Playfair’s Restaurant, St Andrews

Lusa (remember my fussy cuz/sis from the states?), MiniMe and I decided we would head to St Andrews for a little shopping and some food. It was a glorious day and it was great just wandering up and down the ancient streets.  The home of golf is home to a whole lot more nowadays as it now boasts modern shops like Superdry, Monsoon and H+M as well as unique gift shops, boutiques and deli’s. Definitely something for everyone.

Lusa had booked us into Playfair’s Restaurant which is part of the Ardgowan Hotel on Playfair Terrace. According to the reviews on Tripadvisor we’d be in for a treat.

Having finished our shopping we decided to find somewhere in the sun to have   some light refreshment before our meal. Unfortunately the majority of places with seats outside were all full so we headed towards the restaurant to see if they had anything suitable. It was perfect. There were a number of available tables outside and it was a complete suntrap!

At our allotted time we headed indoors and enjoyed the much cooler interior. Mismatched chairs with coordinating fabric, doors on the roof and mirrors along the wall worked really well together and Darren was happy to introduce himself and escort us to our table.

When given the menus there were 2 options – the seasonal menu, which was 3 courses and tea/coffee for £27.95 or the a la carte. However there was nothing that really jumped out from the limited seasonal menu and it didn’t feel like much of an offer so we all went a la carte. Decisions made, Darren took our order.

As we waited with our drinks (a lovely bottle of sauvignon blanc and a fresh orange) we were offered a small slice of bread, which I thought was very tasty. The other two weren’t so keen but they did try to catch the waiter’s eye to see if they could mooch another slice. They didn’t succeed.

Soon our starters  arrived. Lusa and I had both went for the Organic Scottish Clava brie with toasted sourdough and wild mushroom fricassee to start with whilst MiniMe had the Soup du jour with focaccia, which was Lentil and Bacon.2014-07-24 18.26.38

Lusa and I both thought the name of our starters should have been more about the mushroom as it totally outweighed the Brie. I also felt there was a taste missing or another level that could have been reached with the dish as it just felt a little lacking. MiniMe loved her soup and wiped the bowl clean.

For mains I plumped for the Scottish fish stew with tomatoes, saffron aioli and crusty loaf and I wasn’t disappointed. It was delicious. 2014-07-24 18.47.22I was left a bit uncertain what to do with the saffron ailoli so MiniMe used it to dip her chips in.

Lusa wasn’t sure what to go for as there was poached fish on the menu as she believes the only thing that should be poached is eggs. However, Darren convinced her that the Poached Shetland haddock with Welsh rarebit, creamed potatoes and Arran mustard sauce was amazing.  Lusa didn’t quite find it amazing and although she said it exceeded expectations and almost melted in her mouth, it lacked flavour. 2014-07-24 18.45.33Fortunately the creamed potatoes and mustard sauce won her over and she pronounced it a good dish.

MiniMe who isn’t a regular restaurant diner, unless you count drive thru McDonalds, wasn’t too sure of anything on the menu as there was always something that would put her off. For instance the Stovies with beef short-rib, spiced tomato sauce and oatcakes sounded great to 2014-07-24 18.45.12her but when we explained they wouldn’t be made with cornbeef she was immediately put off and went for the Prime steak burger 170g topped with Welsh rarebit in a brioche bun, with tomato chutney and handcut chips. When Darren informed her it would come pink her face turned the same colour. “Eh no, can I get it cooked through please”.

It turned out that MiniMe isn’t keen on prime beef as it tastes too farmyardy and the brioche bun was too doughy. Thank goodness for the chips and aioli! You can take the girl out of McDonalds….

After we had finished it was decision time –  should we go for a dessert? I knew I wouldn’t be but Lusa and MiniMe were swithering.  Lusa scoured the menu but couldn’t find any mention of custard so thought she’d get Darren to ask the chef if there was any chance of a wee bit custard with today’s crumble (pear) but Darren was no longer giving us the time of day. We all agreed he delegated desserts to the lesser staff and probably ‘the bringer outer’ of meals wasn’t even allowed a pad and pen yet. We sat for a while until eventually we were asked by a lesser staff member if we wanted a dessert. Lusa asked if there was any chance of custard and she got a firm no in reply. We were pretty sure Darren would have at least asked the chef. Disappointed we handed back our menus and started discussing other restaurants we could head to for dessert that might have custard.

Possibly we were being left to let our meal digest but again we found it difficult to attract anyone’s attention to try and ask for the bill. Darren, the bringer outer and lesser staff all avoided our table. Maybe asking for custard is a huge taboo!

Eventually, like buses, we managed to get 2 waiters at once and they both went off to get our bill.

Dinner for 3 plus drinks and tip £80.

I enjoyed the evening, it was good food with great company and I might go back but I’d definitely leave MiniMe behind with a fiver for a happy meal.

Tune in next time to find out where to get desserts with custard in Fife….