Sometimes the fates conspire to give you a perfect night.
My visit to La Roca was just such one of these occasions.
Hidden away in Blands Cliff and with an unassuming frontage, one could be forgiven for walking past without a second glance.
Shame. For inside resides one of Scarborough’s best kept secrets.
Wandering inside on a sunny Friday evening, my partner and I were asked the question we longed to hear: ‘inside or out?’
Quickly choosing to sit in the cosy, three-table rear patio overlooking the South Bay beach was just the first of many good things that we experienced that night.
As its name suggests La Roca is a tapas bar.
Its menu is small but packed with dishes that make you want to order them.
As the sun shone down on the patio my partner and I ordered a bottle of white wine and settled in for a feast.
To begin we went for the mackerel pate (£4) and the sharing platter of meats and olives (£8).
We were warned that this would be a lot of bread but we were steadfast and both dishes delivered on flavour.
The pate was creamy in flavour with chunks of succulent fish bringing a wonderful, salty finish.
If anything the sharing platter went even further. The garlic and tomato bread was light and full of flavour, spicy chorizo and parma ham were a delicious contrast and green and black olives in garlic, chilli and oil were greedily consumed.
Eating in the garden with a chilled bottle of wine really did bring home the feeling of sitting in a Mediterranean bar overlooking the sea.
It was then time to try and decide what dishes we would share for our main course.
La Roca has a selection of dishes, all priced at £4, and if you choose four then you get a fifth for free. The selection is a heartening mix of protein, vegetables and, of course, seafood.
After a long deliberation we picked our famous five.
The simply titled Tortilla, a deep pan omelette, came with potato, onion and chorizo. The omelette was wonderfully light and nicely spiced, perfect for soaking up the sauce that came with the Spanish Meatballs in a peppery tomato sauce. The meatballs were tender. bitesized and full of flavour.
A surprise highlight was the green beans with chorizo and potato. The crunchy beans were fresh and covered in a light garlic drizzle which brought the whole dish together.
A chicken and chickpea stew had a delightful warmth to it from the cumin and, finally, a feta and olive salad gave the whole experience a salty twist.
Though the dishes looked small, by the end of all five we were fully satisfied and contented.
With the entire meal coming to less than £43 for two people, including wine, it also represented excellent value for money.
The service from owner and chef Steve and Elaine could not have been more attentive.
Blands Cliff may not be in the forefront of diners’ minds when they are looking for somewhere to eat in Scarborough but those who do make the effort to seek it out will be rewarded with a meal that you will struggle to top.
Menu choice 9