhaps it is because I am used to the cheaper prices in a small town. Either way for me £5-£7 each for a starter and roughly £10 for a main are quite expensive.

We were initially served by a lovely waitress who was very helpful and handled the children very professionally. But then a different person brought our food out, which in itself isn't a problem, but they had no idea who was eating what and so got things a bit muddled up. We were also given the wrong pizza for one of the kids, which was quickly rectified. The other problem with the service was that they didn't bring all of the food out together, so half of us had our meals that were going cold while we waited for the other half to get theirs brought to them. Not a great thing when you have children with you. As we finished each course we were served by a different person, so there wasn't much continuity in the service itself. We had dessert and again I thought that the desserts were overpriced, for something which had clearly been bought pre-made and kept in a fridge (£5-£7 per dessert).

The atmosphere in the restaurant was pleasant enough, there were plenty of other families eating out and I did think it was very child-friendly. As we were finishing some older families and patrons were arriving for what must be the second sitting and they were taken upstairs. This seems quite normal, with earlier tables being put downstairs and later patrons being given the tables upstairs with their views across the harbour.

The final thing I want to mention is a pretty big negative in my book. As most people know we have a smoking ban in the UK which means you can't smoke in public buildings, and most people will agree this makes a pleasant atmosphere for everyone. In Ask we were sat downstairs, near an open plan kitchen, which entertained the children because they could watch their teas being cooked. Also next to the kitchen and us was a fire door, which we saw several staff members go outside to smoke. They left the door slightly ajar, so not only did we have to suffer a draught but we also could smell them smoking. Not only that but the staff were in full uniform, with no coats or anything, so they stunk of smoke when they came back in. Finally they didn't wash their hand before serving again. I don't have a problem with people smoking, but I do have a problem with poor food hygiene and what I witnessed was enough to make me not want to eat here again.

In summary, the food is pretty average Italian fare, the children's menu was good value, but the adult menu was expensive. For somewhere that tries to be better than other chain restaurants, I think this particular one fails to do this. I was also disappointed with the service we received and pretty upset about the food hygiene standards. I wouldn't recommend this place to my friends, and if you're visiting Scarborough and don't want to eat fish and chips on the seafront, then wander up into town and you will find a wealth of restaurants that will serve you much better value and quality food than here!
ASK Italian
North Wharf, South Bay
Sandside, Scarborough
+44 (0)1723 5075

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