[Deganwy, North Wales] Ebb & Flow

We’ve stayed at the Quay Hotel a number of times but have never previously had dinner in its restaurant. That was because, until very recently, there were a number of very decent restaurants along the North Wales coast, within a short drive of the hotel. But in fairly fast succession, two of our favourites have closed and a third has dumbed itself down from a gastropub to a “pie and chips” sort of place. However, on the other side of that coin, the restaurant at the Quay has had a revamp since we last stayed there. It’s now a comfortable modern room, decorated in what I suppose the interior designers would call “coastal style”. And with a very decent “Modern British” menu, that provided us with a good dinner but at prices that sometimes make you wonder about value for money. Now, it’s not that I begrudge paying for dinner but I suspect there’s something of the taking advantage of the lack of competition – there’s items here that might be thought a bit pricy in some of the better places in Manchester city centre, let alone Deganwy.

Soup of the day was leek and potato and was fine as leek and potato soup is always going to be. Mushroom arancini were also fine. A four small balls, alongside some lightly pickled mushroom and cubes of pear, poached in port.

Lamb rump was nicely cooked and came with baby carrots, a little kale, Anna potatoes with a blackberry sauce bringing everything together in a very autumnal way. There was a very generous piece of cod loin, again cooked pretty much spot-on. That came with a crab cake, the earthiness of spinach and little crunch from samphire. The sauce here was a herby beurre blanc which is always going to go well with cod. It could have done with a bit of carb on the plate.

Only one of us wanted dessert. That was a light as feather ginger sponge pudding. You could smell the ginger even before tasting it. There’s ice cream and spoonful of fruits. Like the lamb plate, this is pretty much shouting autumn at you.

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“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold