I’ll make this an early predication for a Michelin star when the next listings are announced. There’s a fantastic setting (in the De Vere Cameron House Hotel), right on the loch; an elegant modern room; impeccable service and faultless food which manages to combine elements of the both the classic and modern cooking styles.
There was a trio of amuse bouche – a single scallop served on the shell with a light cheese sauce, a Parmesan gougere which was the finest example we can recall and, perhaps inevitably, haggis putting in an appearance as a “bon-bon” – a fried crisp coating to a ball of very peppery haggis. All delicious.
For starters, gnocchi were flavoured with a mild goats cheese and were topped with poached langoustines – the cheese just providing a hint of savouriness and richness; the langoustines fat and sweet; a little drizzle of a black truffle sauce enhanced the whole dish.
Organic Benbecula smoked salmon was sliced at the table. Four thick juicy slices, heavily and superbly smoked. My partner reckoned this the best smoked salmon she’s eaten. To accompany it, a squeeze of lemon, a few capers, a little crème fraiche, a few grinds of pepper and some endive salad. There was also a small toasted brioche which was OK – bit nowhere near as good as the general bread offerings – a wholemeal and a rye were excellent.
She followed this with steamed fillets of lemon sole. Light, fresh tasting and absolutely bang-on for cooking. There were some roasted baby artichokes and new potatoes, sprinkled with a little parsley and lemon.
I was giving roasted John Dory a good seeing-to. Three fillets, simply prepared, with baby turnips, potato puree and a konbu jus. I gather that konbu is the new black in a culinary sense and everyone’s doing it these days. It’s very nice to be in tune with a trend for a change.
There was nothing miserly about portion control here. Both plates were generous helpings of excellent food.
For desserts, a vanilla pannacotta was perfectly wobbly and accompanied by very seasonal poached rhubarb and a rhubarb sorbet. Less seasonal, but no less successful, a rich caramel parfait came with pieces of sticky caramelised apples and a sharp Granny Smith sorbet. A triumph!
And, to finish, there was excellent coffee and chocolates.