Whitby is a lovely little town. I’ve been going there for an annual holiday every year for the past five years, and one of the things that’s most noticeable is that despite the recession, most of the businesses along the quayside haven’t changed. One of these businesses is the Moon and Sixpence. There’s always a few people around the bar, even for breakfast, it’s got a lovely view across the harbour, but the prices always made it a bit much for me to justify on my own.
Anyway, for our first night in Whitby we decided to treat ourselves to a good dinner. It was early, but the bar area was already pretty busy and when we poked our noses around the door to ask about food we weren’t sure there’d be space. It turned out there was – a whole dining room hidden away at the back, and just for us! It was well decorated in a modern style – lots of charcoal grey and lime green – and though it had roughened up around a few of the edges from nearly a decade’s use, it still looked pretty chic. We felt a bit underdressed in t-shirts and jeans, but hey, who was there to see us?
Let me preface this by explaining that I’m allergic to fish. Not deathly allergic (more like messily allergic!). When I was younger, I avoided all fish and seafood, just in case, but in the last few years we’ve been experimenting, and it turns out shellfish suits me just fine, It’s still a bit of a novelty, though, and I was really excited to be able to actually eat some of Whitby’s famous produce this holiday. I’ve had plenty of scallops and scampi now, but when it comes to other seafood I have fewer points of comparison.
I’ve only had crab once before, and that was as part of a dish where the flavour was overpowered by some of the other ingredients, so I was really excited to try my starter, and I wasn’t disappointed. Loved it! Loved it so much I kept trying to persuade Colonel Mustard we should get crab sandwiches at every opportunity. I don’t know if I love crab in general, or whether the Moon and Sixpence did some special with theirs, but it was definitely A plus plus for the simple starter. Colonel Mustard’s scampi came nicely presented in a martini glass, and were flavoursome enough he didn’t bother much with the sauce.
My pork and scallops was beautifully presented, little squares of pork belly and pale golden scallops arranged in a thin layer of pea puree. Really pretty, and really tasty. I don’t remember what Colonel Mustard’s dish looked like; I was busy!
We dithered about dessert, both being quite full (portions were a good size!) but couldn’t resist. I really enjoyed my crème brûlée, and you can keep Mustard happy with almost anything chocolatey.
For all that we were the only people sat in the dining room, the staff were attentive and efficient. Another couple appeared just as we were leaving, and I suspect by dinner time the dining room would fill up nicely. It’s easy to see why the Moon and Sixpence is still there, and it’s definitely somewhere we’ll go to in future holidays. Nice staff, good food, not cheap but worth it.
Colonel Mustard: Since last time we were in Whitby and Professor Plum had to eat chicken or sausage from the fish and chip stalls, we’ve found she can eat all kinds of seafood and shellfish so it was great for her properly to experience what Whitby food does best. Being right at the coast, the fish tasted so fresh (although my sea bass and creamed leeks was somewhat more of a messy presentation than Plum’s main) and the scampi was the best from anywhere I’ve been in Whitby (the presentation in a martini glass could have looked naff, but actually made this seaside staple fit in a nice restaurant setting).