The Dining Room, Kirkcaldy, Fife.

This blog all started because OH and I were looking for a shared hobby so it isn’t often I write about a restaurant when he isn’t there but after a visit to The Dining Room in Kirkcaldy I felt moved to blog. So why was I out without him? Well, what happened was that Sir Harry Burns was doing a talk at the Kirkcaldy Foodbank AGM and my colleague, PC, and I wanted to hear him so we decided to go for something to eat after work and prior to the AGM.

Now, before I start to tell you about The Dining Room, I just want to acknowledge the irony of PC and I going for a nice meal before we attend a food bank AGM and listen to Sir Harry discussing the impact of poverty and food insecurity in families. I can say I do feel guilty. btw if you ever get the chance to listen to Sir Harry please don’t miss it…actually google him and listen to one of his TED talks – I promise you won’t be disappointed.

So, that said, the Dining Room turned out to be an inspired choice even though it was really chosen for its geography. When we went in we were pleasantly surprised at the stylish decor and subtle lighting.

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Sat on our own with evening menus, we admired the black and white photographs on the walls and enjoyed the playlist. The waitress told us it was 2 for 1 burgers as it was Tuesday and asked for our drinks order. We just asked for tap water. As we perused the menu another couple came in and they were the only other people we saw dining at the same time as us.

The menu highlighted that all the pasta dishes could be gluten free and other options had GF marked on the menu. This delighted PC who has recently been testing her intolerance. She went for GF Penne pasta with strips of beef fillet, sugar snap peas and fresh chillies topped with freshly grated Parmesan. However, she asked for it without the chilli.

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When the dish arrived the waitress apologised as it was spirals instead of penne but this wasn’t a problem for PC. I thought it was unusual for a pasta dish to have beef in it and using olive oil instead of a sauce, probably because it wouldn’t have been my choice but PC loved her meal saying the pasta was cooked to perfection and the flavours went well together with there being just the right amount of everything. If anything, she would have preferred a lot more cheese on top but she said she would have wanted a lot more cheese on most things. I asked her about the pasta’s taste minus the gluten and she said she genuinely couldn’t tell the difference (and that’s not because she is a novice GFer it is because it tasted so good).

I decided on Smoked haddock on a bed of spring onion mash topped with a soft boiled egg and Parmesan cream, which was lovely. The spring onion gave the otherwise creamy dish a nice crunch. The fish was fabulous right up to the tail, which unsurprisingly got a bit dry. The egg was as described – soft – but I would have loved runny but I’m not complaining because I really enjoyed my meal.




Although we were finished our meal, we sat for a while chatting as we didn’t want to be too early at the AGM. We finished the bottle of water as we put the world to rights and rather than someone politely placing a bill on the table we were asked if we wanted more water, which was a great touch. Another great touch was the lit candles in the bathroom.

We were eating early on a Tuesday and the place was really quiet so I maybe need to take OH back one weekend to check out the atmosphere. However, I’m fully expecting it to be just as good.

2 main meals and tap water £24.40

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A Fishy Weekend in Fife

Mini-me and Teeny Him decided to spend some time with the old foggies this weekend. The pair of them haven’t been well recently and were looking for some TLC. So to try and fatten them up and keeping it simple, MM, TH and myself visited Home Farm View on the outskirts of Kirkcaldy. However, we never call it that as we usually say it’s Chapel View or Hungry Horse due it it’s previous incarnations. It is now a Greene King Inn so as you would expect with a chain it’s a very samey menu, which caters for a wide range and is geared up for families. We went there solely because it has a play area for Teeny Him to play in.

Sat in the play area (£1 extra) we ordered a child’s macaroni cheese with chips, garlic bread and rainbow vegetables, an adults macaroni with garlic bread and green leaves and I went for the seafood mixed grill, which was grilled cod loin, salmon and seabass fillet with butterfly king prawns.

TH ate his macaroni as soon as it appeared and managed a couple of chips before deciding the chute was more enticing. To be fair his plate looked better than his mum’s who struggled through half of it before giving up. I enjoyed my mixed seafood grill although the only way of knowing what white fish was what was that the seabass still had it’s skin on. Unfortunately, it wasn’t crispy. The prawns however, made the plate a winner as they were fat, lovely and juicy. It also had roasted Mediterranean vegetables and fries with their skins on, which I loved.

Considering the price and that it was a stress free meal with a toddler it got big ticks.

2 adult mains, 1 children’s meal, 3 juices and a play area = £30.89

The following day was bright and breezy but with a threat of snow flurries hanging over it. We therefore thought a trip along the coast so we could watch the big waves crashing was in order. This time we swapped TH for OH who has also been suffering with the lurgy recently.

