North Yorkshire restaurant guide - Crab & Lobster, Asenb, Thirsk

The Crab & Lobster restaurant is an exotic venue in the heart of North Yorkshire serving some of the best seafood in the county, reports Tony Greenway

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The d�cor at the celebrated Crab & Lobster is unconventional but fabulously atmospheric – a treasure trove of antiques and artefacts. The entire place is stuffed full of drums, books, buffalo horns, fur coats, lobster nets, copper pans, chandeliers, puppets, clocks, ropes and there’s even a deep-sea diving helmet on the bar. You don’t know where to look first and none of it should go together, but it all works beautifully.

The menu works beautifully, too. As its name suggests, seafood dominates the C&L menu, although non-seafood lovers can find plenty to enjoy here, including local fillet steak, a loin of Yorkshire lamb and a breast of Barbary duck.

To start, I had the pressing of free range chicken, ham and duck with brioche toast, hazelnut baby leaf and spiced apple relish: a delicious combination. My wife, meanwhile, ordered the seared king scallops, medallions of slow cooked belly pork, minted pea puree, and baby leaf salad. Beautifully presented and using the finest ingredients, the pea puree was an especially clever touch.

For main course I had half a roast garlic lobster with scallops and king prawns, green salad, chips and mayonnaise. Lobster lovers will enjoy Crab & Lobster’s take on shellfish: no crackers are needed because the lobsters are dressed for you. All you need do is enjoy one of the best lobsters you’ll eat anywhere.

My wife tucked into a roast loin of Scottish salmon with crab, crayfish and lobster crust, wilted greens, new potatoes and shellfish bisque, which must have been one of the reasons why the AA has named Crab & Lobster Best Seafood Restaurant of the Year.

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To finish, I had a refreshing selection of sorbet, and my wife had the Yorkshire rhubarb cr�me brulee, strawberry ice cream and the biggest ginger snap we’d ever seen anywhere.

All the rooms at Crab Manor have been modelled on some of the world’s most luxurious and famous hotels. So you can check into London’s The Ritz (very elegant), Singapore’s Raffles (very luxurious) or Scotland’s Turnberry (very tartan), to name but three.

We stayed in the exotic Mount Nelson room, cleverly decorated to echo the vibe at the acclaimed five star Cape Town hotel of the same name.

Mount Nelson (the Crab room – not the Cape Town hotel) features leopard-skin wallpaper, a divine four poster, a collection of African artefacts (spears by the bed and African masks on the walls, for example), an exquisite roll-top bath, wooden shutters and floors, and an impressive collection of spent champagne bottles around the picture rail in the bathroom.

After waking up in Cape Town, we were back in the Crab & Lobster restaurant. On the table was C&B’s Yorkshire Breakfast, a wonderful inner-man (and woman) fortifying plate of sausage, bacon, black pudding, tomato, mushrooms, fried egg and fried bread; and on the stereo were songs from the 1940s. Actually, the breakfast menu was as varied as the dinner menu. It was equally tempting to opt for rib- eye steak and hash browns, or the smoked salmon and scrambled eggs or the kedgeree, come to that. It was a very civilised way to start the day, and more proof that Crab & Lobster is a passport to a wonderful culinary world.

Crab & LobsterAsenby, Thirsk, North Yorkshire, YO7 3QL. 01845

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