MORANS in Westward Ho! is the new kid on the block in terms of restaurants in the seaside resort, and a welcome addition it is too, writes Ellen Cook.
The former amusement arcade right on the seafront has been stylishly converted into a chic and inviting eaterie serving a wide range of Thai and English food.
It only opened in March but it has an established feel which gives you confidence as soon as you walk in the door.
Had it been later in the year, and about 10C warmer, we would have gladly sat outside on the attractive terrace, but season dictated inside dining, and we were impressed.
The staff greeted us with warm smiles. The spacious bar and restaurant's modern decor is easy on the eye and I grew progressively more excited about the meal ahead with each step towards our table.
An extensive cocktail menu caught my eye the moment we sat down and a wine list that declared "A meal without wine is called breakfast" won me over instantly.
On browsing the menu, we were spoilt for choice by the variety of dishes, both Thai and English, that were available.
Thai running a very close second to Italian on my list of favourite foods, I went for vegetable spring rolls followed by king prawn Pad Thai.
My fellow diner also went for the spring rolls, then sweet and sour stir-fry chicken with egg fried rice.
While our dishes were being prepared, we were offered complimentary prawn crackers and a variety of dips. Lighter than air and really tasty.
Our spring rolls were beautifully presented with a colourful side salad and had a pleasantly spicy kick to them without being overpowering.
My Pad Thai (noodles with bean spouts, egg, spring onion and spinach, topped with ground peanut) was sensational. The king prawns mixed into it were perfectly cooked and the contrasting flavours combined in a delightful way.
The sweet and sour chicken looked amazing – vibrant, bright colours and just the right amount of sauce. My fellow foodie said the meat was deliciously tender and the whole dish worked well.
While there was an appealing dessert menu – including cheesecakes and sorbet – we went down the coffee route, an Irish coffee for me and a cappuccino for my fellow diner. This caffeine injection was the ideal way to finish a fantastic meal.
This meal for two with drinks cost: £48.10
Where: Morans Restaurant and Bar, Golf Links Road, Westward Ho!, EX39 1LH.
Bookings: 01237 472070.