I am a firm believer that food from the sea is truly nectar of the Gods.
It was with that thought in mind that my partner and I ventured into Whitby, just seven days after the tidal surge, to sample the delights on offer at The Marine.
The menu promised a feast from the deep and there was plenty of freshly caught produce on offer, as you would hope with the fish quay visible from the window. Oysters, crab, lobster, prawns and an array of fish leapt off the page in front of us.
To start I went for the intriguing crab rarebit with tomato and chilli chutney (£7.90). I was always led to believe that seafood and cheese do not make for pleasant bedfellows but this was not the case. The juicy Whitby crab, toasted ciabatta and strong cheddar was wonderful with the fiery chutney setting the dish off a treat. My partner opted for the deep fried squid with chilli and lime. Huge pieces of squid duly arrived, value for money at £6.90. The verdict was positive but she said some seasoning in the batter would have elevated it further.
After a pleasing beginning things only got better when the mains arrived. I plumped for the famous shellfish linguine (£16.90) with white wine, parsley, chilli and garlic. What arrived was a cornucopia of fresh seafood which would have satisfied Neptune himself. Lobster, clams, mussels, prawns and scallops melted in the mouth as the delicate pasta and sauce proved why this is a dish which people travel many miles to sample.
It is difficult to eat without making a mess but, frankly, I could not have cared less. I was away in a seafood fantasy from which it took a long time to return.
My partner was creating her own mess with the Shetland mussels, chilli,lemon grass, garlic and coconut milk (£9.90). The mussels were monstrous in their size, plump and juicy with the salt of the sea.
The smell from the sauce filled the restaurant with Oriental scents, tangy to the taste, sharp on the tongue. Having eaten mussels all over the world I was informed that she felt these were the best she had ever tasted. Praise indeed.
Puddings are not The Marine’s speciality, with just three on offer. We shared a lemon posset (£5.90) which would have benefitted from more citrus to really cleanse our mouths after the meal. But you don’t go to a seafood specialist for cake so I will not mark them down for that.
The Marine boasts an extensive wine and spirits list, and boasts that all bar staff are trained mixologists and can make any cocktail of your choosing.
The decor inside is clean and bright, white walls and mirrors give a small space a large, welcoming feel, a feeling that is only enhanced further by the attentive and informative staff.
On the night we visited there was a live singer and piano player on to provide background entertainment.
At first we worried that this would be too intrusive in quite an intimate environment but it was actually very pleasant, with the piano player obviously talented and struck up a warm rapport with the diners.
There is no shortage of restaurants in Whitby and beyond that claim to make the best use of the bounty of fresh produce brought in by the boats each day. The Marine, however, is peerless.
Menu choice 9