Foodie orgy over scallop menus

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Returning with his catch: one of Rye's scallop boats

Two very different ukulele performances feature among the bands and food which dominate Scallop Week – with Rye’s own Ukulele Experiment at the Queen’s Head on Tuesday February 23 at 7:30pm and the rocking Brillos with their ukes at the Cinque Port Arms at 8:30pm this Saturday. But there is much, much more.

Scallop Week, which starts this Friday February 20 and runs until Monday February 29 (which is actually eleven days) includes around 16 bands (or other musical entertainments) and over 20 events for “Foodies” at the same number of different venues – though some, like Webbe’s at The Fish Cafe in Tower Street, have a lot of events.

The food events cover the many different things you can do with scallops, not including trundling the empty shells in a wheelbarrow from the fishy dockyard at Simmons Quay to The Ship in The Strand (Sunday week, 10 am). And we must not forget that, though the sea has retreated, Rye is still “maritime” with yachts at Strand Quay and fishing trawlers along the Rother’s banks – though there are rumours that the Maritime Festival may not happen this year.

Some events though are already fully booked. The Queen’s Head has two nights of scallops and shanties, featuring the Mayor elect Jonathan Breeds behind the mike and stove (but not simultaneously), and fellow singer and councillor Rebekah Gilbert says : “We have sold out both nights and there are many people coming a great distance to stay in Rye because of the week – which shows what a great tourist opportunity it is for Rye businesses”.

Close on the QH’s heels for musical activity is “The Wipers”, also known as the Ypres Castle Inn, with Kangeroo Juice this Friday at 9:30 pm , Roger Carey and Andy Williams on Sunday at 7pm, and Kyle and Moore Sunday week also at 7pm.

And their scallop dishes include scallops in parma ham and seafood linguine, with garlic and mash, in baked fish pie, and with either black pudding or chorizo.

Other menus to drool over include:

  • scallop canapes, carpaccio, in garlic, red chilli and lime, seared in sweet sparkling wine and with coldwater shrimps at The Ferry in Appledore Road in Stone in Oxney.
  • pan seared with lime, chilli and coriander, with prawn gratin, or with lemon and samphire at the Kings Head halfway up Rye Hill
  • in saffon butter, with herb butter and fries, with haddock fishcake, in Vietnamese pho and with five spiced pork belly at The Standard in The Mint, or
  • with local seaweed, wrapped in home cured bacon and with cauliflower cooked four ways at the Landgate Bistro.

There is food on the move too from Tatners, featuring smoked Rye Bay fish chowder with sauteed scallop or aromatic slow braised pork belly and scallop kebabs at Old Worlde Wines in Cinque Ports Street (this Saturday/Sunday from midday and the following Saturday/Sunday), and other venues. The words alone are enough to make your mouth water.

For more information go here.

Other tasting opportunities include at Market Fisheries at Simmons Quay in Rock Channel East (this Saturday and next 10am-noon), Rye Farmers Market at Strand Quay (next Wednesday 10am-noon) , Rye Bay Fish in New Road (11am-4pm this Saturday and Sunday, and next Thursday through to Sunday) and Webbe’s (this Saturday through to Tuesday, and Saturday week and Monday week with either luncheons or scallop schools.

One mystery remains however. Allegedly Scallop Week is timed to coincide with half term but there are only two events strictly for children – a weekend club at Beckley this weekend and a fisherman’s trail for the kids to hunt for shells in shop windows. This seems to suggest that Scallop Week is targeted more at grown-ups escaping the children or grandchildren – but perish that thought!

 

 

 

Photo: Rye News Library