Sometimes, going off the beaten track in search of good food more than pays off.
The Auldhouse Arms is located in a small rural village, just outside of East Kilbride. Originally built more than 200 years ago as a village pub, it has expanded several times over the years, and has recently had a massive revamp and refit after being bought by Marco Sarao, who also owns The Swan in nearby Eaglesham.
Part of this refurbishment has seen the creation of The Allus Restaurant. Accessed via the rear of the building, the dining area has a pleasant mix of the old and the new, providing a cosy setting. The traditional walls of the old building can be seen, but mirrors have been placed on the pillars, to make it feel contemporary and classic at the same time.
The menu itself is packed with charm. The starters section is titled ‘Hank Marvin’, which is appropriate, given what it’s the rhyming slang for. Salads are grouped under Lettuce Eat, fish fishes are Doon the Water, while the grill and mains are under Field to Fork. There’s also a varied selection of dishes for vegans, including Thai green curry, sweet poteto, kale and lentil burger, a cauliflower and cashew Wellington, and several salads. There’s even three good dessert options.
The starters have dishes that you would expect, with a soup of the day, smoked salmon and haggis – and perhaps some you may not.
With several tempting options, I selected the Classic Scotch Egg (£6.95), but this was not what I expected. Whilst the menu lists it coming with tain cheddar, pickled onions and beetroot chutney, it’s got a hidden surprise. I love a Scotch egg, but I noticed there was an extra flavour in there – and I clocked some mustard seeds. This was something new to me – I had previously tried an egg with cranberry and it didn’t work – but this is superb. The extra flavour works nicely with the sausage meat and is a fantastic combination.
My companion chose the grilled asparagus and poached egg, with brown butter hollandaise (£6.95). The asparagus was packed full of taste, having been carefully cooked and hadn’t lost its taste, and married with the sauce. The poached egg was perfectly done, with a runny yolk that flooded the plate.
As a lover of fish, I wanted to try something a little different for the main course, and the Monkfish Wellington (£18.95) was right up my street. Two beautiful rolls of fish wrapped in a filo pastry were set atop pomme puree, beetroot, baby carrots and samphire. The fish had a strong taste and was wonderfully fresh, and married perfectly with the red win jus. The pastry was delightfully crispy, and I was more than happy with my choice.
My companion’s choice was the 8oz sirloin (£22.95), which came with handcut chips, rocket and tomato salad, and had a choice of sauces, truffle and sea salt butter, pepper sauce, or blue cheese sauce. She chose the pepper sauce, and asked for the meat to be medium-rare, and when it arrived, it was exactly the way she likes it. The meat had a good, strong flavour and cut beautifully, and the chips were quite simply outstanding. There’s thick cut and then there’s there chips – they was like sliced chunks of fried potato. They were almost worth making the trip for alone.
We were both feeling close to full, but it seemed wrong to ignore the desserts.
My choice was the chocolate fondant, which came on chocolate soil, with orange caramel, and vanilla ice cream. The portion size was great – after what I had consumed so far, this was just what I needed. The fondant was perfectly cooked, soft inside and out, and the filling was just right. The orange caramel was a subtle taste, without overpowering the palate, and the ice cream helped it go down.
My companion is a huge fan of the sticky toffee pudding, so I wasn’t surprised in the slightest when she chose this one, which came with honeycomb and Biscoff ice cream. The pudding was just the right level of sickly sweet, and had a good crumb to it when the fork was run down it. The Biscoff ice cream was a pleasant change, and worked well on the side, as did the honeycomb.
The Auldhouse Arms menu is top notch. This is gourmet food, at a good price, in a scenic location. It’s less than a mile from the south of East Kilbride, and is a little gem that’s more than worthy of a visit.
The Auldhouse Arms, 6-12 Langlands Rd, East Kilbride, G75 9DW