Drum and Monkey – Harrogate, Yorkshire

“A classy, long-established seafood restaurant in an elegant part of Harrogate”

A special occasion had the Cooktwit wooing the Flame with a top-notch weekend away. Yorkshire seemed as good a place as any. Harrogate even more so. Betty’s, baths and boutiques, what’s not to like? As ever the first thing to sort, where to eat? Twitter threw up a few options. I finally settled on ‘Drum and Monkey’. A seafood restaurant in the rather elegant Montpellier area of the town.

Classy, elegant
Classy, elegant

Its set in a corner bay, a smart moniker depicts the title whilst a monkey playing a drum (natch) adds colour and further signage. Owing to a flurry of patronage (standard on a Saturday night) we opted for an early 6.15 slot. We peered through the window to an empty room. It didn’t seem too inviting. That said we were whisked upwards to the next floor where several tables were already in full flow. This was much better. It’s a dark, elegant, red room. Crimson flock coverings allied to dark wood create a pleasant and rather intimate atmosphere. The Flame was impressed, (always a good sign). Sadly the darkness rather impaired my photography!

Exquisite, uniformed waiters soon had us settled. The typed, easily negotiated menu on white with blue logo along with a smaller ‘specials’ card gave us plenty to think about. It changes daily depending on seasonality and availability.

Smoked starter and soup
Smoked starter and soup

The flame selected a trio of smoked seafood (crab, salmon and prawns) to start at £12.50 it was a tad on the steep side (given we paid £9.50 at The Easy Fish Co) but it was very good. I went a little off beam and had the Drum Fish Soup (£6.50). Wouldn’t normally go for this but was intrigued. It arrived in a pot terrine with a drizzle of oil. It had the bisque like consistency and colour with croutons soaking away nicely. It proved a little rich and filling for me so I left a bit. I devoured the fish lurking in the depths first!

Nidderdale Trout, spiced monkfish
Nidderdale Trout, spiced monkfish

For mains I had the spiced monkfish with roasted squash linguine off the special menu (£16.50). I really enjoyed this, lightly spiced solid chunks of tail in a luscious, golden jus. The flame won by a mile though. Whole Nidderdale trout with almonds, capers and a brown butter sauce (£15.50) with a house salad. What a dish this was. Huge lumps of tender trout were easily teased from the bone. Even when the top section had been devoured it kept on giving. Beneath the bone yielded another meal. Given the copious volume of flesh, even I was able to get on the act, definitely dish of the night.

Treacle Tart, Apple crumble
Treacle Tart, Apple crumble

Desserts were good too. I had a hearty treacle tart with wonderful ice cream whilst the flame opted for a Braeburn apple crumble, again with the ice cream. Both were £5.95.

For the privilege we disbursed a goodish £82. By the time we ventured downstairs the main area which includes the bar was absolutely rammed. Clearly this is one of the places to go on a Saturday night. As it was only 8.30 we nipped over to the oldest pub in town The Hales Bar. How apt…

Drum and Monkey
5 Montpellier Gardens,
Town Centre,
North Yorkshire, HG1 2TF
Tel: 01423 502650
Email: bookings@drumandmonkey.co.uk

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