We had been to The Bank in Anstruther before and knew it had stunning sea views so we thought we would take MM there to try and put a smile on her face and to get more calories in to her.

MM ordered a hot chocolate with marshmallows when we arrived and I went for a large white wine. OH, the driver, had a coke. We were also able to watch the huge waves crashing as we pondered the menus.

The options were either from the lunch menu 1 course £7.50, 2 £10.75, 3 £14.50 or the a la carte. OH and I went a la carte and MM went for the lunch menu.

MM had battered fish, peas, homemade slaw, salad garnish and swapped the chips for mashed potatoes. OH had Wild Scottish Venison Haunch Steak, pan roasted with a red wine and rosemary sauce, root vegetables and carrot and potato mash and I decided to have Crispy skin seabass fillets Thai spiced vegetables & sesame egg noodles.

My seabass was beautiful and this time it had the crispy skin I was looking for. The Thai vegetables were nice and crunchy and my only complaint was that there could have been a tad more lime to cut through some of the oils. MM wasn’t keen on her mash after looking forward to white mash (like her mum makes) instead of the yellow stuff on her plate, which she insisted was Smash until I explained different kinds of potatoes tasted and looked different. She did manage to eat all her fish though, which after a weekend of Miss Picky saying cheese tasted too cheesey and garlic bread was too garlicky I was relieved. OH said his venison was a little bland as he thought it would taste more gamey. I thought it looked a little rare and it was a bit chewy but he insists it was good and it was his cold that made it taste bland because he loved the presentation and tastes. He also finished MM’s mash so it was good to see his appetite back too.

We looked at the dessert menu and OH decided on Baked orange panna cotta with dark chocolate shavings lemon shortbread rounds, MM didn’t fancy anything and I ordered another glass of sauvignon blanc but a small one this time.

You might notice that the pana cotta arrived with no dark chocolate shavings. We did ask and were told that some things change on the menu and that’s how the dish arrives now. This was disappointing as one of the reasons OH ordered it was for the dark chocolate and orange taste. He then struggled to find much orange in it as it all ended up on one spoonful, which left nothing for the rest of the dessert so really it should have been described as pana cotta full stop.

Overall the it was a lovely meal and being able to watch Hibs beat St Mirren in the bar next door added to the fabulous afternoon.

A hot chocolate, 1 large, 1 small white wine, 1 coke, 3 mains and 1 dessert = £54.85

Spiral Weave, Kirkcaldy

OH and I enjoy visiting an array of different kinds of restaurants and pubs for lunch and overall my blogs tend to be pretty positive. However, that all changed today when  we visited the Spiral Weave in Kirkcaldy, which is a carvery from the Marston’s chain. 6 hours later and I still have indigestion and the taste of grease on my lips.

Mini-me joined us today so we thought we’d keep it simple and go somewhere local. Big mistake. Big. Huge!

The menu, which is A3 and colourful, is carbohydrate heavy and uses the words batter, yorkshire pud and potatoes, in all their forms, far too often.

If you fancy the carvery you choose what size of plate you want to overfill and, as it’s a Sunday, you can add an extra £1.80 to the cost of a medium plate because God wants you to pay more to eat on the Sabbath. (no he doesn’t, God would rather you were in church, it’s Marston’s taking an unholy advantage)

IMAG9521After much deliberation I ordered the Bubble, Banger and Pud. Homemade bubble and squeak, topped with three Cumberland sausages, crispy onions and gravy served in a giant homemade Yorkshire pudding.  When it arrived I was immediately disappointed to not glimpse any cabbage or even a bit of sprout amongst the mashed potato. Instead there were peas scattered in the pud and it looked like the mashed potato had been dumped on top of them instead of mixed in.  I’m guessing using the word ‘homemade’ gives them carte blanche to completely change a traditional recipe. If the potatoes had seen a frying pan I would be surprised as I believe the dry edge they had came from heat lamps, which had also made the yorkshire pudding inedible. The sides were dry, empty and crispy and the bottom too soggy to cut. The gravy dropped out the jug in lumps – another item ruined by being kept warm. To end on a positive, the sausages were good.

Mini-me decided to have three sides instead of a main meal and plumped for IMAG9520Mac & Cheese, Battered pigs in blankets and chilli, cheesy fries. When the dishes arrived I was overwhelmed by their beigeness. Although the thought of the sides was appealing the sight was the exact opposite. The cheese (again probably due to being kept warm for long periods of time) had gone bendy instead of stringy. The cheese to chip ratio was high and Mini-Me could have made a cheese house for the little pigs after the fries were all gone. She even gave me one of her pigs in blankets, which is unheard of as normally we argue over the last one at Christmas. The battering did not help them as what I ate was greasy, over cooked and disappointment in a beige wrap.

