Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Knock Castle - Stag's View Restaurant Review

It was a beautiful, crisp, August afternoon. There was a bright sky in Scotland the day me and my fiance had lunch at the Stag's View Restaurant at the Knock Castle. This wee place is snuggled in the hills of the town Crieff in Perthshire, Scotland. We were both excited to be able to experience the majestic views from the outdoor seating and have a lovely lunch in one of the finer establishments in the town.

We were greeted by the front desk agent who walked us upstairs to the Stag's View and the barman there seated us outside after he took our drink orders. Chrissy chose an alcoholic ginger beer called Crabby's and I had a Bacardi and Diet. We sat and took a few photos of the view while we sipped and pondered over the menu.

We were getting the 2 course meal with a certificate that Chrissy had gotten through her work. The local taxi service Crieff Taxi, had received some free meals to allow for their employees to experience the Knock restaurant and in turn be able to promote it to their passengers. So we made our selections from the menu.

The starters all sounded lovely, but we were in the mood for a good desert. We decided on the Rib-eye steak both cooked Medium with the Potato Fondant and braised red cabbage. There was also some delightful small carrots and zucchini. Our pudding was the classic Sticky Toffee Pudding with Toffee Sauce and a side of home made ice cream.

The server/barman was very attentive and made us feel very comfortable when our food was ready to be served as he led us inside to our table. The service was splendid through out. However, the steaks really failed to impress.

The presentation of the food was almost off-putting. It looked like they just piled everything on top of itself.. which they actually did. Mind you, the food looked delicious, I just had to move everything around on my plate so that I could get to the potatoes and veggies underneath.

Expecting a nice juicy pink middle on our steaks, we cut into our meat. Brown, yes done all the way through. The steaks were not even near Medium anything on the scales. We would have sent them back if we were paying for the meal and if we weren't so hungry from waiting and anticipating the meal. They were juicy but not very tender. Large lines of gristle ran through mine and not marbling like a rib-eye should have.

The potatoes were cooked in a cylinder/puck shape. I am not fussy about the shape but they were very dry and had very little flavor to them. I have never had Potato Fondant before, so I have nothing to compare them to. I normally love potatoes but this was not one of those times.

The red cabbage along with the zucchini and baby carrots were seriously tasty! There was a vinaigrette sweetness to the cabbage and a real light almond or macadamia nut flavor to the carrots. The two flavors were a nice balance to each other. The zucchini was small but sliced down the center with a lovely buttery flavor. Chrissy had never really tried it before and for someone who is not up for things she THINKS she dislikes (or is anaphylactic as she puts it lol) the zucchini won her over. She was a fan of all the veggies as was I.

On to the dessert, or the pudding as they say in Scotland. Sticky Toffee Pudding is a dark spongy cake with a toffee glaze and sauce poured over it. It is served warm and usually with a side of ice cream. Their Sticky Toffee Pudding, although maybe a wee bit dry on the cake, did not disappoint in the flavor. The ice cream was a bit bland and was really drowned out by the sweet toffee of the sauce. I might have enjoyed that more with some nice fresh berries and a bit of meringue by itself, but not with a heavy Sticky Toffee Pudding. A full flavored vanilla would have been better than the light cream of the home made ice cream.

Our lunch would have normally cost us £25 and if we were paying for this meal, we would have definitely sent the steaks back. Well, I say that but again, we were very hungry and not that fussy of eaters. But, we know a good steak from a so-so steak.

All in all, the views were gorgeous, the staff was superb, the decor was cozy, the castle was amazing, the food ... not worth the price.

For a more interesting meal with amazing atmosphere and not too tight on your pocketbook, try out The Lounge located on the High Street near the town center in Crieff. All the feel of a French Cafe, nuzzled into a cozy little corner in Scotland. Bon App├ętit!

No comments:

Tweet This