Yew Tree, Scalby: Branching into evening dining works a treat

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A firm favourite with ladies who lunch and a popular choice for a cuppa in the country, but does The Yew Tree in Scalby transpose itself successfully into an evening eatery?

The pretty exterior, complete with bunting-flagged windows, screams quaint cafe but as dusk draws in candles flickering in the window present a welcoming glow.

On a Thursday evening my partner and I were joined only by three other tables of two, however we were cosily sat together rather than spread sparsely throughout the room, which could cater for a good 30 at a guess.

We were shown to our table by a friendly waitress who took our drinks order and left us to browse the menu.

The actual printed menu is limited with just three starters and four mains to choose from, however an extensive specials board adds a wider range of options with plenty to catch the eye of fish lovers especially.

Starters range from £4 to £7 with main courses starting at £9.25 and rising to £16.

After much deliberation I chose the chicken liver parfait with toast and chutney, priced at £5.25, followed by roast monkfish wrapped in parma ham for £15, while my partner ordered a warm goat’s cheese tart, £7, to start and halibut with king prawn kebab at £16.

The wine arrived and shortly after the starters followed. Mine looked a humble dish with nicely toasted bread surrounding a glass dished parfait and a rocket salad on the side. The parfait was wonderfully smooth, with a sweet chutney adding to the flavour.

My partner’s tart was richly flavoured with a crusty pastry encasing warm crumbling cheese.

After just enough time for the entrees to settle, the main courses arrived, accompanied by a small dish of summer vegetables.

My dish comprised wonderfully meaty monkfish; two great portions wrapped tightly in salty deep red ham crispy from the oven. The fish was moist yet firm, and was accompanied by a smooth parsley mashed potato.

My partner’s halibut steaks were wonderfully seasoned with a crisp searing protecting the flaky flesh of the fish. The steaks were adorned with two kebabs crossing the dish, each flanked with well sized and well cooked juicy prawns.

Both portions were generously sized, leaving just enough room for dessert.

Puddings were priced at £4.95, with the list offering a good choice of rich and creamy to light and fruity offerings.

I chose the very sherry trifle while my partner finished on a chocolate brownie.

Trifle is a dish which can vary with different people preferring different varieties. I based my preferences on my mum’s homemade trifle, preferring jelly topped with thick set custard and heavily whipped double cream. The Yew Tree’s version, served in a quaint glass, featured a runny custard with light cream, so although not to my taste texture-wise the custard was wonderfully sweet with the sherry-soaked strawberries adding an extra punch.

The chocolate brownie was all that it should be, crispy on the outside and gooey in the middle, with a scoop of cold creamy ice cream contrasting against the warm chocolate.

All in all a thoroughly enjoyable meal in what is clearly a popular cafe by day, which has mastered the art of keeping its charm and with an added touch of sparkle for an evening of cosy dining.

Not only will we make sure we try The Yew Tree for lunch, we will definitely be back to sample more of the menu on a night.

Ratings (out of 10)

Food 7

Menu choice 8

Service 9

Decor 8

Ambience 7