Cuisine: British / Mediterranean
I am very fond of English seaside towns. I love the remnants of a past age in holidays – piers, amusement arcades, bandstands, donkeys… I also find something rather sad about out of season seaside towns when the beaches are empty and some hotels and restaurants are closed. We stayed in Weymouth earlier this year while it was just out of season and before the arrival of crowds of holiday makers.
The curiously named Manbo’s Bistro is a family run restaurant near the harbour which serves a range of food, from sandwiches and jacket potatoes at lunch time, to seafood and pasta at dinner time. They are open throughout the year but the days do change depending on high or low season, so it is best to check before you go. We went on a cold evening when the town and most of the restaurants were pretty quiet. The decor is cosy and inviting, with wooden tables and low lighting.
The menu, which features local produce, included a nice selection of pasta, salad, seafood, steak and chicken. There were also some delicious sounding vegetarian options but this was more limited when compared with fish and meat. Pasta was available as a starter or main course.
For starters, we went for home made soup of the day, a warming broccoli and Stilton soup, and chicken and chorizo spaghetti. I found the soup a little too salty for my liking, but it was nonetheless very tasty and packed a good Stilton punch. The chicken and chorizo spaghetti (I was told) was seasoned just right.
For mains, we had seafood linguine (yum) from the specials board and fish chowder (yum again). The linguine was dressed in a light pesto sauce. Although the linguine was not a huge portion, there was a generous amount of fresh seafood – king prawns, scallops, mussels and squid. The portion size turned out to be ok in the end as it was a fairly rich dish – I could have eaten more though as it was delicious! The fish chowder was a generous sized portion and was perfect for a cold evening – a lovely creamy mix of leeks, potatoes and sweetcorn with chunks of salmon and cod. It hit the spot in terms of both flavour and comfort.
For dessert, we shared a delicious and decadent Eton mess, one of the desserts from the specials board. This rounded off the meal perfectly. We left the restaurant feeling very full and (almost) ready to embrace the cold night and a walk along the seafront.
46, St Mary Street
Dorset. DT4 8PU
Tel: +44 (0)1305 839839
Opening hours are seasonal: (Summer opening hours) Monday 18.00 – 21.30
Tuesday – Friday lunch 12.00 – 14.30
Tuesday – Friday dinner 18.00 – 21.30
Saturday: lunch 12.00 – 15.00; dinner 18.00 – 21.30
Typical cost per person excluding drinks: Up to £10 (lunch); Up to £20 (2 course dinner)