The Starfish Cafe At Cairn Bay Lodge Bangor
Name: The Starfish Cafe
Location: Cairn Bay Lodge, Bangor
Price: £2 – £8 (per person)
I have fond memories of Ballyholme Bay in Bangor, Co Down. I had friends from the area and we used to get up to all kinds of shenanigans that are best not printed on here. Anyway, Bangor is a bustling little seaside town I grew up in and love. A nice place for tourists to come visit the marina and parks. The retail industry was hit hard during the recession, the ailing Flagship centre is a depressing example of the many shops that couldn’t get through the recession. However, for hospitality at least, it is business as usual and the town has some fantastic bars and restaurants as well as hotels and guest houses.
The Cairn Bay Lodge is one such guest house, that for over 100 years has sat overlooking the seafront. On a bright sunny afternoon the views of the sea are lovely, but not so much when there are grey clouds in the sky threatening to rain on you and spoil any possible photo opportunity!
The lunch menu consists of mainly seafood, which is very fitting for the location.
I opted for the sweetcorn fritters with smoked salmon, avocado, coriander, lime and chilli créme fraíche. I have to admit, I was a little disappointed with it. I couldn’t really taste any chilli in the créme fraíche to start with, and the fritter itself was a bit bland, if I’m being honest. It’s only saving grace was the smoked salmon, which tasted like it was freshly caught from the sea and the salad with my beloved avocado!
Neil had the starfish chowder with smoked fish, which I couldn’t help but have a little taste of. I love chowder and am awfully particular of how it’s made and I’ve tasted some disappointing chowders in my time! This, however, was a rather pleasingly good one! (Wish I’d ordered it!). It’s now up there along with The Bay Tree Restaurant in Hollywood (review here if interested) as the best I’ve tasted for quality and freshness. For sides, we went for our favourite of the moment, sweet potato fries. As usual our beverage of choice was coffee, even though the peanut butter and strawberry milkshake sounded nice! Maybe I should’ve went for the milkshake, as the coffee wasn’t the warmest in the world although it tasted fine.