Restaurants & Bars

[Inverness] The Mustard Seed Restaurant

smtucker | May 29, 200801:44 AM

One of the many restaurants along the river, we choose the Mustard Seed due to its early night menu and mention in “Scotlands Best.” Our budget was overspent already, so we choose the pre-theatre menu at £12 per person with a glass of wine.

We arrived at about 6pm and were seated immediately though we didn’t have reservations. The room is extremely tall, with a loft with French doors ,on two sides. The loft leads to a second floor terrace, which was not open. We were seated up in the loft, which proved to be very warm due to the fire on the first floor, but gave us a wonderful view into the kitchen. We were one of two occupied tables, but by the time our starters arrived, the restaurant was filling up. Anyone wanting to eat at a normal time would be advised to have a reservation.

I ordered the tomato and parsnip soup, the soup of the day, while my DC ordered the tomatoes stuffed with vegetables atop a rocket salad. Much to my surprise, the “tomato” soup was actually potato soup, and it was delicious. The stuffed tomatoes had a mixture of small diced sautéed vegetables inside and sat on a pile of lightly dressed rocket..

For mains, I chose a lamb and vegetable casserole with creamy mashed potatoes. This was a disappointment. There were two carrot slices amongst a huge portion of cubed lamb. The lamb was nicely seasoned, but overcooked and whatever cooking liquid had once existed was gone. I ate the larger cubes of lamb which had some moisture remaining, and couldn’t finish the plate due to its sheer size.

DC faired much better, selecting the sea bass with lemon, mozzarella and tarragon and olive oil. A large bowl of boiled potato wedges, cooked cabbage, steamed zucchini and something else that I can’t remember, accompanied this dish.

DC opted for a chocolate cake for dessert, while I had coffee. The chocolate cake was one layer and was very rich. Not quite a tourte, not quite a cake; but something pleasantly in the middle. The coffee was the best coffee I had had all day.

All the front of house staff were women, dressed in faux chef jackets. They carry around these huge specials blackboards, one for dinner, one for desserts, and try to prop them up on chairs gracefully. I like seeing specials written, so that was nice, but these tiny girls were smaller than the blackboards! The service itself was very "American." Lots of stopping by and asking how everything was. As an American, I appreciated having an easy opportunity to make a request, but the number of times they stopped by the table began to seem silly.

This is a restaurant that clearly cooks with darn good local ingredients, and would be worth eating in again.

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