IMAG9518OH ordered the Ends of the World burger, which was a steak burger topped with flavoursome beef brisket ends and BBQ sauce. It arrived in a bread roll rather than a seeded bun, which could have earned it bonus points if it hadn’t immediately collapsed, meaning OH had to eat his burger with a knife and fork. The brisket ends were dry although the bbq sauce tried it’s best to zing them up a bit.  The onion rings were mediocre (OH’s word not mine) however, the burger itself was thick and tasty and OH did manage to clear his plate.

Mini-me fancied ordering a pudding but I talked her out of it as I could just imagine more frozen food left under a heat lamp.

Trying to be positive, what the menu does offer is food for a hangover. Comfort food, high on carbs and grease, you can’t be bothered cooking yourself.  Mind you, I don’t think the chef cooked anything either. By the looks of the plates we ordered, everything is bought in frozen, cooked in the morning, placed on a plate and kept hot until someone places an order at the bar.

Incidentally, as the meal was so bad, I noticed for the first time in a long time, no one ventured near our table to ask us if the food was okay. Even when the waiter cleared the table at the end he asked if he could take the plates, not ‘how was everything for you?’. Saying that, he could probably tell by the amounts left on the plates – not that he showed any surprise.

2 mains, 3 sides, 2 pints, 1 J20, 1 dose of indigestion =£35.05

Lady Gardening and Maxin Restaurant, Kirkcaldy, Fife.

Today started off a bit different from I expected. Remember Mini-me gave birth last week? Well, it turns out her lady garden got vandalised at the same time and she needed an emergency gardener to have a look at the damage straight away. So instead of a long lie and a slow leisurely start to my Sunday, I found myself in A+E minus my normal morning coffee and any kind of sustenance.

From A+E we were shuttled back to the same ward Mini-me spent 15 labour hours in just a week previous.

First the midwife had a shifty but decided she needed a doctor to give a 2nd opinion.

Then a Junior Doctor had a bit of a nose and she decided she needed the Registrar to have a look too.

When the Registrar eventually showed up he had a peek and felt that the Consultant shouldn’t be left out so he got to have a squint at Mini-me’s bits too.

So after everyone had had a good look at the garden the decision was to leave it alone and allow nature to take it’s course (of antibiotics).

We eventually managed to leave the hospital at 5pm. We’d been there since 10.30am and all we’d had was a plate of custard creams and some weak hospital tea. Therefore, Mini-me got a chippy on the way back and, with hindsight, I wish I had too but as OH was home alone and probably hadn’t ate all day either, I thought we could go out.

Long story short, we ended up at  Maxin’s Cantonese and Peking Restaurant in Kirkcaldy.

The restaurant was really quiet but then it was an odd time for us to eat. I’m pretty sure that there aren’t many people looking for Cantonese food at 6.15 on a Sunday.

Our first mistake was to both have starters – I went for the Chef’s Mini Rolls and OH went for Crispy Duck Rolls. There were loads of mini o2015-09-20 18.58.23nes and OH’s duck ones were h2015-09-20 18.58.30uge! Next time we are definitely sharing a starter.

I knew as I was putting the last bite of filo pastry into my mouth that I was going to struggle with my main, which was Singapore Chow Mein Spicy Hot (Stirred fried with curry oil, mixed peppers, fresh chilli, ham, chicken, char sui). It was just as spicy hot as the menu said it was and that was with me deliberately leaving the red chili slices at the side. It was a little dry but I enjoyed it and only left a couple of spoonfuls – that was my second mistake – I should have left a lot more.  2015-09-20 19.21.03

OH had struggled with the menu – mainly because he didn’t have his glasses with him but also because he never knows what to have if there’s no steak. He eventually asked the waiter for Crispy beef (with sweet & sour sauce dip). Now the waiter did try to dissuade him from this by offering a Cantonese style chicken sweet and sour but OH stood firm. This was his second mistake and he should have listened to the waiter as when his dish arrived it looked rubbish. Basically just deep fried beef and a dip.  2015-09-20 19.21.51 Three mouthfuls in and he was bored with it. He also left some because it was too greasy and uninteresting for him not because he was full. He then said, as he had a bad taste in his mouth, he needed a dessert. He opted for a Meringue and Strawberry Tower.  It was barely mentioned as it quickly disappeared. 

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My third mistake was to have 2 tins of diet coke with my food. By the end of my meal I had a stitch in my stomach and looked like a snake that had swallowed a pig. This is the problem when you haven’t ate or drank all day and then binge on fizzy juice and spicy food. I should have followed Mini-me’s lead and just had a fish supper.

