The relaxed fine dining restaurant
‘If you’ve got good ingredients don’t muck about with them’ wrote a top chef recently. It’s a sentiment that could well be applied to Jason Davies, chef/owner of Restaurant number 20 in little Port Mulgrave, between Whitby and Staithes and just a five minute walk inland from the Cleveland Way coastal footpath.
Locals might know Jason and his wife Sue from the Fox and Hounds at Goldsborough. For twelve years it was their much-admired restaurant on top of a wind blown cliff, where Jason cooked superb food, simply and elegantly. Then in 2018 they quit, moving on to salaried jobs with less work and less pressure. Or so they thought.
They soon found that nothing could replace the freedom of running their own business and before long they pitched up here in Port Mulgrave in what was originally the village pub – The Ship Inn – and more recently, a charming tea room.
Now it’s transformed into Restaurant number 20 with a smart open kitchen, a state of the art Josper charcoal grill, a dozen tables and the same fabulous menu as before.
Fish and shellfish are Jason’s strong suit. Turbot, halibut, monkfish and local sea trout make regular appearances, paired perhaps with porcini flavoured new potatoes or a braise of peas, asparagus and spring onions. He uses crab landed locally for a superb crab linguine or Cornish spider-crab for a salad of sweet white crab meat and thinly sliced raw fennel.
With his new Josper grill, the menu features more meat than before. Superb sirloin steak sourced from long-lived, grass fed Galician cows, lamb cutlets paired with broad bean crostini or superb beef Carpaccio dressed with mix of thyme, olive oil, lemon juice and garlic.
There are a few desserts that might be chocolate truffle cake, panna cotta, apricot tart, ice cream and a cheese board. Sue looks after the front of house, curates the wine list and with her cheerful disposition keeps the whole operation running.
The restaurant is small, just 24 covers, the décor simple and attractive – white washed walls, pristine linen, a wood burning stove – and the food is absolutely first rate.