When push comes to shove, I’m not sure there’s a world cuisine out there I dislike.
There’s plenty for me still to try but so far – the planet’s global smorgasbord has been a big hit with me.
Two of my favourite cuisines are Scottish (of course) and Spanish. I’ve never considered the two together, that is until I had dinner in Eighteen69 restaurant in the Auchrannie Resort on the Isle of Arran.
Set in the resort’s surprisingly cosy conservatory space in the house hotel, the menu boasts a large variety of small plates designed for diners to share so that they can sample as much or as little as they like. Taking the recommendation of 3-4 plates per person seriously, I plumped for the crispy cod cakes flaked with chilli and lime, served with lime aioli dip, filled ravioli (I’m not sure the Italians would agree this dish is Scottish) which was stuffed with squash, sweet potato & spinach and topped with a smoked Scottish cheddar glaze. My third dish was the indulgent but irresistible twice cooked duck fat chips. My dining partner opted for the slider of venison with toasted brioche bun & red pepper relish, slow roasted portobello mushroom served with spinach, puy lentils & a rich tomato sauce and the roast beet and sweet which consisted of beetroot, plum tomato, feta cheese, baby spinach salad & candied walnut.
The cod cakes were more of a tater tot shape and size but there were enough to keep me happy and the aioli dip was a fresh and creamy partnering. The ravioli was wonderfully rich as the cheese glaze was more of a glorious cheddar blanket (the spin bike doth call me forth). The chips were a sizeable enough portion for my dining partner and I to share – when I wasn’t batting his hand away. The venison slider was a hit although it’s not one that would be easily shared and the lovely light salad was quickly demolished. While the saucy puy lentils weren’t a winner for my partner, the starring portobello mushroom was earthy and delicious.
There are many dishes I’d love to try should I find myself back at Eighteen69 and they included the mac & black: smoked Arran cheddar, macaroni,
black pudding & bacon crumb and the lamb & haggis pie: slow cooked lamb topped with haggis mash.
With plates ranging from £4.50 to £10.95 and some being generous enough to share, there’s lots to choose from so you’re left neither hungry or with too big a hole in your pocket.
I’ve no business offering any political commentary but I’d say this foodie fusion is a union made in heaven.
You can read more about my trip to Arran & Ayrshire in the February issue of Scottish Field where I explore the newest tourist campaign – The Coig
Isle of Arran
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