Today OH and I decided to head North for lunch and ended up in Blairgowrie. After wandering around the shops we walked down towards the River Ericht in the hope there would be someplace overlooking it we could eat. That’s where we found Cargills Restaurant & Bistro. It was set back off the road so no river view but it looked lovely with tables outside and then inside a large airy room decorated in red and green.
We were greeted warmly by the waitress and offered to take a seat. There was a board with specials aswell as an extensive lunch menu with a variety of options. The made to order quiches sounded great – you had to pick 3 ingredients – but I didn’t fancy waiting for it to cook so decided to go for the Venison Pie with Mash and Beetroot from the specials board. OH plumped for a small Arbroath Haddock, Chips and Peas as opposed to the large one, which was almost twice the price. Quite a few of the dishes offered a smaller version which I liked. We waited quite awhile on our meals arriving, which I don’t mind really as it means you’re getting your food freshly made but it did make me think I should have went for the quiche after all.
When I saw the venison pie on the board I had pictured maybe getting a segment from a large, round game pie with a nice thick, short crust pastry, possibly some beetroot salad on the side with a lovely creamy mash.What arrived disappointed me. A tin dish with a puff pastry lid, a beetroot cut in half and some mashed potato.
Earlier I had decided against having the chicken fillet with tomato and mozzarella sauce because it’s something I would throw together in the kitchen myself but the pie that arrived looked more like something I would throw in the oven when I couldn’t be bothered cooking at all. Pleasingly, it was full of meat and it melted in the mouth. Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough pastry to go with it. I also felt they had forgotten to salt the mash as it was a bit tasteless but OH argued that it would be a different type of potato than I’m used to. Regardless of the potato I felt the mash was bland.
OH enjoyed his small fish and for once wasn’t ‘stappit fu’ after his meal. I’ve just asked him what he thought of it and he said “it was just exactly as the menu said, a battered fish. You can’t go wrong with battered fish.” So there you have it.
I nipped to the ladies before getting the bill only to find there was no loo roll in the first toilet. Thankfully there was some in the next one but it’s little things like this that added to the disappointing experience.
Cargills had loads of potential – it had a lovely atmosphere, good service, nice decor and it’s on a good wee spot along the river – if only they had just used short crust pastry…..
A Magners, blackcurrant and soda, venison pie and a small battered fish – £24.60