Every July my sister visits for a week from Northern Ireland and top of her list is always dinner at Dylan’s Restaurant. This month was her 4th visit and it’s still her favourite.
Dylan’s opened their first restaurant in Menai Bridge in 2012. Since then, they’ve added Criccieth, and in May 2017 – Llandudno. It took a cool £1.5m and just 5 months for business partners David and Robin to restore the iconic Washington Hotel to it’s former Edwardian glory. Good job.
When you drive along Llandudno promenade it’s hard to miss the bright white colonnaded building with iconic dome roof. It’s been part of the North Shore skyline since 1925 – when the original Tramway would have taken visitors through the town and along the promenade.
Dylan’s Llandudno is a firm favourite with the locals. They’ve managed to tap into that lively “just off the beach” feeling combined with tasty local crowd pleasing dishes. You can come in your shorts and sandals, or your sparkly “out out” frock. You can celebrate your graduation, big birthday, or simply the start of your North Wales beach holiday.
Our table was booked for 8pm so we planned to arrive around 7.15 and enjoyed Dylan’s mojitos on the terrace in the evening sun. You can relax surrounded by palm trees, and gaze across the Bay watching the sun dip behind the Great Orme. The joys of seaside life.
Whilst Dylan’s restaurants are all by the seaside, the mouthwatering menu includes a good choice of meaty courses, including burgers and pizzas. Their salads are delicious too if you fancy something a little lighter.
Gluten free, vegetarian and vegan options are in abundance and clearly marked on the menu. For Dairy Free options you’ll have to look more closely, but the waiting staff will helpfully discuss any dietary requirements with you at the table.
The Kid’s menu is well thought out with fun choices including pizza, chicken goujons, fish fingers, and Baby Dyl’s burger. It’s gentle on the pocket too with 2 courses for £7.95.
The lovely Maria, one of the Dylan’s managers, and a good friend, brought us upstairs to our table. We opted for 2 courses so Susan and I picked starter/main and Mr Bond chose main/dessert.
I always find it tricky to get past Moules Marinere on any menu. Especially when I know that they’re harvested from the beautiful Menai Straits by my old school chum Shaun Krijnen of Menai Oysters and Mussels. I love them cooked simply – the Dylan’s way – steamed in white wine, shallots, garlic and cream, with chunky homebaked sourdough for dipping. (£9.50 starter)
Susan chose the Seared King Scallops with 24 hour braised pork belly, butternut squash puree and crispy bacon. (£11.95 starter). I’ve never been a fan of pork belly, it’s often more fat than meat – but Susan’s dish was all pork and looked really delicious.
Mr Bond chose the Seafood Chowder, one of his favourites, and it may be the prettiest chowder I’ve ever laid eyes on – salmon, smoked haddock, king prawns and clams cooked with potato and carrots, white wine and cream. (£17.50 main)
My choice was the Seafood Linguine. Perfectly cooked soft pasta with local mussels, prawns and crab cooked in olive oil, lemon and a little chilli. I’m not a super spicy girl, but like a little heat. Super tasty with loads of prawns, and just the right amount of spice. (£17.95 main)
For Susan it was a no-brainer. She chose the Hake fillet for the 4th year running. It’s a generous deep fillet baked in a herb and parmesan crust served with creamy leeks, roasted baby potatoes and chive oil. If you love a good chunk of tasty fish – this one comes highly recommended. (£16.95 main)
Mr Bond, currently only 1 course down, opted for the loveliest Trio of Desserts. Always a great choice if you’re struggling to decide – as you get to try 3 different things in miniature.
Messy Mon – Dylan’s version of Eton Mess, Opera Gateau – coffee sponge served with mascarpone sorbet, and Banana Cheesecake – caramelised banana with raspberry sorbet.
All served on a very special “Dylan’s” Welsh slate with a scattering of blueberries and dusting of sweet icing sugar.
It would be rude not to finish the meal off with a Dylan’s cocktail, wouldn’t it? Especially as we’re in holiday mode. So those of us who aren’t driving ordered a “Dylan’s Mojito” and an “Ormestar Martini”.
My Martini was truly delicious. Vanilla vodka, Passoa (French made passion fruit liquor), passion fruit puree and a prosecco shot which you can sip, shot or mix – the choice is yours. I mixed, but don’t judge me, it’s my first time.
There are many little touches in Dylan’s restaurant that make it feel really special. The beautifully restored vaulted ceiling, the traditional Welsh blanket fabric used for the light shades, and the tall picture windows bathing the restaurant in evening sun. The stylish mirrored bar area is quite a stunner, beautifully lit and stocked with any drink your heart desires. On a warm evening you can eat al fresco on the colonnaded balcony and enjoy the full sweep of the Bay.
There’s 250 covers apparently, but the careful seating plan ensures plenty of cosy corners and alcoves for your private moments, as well as large tables for group celebrations. Thoughtful lighting and stunning chandeliers give an intimate glow to the evening.
Your Dylans experience needn’t end on the way out of the door. They have a delicious range of sauces, chutneys, preserves and infused oils to take home with you. They’re just been recognised by “SALSA” – Safe and local supplier approval so wherever you find their products you know they’ve come from a “safe and trusted” supplier.
PRICE | £53.80 for 2, no drinks
RATING | Must Go
SCORES ON THE DOORS | 5/5 FSA/Local Authority Food Rating
AWARDS | SALSA 2019, Michelin Guide 2019, Go North Wales Special 2018
We had the loveliest evening, left feeling full but wished we had room for more. The atmosphere was lively and laid back, the food superb. It’s definitely a “must go” for locals and visitors alike.
WHERE | Dylans Restaurant, East Parade, Llandudno, LL30 1BE
TEL | 01492 860 499
HOURS | 11am -11pm Food 12- 9pm (Weekdays); 12 – 10pm Weekends
Disclaimer: I was invited to Dylan’s Restaurant to review so our meal was complimentary, but as always, my opinion isn’t swayed by freebies and you are getting my honest opinion on the whole experience.
Have you tried Dylans Restaurant? What did you think? Leave me a comment below and share your thoughts.
I’m Judith. I’ve been blogging here since 2014. I’m a writer, keen photographer, cake decorator, lover of travel, drinker of coffee and reader of books. . This is my Lifestyle blog – a fresh authentic space for thoughtful women – where I write about my life in North Wales – the things I love to use, the issues that matter, and the places I love to visit. I’d love you to join my community.
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