The per­fect des­ti­na­tion for fine din­ing or ca­sual eat­ing with am­bi­ence

The Oban Times - - LEISURE -

CUANRA Res­tau­rant at Best Western The Queen’s Ho­tel on the Es­planade wel­comes head chef Stuart Wood back to Oban. Stuart takes the helm at this des­ti­na­tion res­tau­rant, hav­ing worked at restau­rants and lux­ury ho­tels around the world, from the five star Queen’s Ho­tel in Chel­tenham to eater­ies in France and Spain, to the Wa­ter­front Fish­house in Oban.

Stuart, an Ed­in­burgh na­tive, com­bines knowl­edge and ex­pe­ri­ence with a pas­sion for lo­cal in­gre­di­ents to cre­ate out­stand­ing sea­sonal food. His ethos is an em­pha­sis on fresh, lo­cal prod­ucts, but with a twist. ‘I’m us­ing Scot­tish in­gre­di­ents to make dishes with di­verse flavours in­flu­enced from my ex­pe­ri­ences work­ing across Europe,’ Stuart said. ‘It’s some­thing that’s a bit dif­fer­ent. All of our food is made freshly in house. We make all of our breads and desserts, in­clud­ing ice- cream.’

The menu changes sea­son­ally to show­case the best of the west’s bounty, such as Isle of Mull hand- dived scal­lops with tomato salsa, olive tape­nade and basil, or Oban-landed lan­goustines with gar­lic but­ter – pre­pared sim­ply to let the nat­u­ral lus­cious flavour shine.

‘The scal­lops and lan­goustines come right off the boats, and they’re bril­liant, some of the best I’ve ever seen,’ shared Stuart. ‘Our Isle of Gigha hal­ibut dish is re­ally pop­u­lar, pre­pared with sautéed new pota­toes, broad beans, wild fen­nel and mint.’ High­land venisongets spe­cial treat­ment – carpac­cio-style with house-made watermelon sor­bet.

Veg­e­tar­ian dishes are al­ways on of­fer, such as bar­ley risotto with roast but­ter­nut squash and red-pep­per salsa. Desserts fea­ture sea­sonal in­gre­di­ents and house-made spe­cial touches, such as rhubarb frangi­pane tart with brown bread ice- cream, and lemon meringue cheese­cake with stem ginger sor­bet.

The Queen’s Bar menu of­fers a more ca­sual menu from 5.30pm to 9.30pm, with tra­di­tional dishes such as fish and chips, burg­ers, steaks and seafood, along with a fine dessert se­lec­tion, such as sticky toffee pud­ding or cho­co­late and Oban malt mousse.

The am­bi­ence at Cuanra is el­e­gant, yet ca­sual, the per­fect spot for a ro­man­tic din­ner or spe­cial fam­ily oc­ca­sion. Din­ers en­joy quiet ta­bles over­look­ing the bay – and the sun­sets over Oban bay make for a in­cred­i­ble set­ting in which to en­joy a re­lax­ing din­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. Din­ner is served from 6pm-9pm. Book­ing is rec­om­mended to avoid dis­ap­point­ment. Ring 01631-562505 or visit www. the­queen­shotel-

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