HT Mashup: Reviews

Café Review - Harbour Bar

Bovril and crackers on a Sunday morning with the weather whistling past outside has to be the choice. Or for you veggie types, a warming glass of Ovaltine. Oh all right then, go the whole hog and have a knickerbocker glory, you owe it to yourself.

Yes, the Harbour Bar is the place we’re talking about. That palace of Fifties indulgence sits proudly facing the harbour, folding doors either flung open to the beach or shut snug against the elements.

Build the anticipation and treat yourself. Get yourself ensconced in a corner, sit back and drink it all in. Under the brash lighting it’s all bright yellows, reds and chrome, with mirrors and stacked fancy glasses bouncing the light around.

There’s Bovril to be had alright, and garish milkshakes and peaches from a giant tin and long silver spoons and chocolate and nuts and syrup. All the seaside things you miss because this is the only proper parlour left. It’s the perfect way to wind down the weekend: the hell with healthy eating, just order the dish with the daftest, fanciest name, get your wafer and dib in. It tastes all the better when you know you shouldn’t.

Harbour Bar, 1 Sandside, Scarborough. Tel 01723 373662

Restaurant Review - Fiesta Mehicana

Anybody know what you call a collection of sombreros? A topthat, maybe. Or a laughinbandido. Fiesta Mehicana has dozens of them, swathing the ceiling like crazy stalactites.

This place is a glorious celebration of kitsch, perfect for the office do on a Friday night. From the painted wooden parrots to the instructions on how to down tequila, it's got it all.

They never forget the big deal, though: the food is great. It's straight, unpretentious Tex-Mex, with burritos, chimichangas, and fajitas, all nicely cooked. The chef (he's Portuguese, but who's counting?) knows how to present it, and the burritos are especially good with decorations in the national colours.

Mehicana manages the trick of catering to UK tastes while keeping the dishes reasonably authentic, so there's a full menu - not just token dishes - for veggo and vegan types. You don't need to be in a raucous party either: the space is big, but still manages an intimate enough atmosphere for a table for two with glorious nighttime views over the Esplanade. So get along, listen to La Bamba, and dream in colour.

Fiesta Mehicana, Esplanade, Scarborough 01723 500080

Restaurant Review - The Three Jolly Sailors

The Three Jolly Sailors, Burniston

What is the restaurant etiquette for dealing with wines with screw-tops? Should the waiter unscrew at table, as they used to ceremoniously uncork the vintage plonk, or should they now simply plonk the opened bottle on the table?

That thought crossed the mind as we waited for our very nice, quite reasonably priced New Zealand Merlot in the Three Jollies. The place has always had a cheerful bar and a restaurant serving both locals and holidaymakers. It underwent a change of management and a complete refurbishment in May this year, yet retained its period charm.

A drastic departure from its carvery past, the menu was interesting and ambitious, supplemented by main course specials, although on Sunday lunch-times they do cater for traditional tastes with a selection of roasts.  

Our home-made starters - vegetable soup and roll, and smoked haddock fish-cake on buttered spinach, were both delicious. A bit of a wait for our main courses, but worth it: the sea bass (expertly filleted) arrived on a bed of crunchy pak choi and baked potatoes, with sundried tomatoes and mussels: the pan-fried duck breast was served on creamed cabbage and smoked bacon. Both portions were generous and beautifully presented, so the selection of steamed vegetables including red cabbage in an oriental dressing was a bonus.  

And so to our shared pudding. Honey and walnut tart with blackcurrant coulis and a spray of fresh redcurrants, topped with a very special vanilla ice cream, was to die for.

All-in-all, a very agreeable experience. Apparently Fridays are normally quiet, due to holiday-makers having spent up in the fleshpots of Scarborough, but the restaurant can get busy, though the staff cope well and remain cheerful and personable throughout. Bill for a splendid dinner for two was £54. Oh, and the bottle arrived already opened.
Jake Empson and Marilyn Williams


The Three Jolly Sailors, High Street, Burniston, Tel 01723 879001