Seafoods from Fraserburgh, and butcher Bert Fowlie from Strichen. Provenance is important.
We both plumped for seafood starters: Cullen Skink for himself and smoked salmon blinis with pickled cucumber for me. But within a couple of minutes our waitress returned full of apologies as the salmon they’d been expecting hadn’t been delivered.
So instead I had Black Haggis Bon Bons. These golf-ball-sized balls contained a smooth mix of Stornoway black pudding from Charlie Macleod and haggis from McSween’s in Edinburgh. Covered in a crisp crumb and Parmesan cheese coating they came with a fresh salad and sweet and creamy Dijon mustard mayonnaise.
They were delicious – perfectly seasoned and full of flavour and I made a pledge to myself to try and make them at home.
Speaking of home-made, no one makes Cullen Skink soup like my mother, as she must allow about half a pound of smoked haddock per serving. Anything less feels like cheating.
This version had a nice, smoky aroma and plenty of tatties. Though a tad heavy on the cream and light on fish for my tastebuds, it was, nevertheless, hot, filling and tasty.
Although not busy, the restaurant had a pleasant atmosphere, thanks to the selection of music being played including highly appropriate tracks such as Here Comes The Sun by The Beatles and Daydream Believer by The Monkees. For mains I went with an old favourite, breaded wholetail scampi, while Mr Croatia ordered a fillet of breaded haddock which he opted to have rather than battered. Both were served with a generous portion of green peas and chunky home-made chips. The haddock was thick, white and really fresh and reminded us of how good a simple piece of haddock, wellcooked, can be. Meanwhile, I demolished my large portion of scampi with indecent haste as these plump, juicy pieces of seafood were superb.
We decided not to have a sweet as we were both pretty full, opting for coffee and shortbread instead before venturing out to explore more of this beautiful part of the country.
We’ll be back and will bring the folks next time as there’s nothing they like more than a day out with a good-value lunch included.
Tasty fish and chips went down a treat in Rosehearty