Food, Glorious Food! Jackman & Pye: Portrush, Co. Antrim

I’m not usually one for dishing out reviews on restaurants (excuse the pun) but last night I’m convinced I had one of the the best meals of my life, and when you find something this good, well… you just ought to spread the word!

It’s April, and the seaside town of Portrush on Co. Antrim’s North Coast is beginning to awaken with the familiar sounds of ice cream vans and amusement arcades, adding a musical melody to the regular beat of the breaking coastal waves. If, like me, you live anywhere near this town you’ll probably recognise it as the backdrop for your rites of passage – first summer trips to the beach, first roller coaster rides, first experiences of night clubs, and those first awkward teen dates etc. It’s a town fuelled by teenage dreams and adult nostalgia, and for that reason, it’s always been somewhere close to my heart.

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Anyhow, back to the food. Portrush is renowned for its romantic food spots, using its coastal location to fullest advantage by serving up fresh, quality seafood at affordable prices. Enter Jackman & Pye.

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I’ve heard some good reports from family about this wine bar and seafood bar which has sprung up in my absence, so last night W and I decided to venture up and see what all the fuss was about. Nestled cosily on Main Street and easy to find, we were welcomed by the buzz of happy, chatty diners and friendly staff – the perfect Saturday night atmosphere. Interior-wise think cosy, candle lit refuge from the sea; blues, creams and driftwood galore, with some beautiful abstract art to help please your eyes whilst pleasing your appetite.

A glass of white wine and a glance at the menu was all it took to know I had found my food heaven. I’m a big seafood fan and was delighted with the fresh catches on offer from lobster to crab claws to mussels and scallops. However, if seafood’s not your thing, their regular Mains menu looked equally appetising with peppered steaks, thai-style curries and much more to choose from.

Unfortunately, we were too late to snap up the lobsters as we arrived around 8.30pm, so if that’s top of your agenda it’s best to go earlier in the evening. After much deliberation, we settled on Seafood Paella and Grilled Scallops in the Shell with Chorizo, accompanied by a side order of their recommended chilli and sour cream chips.

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                                             Seafood Paella / Mixed Fish / Vegetable Rice

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                                     Grilled Scallop in the Shell / Chorizo Sausage / Rocket Salad

Everything was cooked and served beautifully, and the perfect portions to satisfy a couple of hungry customers. Food digested, we finished our wine and braved the bill. Surprisingly, it was very reasonable, topping off an excellent meal with that undeniably glorious feeling of getting a bargain 🙂

To summarize – setting, atmosphere, service, menu, presentation, price and standard of food were all more than pleasing; in fact, I’m already planning my next trip back to sample their other dishes!

Jackman & Pye’s website is currently under construction, but you can find out more about them on Facebook and TripAdvisor. However, as always the best way to let them impress you is by paying them a visit! I would highly recommend booking, especially at weekends, as word is spreading fast about this delicious little eatery.

P.s. Written on their menu is a famous quote from Virginia Woolf (winning the hearts of all fellow Literature geeks out there):

not dined well, Virgina Woolf

Bon Appetit,
K.