The Crusoe, Lower Largo, Fife

Anytime I get asked where I would recommend for a meal in Fife I generally say The Crusoe, in Lower Largo. It has good food, it’s in a picturesque location and always has a lovely ambiance. Therefore, for my mum’s birthday, we chose to take her there for lunch.

As it was a beautiful day I pre-booked just in case we couldn’t get a table but as it turned out the majority of people were eating outside. However, it did mean we got a nice table with a view of the Forth.

We were given 2 menus. The regular one with light bites, starters, mains and desserts and a specials one. The soup on the specials menu immediately jumped out to me as it was White Onion with Cider and Cheese Croutons. Ever since I first had white onion soup in a Belfast restaurant, which was the most amazing soup ever, I have been a big fan so although it was a gorgeous, sunny day and the last thing I needed was a starter or soup, I just had to have it.

OH decided on the smoked haddock tartlet with poached egg and Mum decided not to have a starter and save herself for her main.

IMAG9638My soup wasn’t as white as I had thought it would be as the cider gave it a brown tinge. However, it was still very tasty with just a light hint of apples. The crouton was a large soggy thin piece of bread that could have been left out. Disappointingly, the accompanying bread was too thick and dry as if it had been sliced in the morning and left out.

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OH’s tartlet looked amazing. The poached egg was soft but not runny and when I asked him if the tart was really fishy he said, “Not yet. Oh wait a minute I got a bit there.” Overall however, it was a tasty, satisfying dish that he demolished and was happy with.

 

IMAG9641For my main I ordered from the specials menu again and had Fillet of Cod, with Prawn and Green Pea Risotto and Samphire.  Again it looked amazing when it arrived. The risotto had a bit of bite and the little prawns through it were a nice touch. Unfortunately, the skin of the cod wasn’t crisp and I had to get my bit of crunch from the samphire. My favourite bit of the dish was the creamed leeks that weren’t mentioned on the menu. They were a delight.

IMAG9640OH also ordered from the specials menu and had Braised Shin of Beef with horseradish hollandaise, roast root vegetables, mash and Madeira jus. His beef looked melt in the mouth and was surrounding by roasted carrot and turnip. OH’s only complaint was that he could have done with more gravy/Madeira jus. Again he cleared his plate.

Mum, in a surprise selection, went for Chicken and Ham Pie from the main menu. When it arrived it was a proper pie – it had a top, bottom and did not arrive in its own dish! I haven’t seen one of them in a restaurant for a long time. The mash was in abundance and although mum gave it a good go she had to leave some. She said that the pie was packed with chicken and ham and you could tell it was home-made.IMAG9639

Mum and I continued with our wine as OH, as is his norm, ordered a dessert. Pineapple Carpaccio. From memory there was mention of meringue, freeze-dried raspberries, pistachio, coconut jelly and blueberries.

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When it arrived it was like a Caribbean disco on a plate and was easily the brightest dessert I have ever seen. The dish was jam-packed and no-one could complain about portion size. The thinly sliced pineapple had a hint of coconut but it wasn’t overpowering and the whole dish was a fantastic fresh and fruity fun feast.

 

On the whole, a brilliant birthday meal.

2 Starters, 3 mains, 1 dessert, 3 glasses of wine, 1 pint of coke = £67.00

 

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The Harbour View, Kinghorn

Saturday was a beautiful days so OH and I thought we’d try to find somewhere with a beer garden to have lunch.  Driving along the Fife coast we decided to stop at Kinghorn at a pub we had only ever driven past before. The Harbour View. 

Trying to get into the pub car park was our first challenge as we had to squeeze in between 2 walls, which were just wider than a car’s width.  The car park was busy, which was a good sign but also a bit tricky to manoeuvre.

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The second test of the day was trying to decide where to sit. Initially we sat at a picnic table on the grass, which had fabulous views of the harbour and the Forth. However, it was on a slant so I knew there’d be no chance of managing to keep any food on my plate and would be more hassle than it was worth. Another option was to sit at tables on the flat next to the bar but unfortunately they didn’t have any view. We, therefore, decided to sit in the bar to eat, although we could also have sat upstairs in the restaurant.

I have to say, the menu was not very exciting. Soup and sandwiches, mac cheese, fish and chips, burgers, hotdogs, goulash and salads.  We talked about going elsewhere but neither of us could be bothered thinking of anywhere else to go so we both just ordered fish and chips. IMAG9581And I am so glad we did. They were amazing. The fish was practically tasteless it was so fresh with large chunky flakes. The beer batter was  hot and crisp without being the least bit greasy. The chips were tasty and straight out the fryer. The tartare was a bit uneventful  but still passable and the peas were as described on the menu – not crushed or mushy but garden. They came in their own small dish – possibly in case you were eating outside.  Portion size was good too – I managed to clear my plate and didn’t feel overly stuffed at the end.

The interior of the Harbour View bar was tastefully decorated, the toilets were nice and clean and the staff, along with the regulars, were all friendly and welcoming.  I’d definitely go back.

A pint, a coke, 2 mains = £22.40.

 

PS  getting out the car park wasn’t that easy so next time I will be on the pints and OH can drive.