The Tavern at Strathkinness: Nice pub

(Visited September 2012).

Not sure they would satisfy beer lovers. But we are especially incompetent about beer and we couldn’t recognise a good selection from assorted warm water (the many locals looked happy though). 

Nor is it too likely that they will win any interior design award. 

But on the food front, on the food front… something is going on…

We were immediately pleased by the savoury scones served with the good, soft butter


Then, we delighted in the lovely freshness of the seafood produce, 

in the apt cooking, in the balance and assertiveness of flavours. Both these plump mussels and these sweet scallops with black pudding could be proudly served in far more exhalted establishments


When we read the adjective ‘tropical’ next to ‘chicken’ and we saw the accompanying rice, we must admit, we feared the worst student kitchen style culinary crimes. 
 

But no, the son at the stoves (mum in the front of house, dad everywhere) clearly has that touch that makes dishes pleasing even when they are not elegant and look a little stodgy. This dish was alive, vibrant with herbs and spices, fruit and vegetables.

And then an eternal pub classic:



You can see that the chips are home-made, quite well, but what stood out here was the quality of the peas and the tartare sauce, in the stratosphere compared to that of the celebrated and multi-award winner Anstruther fish bar (not too distant in Fife), whose fish to us tastes very good but no better nor fresher nor better battered than this.

We stopped at this point that night, satisfied after the very short drive from St Andrews, having paid very fair prices and regretting only that their wine list wasn’t more interesting, but we went out already full of desire to come back, and to try other dishes and their desserts. This is one of those little local miracles, simple food low in pretensions and rich in personality, in an atmosphere of kindness and charm (well done mum and assistant).

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