Don’t get me wrong, the food was good, the service was lovely and the only thing wrong with the meal was OH and I’s choices.

2 starters, 2 mains, 1 side, 2 pints of lager and 2 tins of coke – £42.20.

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Home Farm View, Kirkcaldy, Fife.

Remember I was taking golf lessons? Well, today I was going out for my first ever game and OH was taking me. To make sure we weren’t hungry as we traipsed around the 9 hole course at Cluny Clays we decided to go for breakfast first at Home Farm View in Kirkcaldy, Fife, which is just up the road. It’s part of the Eating Inn chain and someplace we hadn’t visited for a long time, probably because we associate it with kids – it has a soft play area and caters mainly for families. Regardless of the fact we were child free, we went in for breakfast.

The breakfast menu is pretty basic. Either a Scottish breakfast (bacon, egg, sausage, haggis, black pudding, beans, potato scone, tomato and toast), a Big Breakfast, which is the same but with 2 of everything or the vegetarian option. You could also have a filled roll with one or two fillings. The only other options were porridge or beans on toast. Saying that, I was more than happy with the Scottish breakfast as was OH. When the waitress came to take our order OH said he didn’t want any black pudding and was offered an extra item instead so he went for another egg. I thought this was great as they didn’t need to offer an extra anything.

2015-08-23 11.12.05The breakfasts were just what you want on a Sunday morning and the exact amount not to be too filling (particularly if you’re playing golf afterwards). I had no complaints but I know some people who read this will be annoyed as the beans weren’t in a separate dish. To them I say get over yourself – it’s just a bit of bean juice leaking over your plate not poison ;p

The biggest bonus of the breakfast was the price.

2 Scottish breakfasts, a coffee and a tea = £9.99!!

Yes, you read that right. The breakfasts were only £3.99 each but when you order 2 and have 2 hot drinks alongside them the price is £9.99.

A total bargain so whether you have kids or not the next morning you can’t be bothered to cook or just want to treat yourself, get yourselves along to Home View Farm in Kirkcaldy. golf

In case you were wondering – I was cack at golf and lost count of my score once it got into triple figures. And yes, I did say it was a 9-hole course :s

Cluny Clays, Cluny, Kirkcaldy.

Sunday morning and the fridge was akin to Old Mother Hubbard’s cupboard so it wasn’t too hard a decision to head out for breakfast. Recently, as part of my job, I have been taking a teenager to the golf range at Cluny Clays to help build his self-esteem and confidence. Much to my surprise I’ve really started to enjoy it, although I do tend to completely miss the ball more often than I connect with it. In stark contrast the 15-year-old looks like a natural so my incompetence alone helps boost his self-esteem.

Anyhow, when trying to decide where we should head for brekkie we came up with the idea of going to Cluny Clays. The plan being breakfast followed by 100 balls in the golf range.

They serve breakfast until 11.30 and offer a full cooked,  a full veggie, eggs on toast, whatever you fancy on a roll and t2015-07-12 11.22.56heir own twist on a croque monsieur. OH went for full cooked no black pudding and I went for full cooked no mushrooms. When my plate arrived I knew I wouldn’t be able to finish it. 2 eggs, 2 slices of bacon, 2 sausages, haggis, black pudding, tomato, beans and toast. We also had a pot of tea for 2.  The breakfast was absolutely fantastic. The sausages weren’t too spicy, the black pudding was lovely, the egg yolks were runny, the bacon was thick and I had no complaints at all. OH managed to finish his and I gave mine a damn good go but had to leave some just so I would be able to get out of my chair.

When I paid the bill I also asked for the balls for the driving range. They give you a receipt with a 4 digit number, which you then take to the range, input the code into a machine and it spits out your balls into a basket.

2015-06-03 14.51.38Once you’ve picked your bay you pour your balls into the hopper and it automatically pops up your ball onto a tee. It’s all very fancy. At Cluny Clays there is a transit van parked in the middle of the range with a target on it as well as greens with holes and flags, and nets to chip into. Try as I might I couldn’t hit the van. Obviously OH managed to hit it 4 times in a row (show off) so with his advice I managed to start hitting the ball more often but got very frustrated when, after 40 balls, I started swiping through fresh air again so I went in a huff and gave up.

After OH had distributed the remaining balls over the range, we wandered into the shop and started chatting with (what turned out to be) one of the PGA professionals that give tuition. Long story short. I’ve now signed up for lessons!!! Yes, I know. Me neither. This can only end in one of 2 ways. I either become a golf bore and my blog start to show a reducing handicap or I wrap a club around OH’s neck.

You’re just going to have to watch this space to find out which it is.

2 breakfasts, a pot of tea for 2 and 100 balls for the golf range – £20.70