Restaurant review - Dylan's Restaurant, Llanududno
PUBLISHED: 00:00 24 January 2018 | UPDATED: 13:16 24 January 2018
Llandudno is home to the third restaurant under the Dylan's brand...one more reason why we do like to be beside the seaside, writes Louise Allen-Taylor.
The legend emblazoned on the walls of the former Washington Hotel on the front at Llandudno reads: ‘Dylan’s. Est 2012’.
Yes, it has taken just five short years for the Dylan’s empire to grow to three restaurants, all in striking buildings, all boasting sea views and all serving an array of seafood, local produce, pizzas and burgers. First there was Dylan’s at Menai Bridge - wood-flanked and so close to the Straits that it looks like a boat about to be launched. A word-of-mouth success, it was part of a foodie upsurge which led to this village getting a Michelin star for Sosban and the Old Butcher’s.
Then came Dylan’s at Criccieth in an art deco cafe building created by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis of Portmeirion fame.
Now, with a public vote of confidence in the shape of £190,000 tourism investment funding from the Welsh Government, there is Dylan’s, Llandudno. It occupies the former Washington Hotel, a 90-year-old Grade II-listed building with a distinctive dome, and a strange echo in the lobby (try it!).
It’s a compliment to the £1.5m re-development that it’s not easy to tell the original features from the add-ons. Suffice to say that the dining room is welcomingly woody and airy, with weathered aluminium-topped tables, an ornate metal bar and lots of tasteful seaside references in the decor.
Some have complained that Dylan’s offers too much choice on its menu. They go some way to addressing that first world problem by telling us as we sit down that there’s no calamari or scallops. Oh well. I go for a starter of Llyn Peninsula crab fishcakes (£8.95) and get three tasty little balls so dark that at first I wonder if they are overdone (they’re not), plus a pile of moist, tender samphire, ringed by wasabi mayo and a punchy green Thai chilli sauce. All fine, apart from the teeth-jarring discovery of a piece of crab shell in one of the balls.
Across the table, soup of the day, cauliflower and cardomom (£5.50) is creamy and plentiful.
My main of Dylan’s fish pie (£13.95) shows just how a good fish pie should be: not a few sad offcuts of generic white fish drowning in gluey white sauce, but a little casserole packed with big chunks of salmon, haddock and prawns all topped off with crusty horseradish mash. Well done!
Aside from seafood, one of Dylan’s strengths is pizza, and my companion vouches for that with an Aphrodite pizza (£10.95) featuring cured ham, roasted figs, goat’s cheese and rocket leaves, all on a good fresh dough. My pud of white chocolate and raspberry teacup (£5.95) is a creamy indulgence of chocolate mousse with raspberries and hazelnut biscotti. Three courses each for two people, plus a couple of non-alcoholic drinks come to less than £70. Good value, and good views too.
Dylan’s, East Parade, LL30 1BE, 01492 860499