Scarborough’s Opera House Casino might not be the first place that springs to mind for a meal out.
A late drink or a bit of a flutter maybe. Somewhere to watch the boxing or football. But how does it fare on the food front?
After a last-minute change of plan, finding ourselves in the town centre and not sure where to eat, we thought we’d take a punt on the St Thomas Street venue.
My only prior experience of eating at the casino was a late-night sandwich or two, so I wasn’t sure what to expect.
We arrived fairly early on a Wednesday evening and it was quiet, but there were a few people enjoying a drink and a chat and the atmosphere was relaxed.
The menu offered more choice than I was expecting, with a choice of four starters, sharing platters, a grill section and bar meals, plus a selection of burgers and side orders.
Starters were very affordable, with choices including garlic mushrooms (£2.95), chicken goujons (£3.95) and garlic and cheese bread (£2.95).
Main courses on offer included 8oz sirloin (£12.95) or 8oz rump steak (£8.95) served with all the trimmings, Whitby scampi (£8.95), spaghetti and meatballs (£8.95) and sausage and mash (£7.95).
We opted for spicy bean burger (£5.95) served with chips, salad and garlic mayonnaise, along with chargrilled chicken breast glazed with barbecue sauce (£8.95) served with chips, salad and onion rings.
An extra portion of onion rings was added to our order for £2.25.
The bar staff were friendly and polite and our meal arrived promptly.
We enjoyed our mains – the chips were crisp and piping hot and freshly cooked.
Our burger and chicken were tasty and satisfying, and although the chicken wasn’t “glazed” with barbecue sauce as advertised, the sauce was served on the side and it was no hardship to spread it over the top ourselves!
The food is basically good value pub grub, but served in different surroundings.
And because the casino is so spacious – and fairly quiet on an early evening – it’s a good place to have a drink, something to eat and a chat without having that feeling of being rushed along that you sometimes get in a busy restaurant or pub.
And so to dessert – with a menu which is short but sweet, if you’ll pardon the pun.
The choices are chocolate fudge cake (£3.95), caramel apple crumble (£3.95) and vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce (£2.50).
I ordered the chocolate fudge cake and returned to my booth expectantly.
However, a member of staff came over and apologetically told us that there was no more cake, but we could have the caramel apple crumble instead.
I was happy to give the alternative a try – and it turned out to be the surprise star of the meal.
It smelt delicious as soon as it arrived, with a Christmas-like cinnamon scent tempting us to dive in.
The dessert was lovely – even though it wasn’t much to look at – and we really enjoyed it.
The meal was an unexpected treat in comfortable surroundings, and I would eat there again.
The food along with two alcoholic drinks and a soft drink came to £30.50.
Menu choice 7