The Black Seal, Trearddur Bay
The word fantastic appears no less than five times on the Black Seal’s website home page, which when the restaurant first opened 18 months ago I thought was taking ‘trumpet blowing’ to a whole new level. So, expecting great things, I was mildly disappointed by my first visit shortly after the restaurant opened; the menu appeared to be too large, the staff happy and willing but poorly trained and some of the furniture slightly mismatched with chairs and sofas being too low for some of the tables and vice versa. But I needn’t have worried – the basics were all there. A modern and bright décor with some original and interesting light fittings, a good management team and, above all, some wonderful sea views. The groundings were all in place for a top-class eaterie.
I have since eaten there on numerous occasions and each time the experience becomes more pleasurable. The team of chefs has changed, the menu overhauled, the furniture adjusted and all the other little niggles attended to. In particular, the staff are now very good at making you feel welcome and valued. They are professional without being pushy, attentive, knowledgeable about the food and clearly enjoying themselves. I feel that after a shaky start the Black Seal is now hitting its stride.
There are now many things on the menu to tempt even the most jaded of palates. My current favourite is a selection of tapas-type dishes (called ‘small plates’) where you choose as many dishes as you want from a mouth-watering selection of 12 options. Prices for each dish vary, but you can choose any three for £14.95 and the restaurant will throw in a salad and fries for free. I have tried and thoroughly enjoyed squid with lemon aioli, whitebait with a smoked paprika and dill mayonnaise, beef pork and sage meat balls in a Hungarian tomato sauce, lamb kofka in tatsiki, fried goats cheese with golden beetroot and apple chutney, chicken yakitari with sesame and, last but not least, king prawn rolls with a soy dipping sauce, rice, nori and sushi. All were delicious – but a word of warning; they may be called small dishes but the portions are large and three dishes is enough for even the heartiest appetite.
Last week my vegetarian son and his partner joined us at the Black Seal for lunch. They each chose a pizza which was cooked in a proper, wood-burning pizza oven to crispy perfection – no soggy bottoms in sight! A phone was produced and a picture taken and as you can see the pizzas were delicious works of art.
I can thoroughly recommend the Black Seal as one of the best places to eat on the island. I would counsel you to book, especially at weekends and during the summer season. In a word it is – well – fantastic!
Reviewed by Mike Shaw
You can view the restaurant’s contact details, menu and picture gallery at: http://www.theblackseal.co.uk/index.html
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The White Eagle
One of the best known and frequented pubs and restaurants on Anglsey is right here in Rhoscolyn! Popular with locals, holiday makers and visitors from further afield, it has an excellent menu with something for everyone. You ae always assured of a warm welcome from Adrienne andher friendly and helpufl team.
Contact (01407) 860 267. Website: white-eagle.co.uk.
Reviewed by Alison and Ian Walker
The Sea Shanty, Trearddur Bay
We arrived to find an almost full restaurant but fortunately our table was reserved. The very large room seating over a hundred is delightfully decorated with lots of “sea related ” items and plenty of interest including ten boats of varying class and size upturned in the roof. Another fascinating item is the all wooden clock weighted by a large anchor. Our very pleasant and efficient waitress, Jess, immediately brought water to our table, a refreshing change not to have to ask for it.
There is a comprehensive menu, but not too over facing, my choice was goats cheese and beetroot salad which was delicious if slightly short on cheese. I then ordered a starter portion of haddock, salmon and crab fish cake which was beautifully crispy served with generous tomato salsa and lime mayonnaise. My companions enjoyed calamari, very crispy and lightly cooked another mushrooms on toast followed by lamb rump or seabass both served with very good fresh vegetables. The desserts looked delicious but we declined in favour of teas and coffees. A limited, but adequate selection of wine is available all served in specially commissioned pottery jugs.
The whole place was buzzing with clients of various age, we hope it prospers as it is a great asset to Holy Island if it continues to give such acceptable food and service. Approx £100 for four including pre dinner drinks and wine.
Reviewed by Charlotte Mallinson
The Sea Shanty, Lon St Ffraid, Trearddur Bay, LL65 2YR. Tel: 01407 728 2000; email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Open 7 days a week: Breakfast 0800-1030; coffee, tea, cakes 10.30-12.00; lunch 12.00-16.00; dinner 17.00-21.00; ice cream shop 10.00-17.00.
Y Goron (The Crown) Aberffraw
Y Goron (The Crown) in Aberffraw is a small local pub in the centre of the village and we were given a very warm welcome. Consisting of three rooms: a bar, dinning room and tap room, it was recently refurbished but has kept all of its traditional local pub atmosphere. The menu provides a varied selection of good honest pub fare at very reasonable prices. Most main courses were under £10, with a selection of starters and puddings plus a specials board that changes daily.
They use a lot of local produce including the specialities of the house – steak and ale pie and a trio of sausages. As it was Sunday we chose the roast beef with all the trimmings and the goujon of cod and chips. Both were very enjoyable and I can recommend the hot sticky toffee and chocolate puddings served with custard, I tried them both, and my own mango and vanilla mouse, served interestingly in a small jam jar!
All the staff were friendly and welcoming and nothing was too much trouble. For me the best thing was sitting in a pub surrounded by locals speaking in Welsh. A good place to go after a long walk along the beautiful Aberffraw beach or headland and to practice my Welsh!
Y Goron/The Crown, Aberffraw, Ynys Mon, LL65 5BX.www.thecrownaberffraw.com; 01407 840222.
Reviewed by Caro Wilson