Isle of Eriska Restaurant, Benderloch

This was our first Michelin starred meal on our mini honeymoon on the west coast of Scotland. This area is blessed with amazing produce and no surprise that there are good restaurants, which take advantage of this.

The plush and opulent Isle of Eriska Hotel is located off the main road between Appin and Oban. It is quite a long way, so don’t lose faith and keep driving and you’ll eventually come to the rickety bridge connecting the island to the mainland.

We had a drink and canapés in the bar before being shown to our table. Emma’s glass of champagne spilt on the way but it was replaced immediately.

We went with the tasting menu. A trio of amuse bouches arrived before the meal began. I forgot to write down what they were but I recall crispy yumminess.

The first course was our favourite. Glazed, sweet tender pork cheek was paired an ingredient I hadn’t heard of – turbot skirt, which turned out to be the beautifully delicate outer part of the fish flesh.

Next up was hand dived Orkney scallop, seared on the outside and almost translucent inside. The cured ham fat listed on the menu turned out to be moreish crispy bits of ham fat.

Toasted pearl barley with ox tongue was a very Scottish dish, both in concept and ingredients. Hearty and laden with umami.

The seafood course was Isle of Gigha halibut and Isle of Skye langoustine. Lovely but it was just pipped by the langoustine dish at our meal at Airds Hotel in Port Appin the night before.

The meat course was aged loin of Perthshire mutton. I love the deeper flavour of mutton, which is common in my birth country of Malaysia.

The cheese course was Eildon blue served as their version of Waldorf salad.

The palate cleanser was tangerine sage. A bold combination though I’m not sure the herb helped the palate-cleansing properties.

The dessert of greengage with garden cucumber was again bold but not 100% harmonious on the plate.

Lovely meal in lovely surroundings.

Ratings

Food: ★★★★ Service: ★★★★★ Ambiance: ★★★★☆ VFM: ★★★★ Overall: ★★★★★

 

 

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