Even with a slightly ‘frayed at the edges’ feel, this long-established Scottish-themed venue is still a popular haunt – mainly for those who like their live jazz, whisky and cigars all within arm’s reach. ‘Red and green should only be seen upon an Irish Queen’, or so they say, but it’s everywhere here. All over the tartan carpet, the walls, the kilts and ties of the staff – my eyes ache thinking about it. It’s fun, in a novelty way, but food was decidedly hit-and-miss.
Starters promised so much – there was beautifully fresh asparagus topped with a crunchy-coated, perfectly cooked egg; and a fantastic haggis (of course) served over mashed tatties.
But then came the mains. A mighty fine, meaty venison ragu strangely presented with uncoated pasta on top of the sauce, started the warning bells ringing; but a steak ordered medium but presented well-done on one side and rare on the other, was the final straw. It became quickly apparent why ‘regulars’ all seemed to be ordering the house-made burgers. Chips, by the way, were perfect.
The overwhelming feeling of being in some sort of back-to-the-’80s experiment continued with pudding – cheesecake, crème brûlée and tarte tatin – you can guess the rest of the list. In short, an establishment your mum and dad used to think was a good night out and probably still do.