North Port Restaurant, Perth

OH and I were in Perth today. We had been for a wander around the Continental Food Market and also the Museum and Art Gallery so when we got hungry I searched for somewhere close by that wouldn’t mean another walk. My phone suggested North Port Restaurant, which was right round the corner and I am so glad it did. Although it really was a meal of 2 halves (to misquote a footballing cliche).

When we arrived our coats were taken and we were seated in a dark, olde fashioned room. Dark wood was everywhere; chairs, tables, floor and even a low ornate wooden ceiling. However, our table was light and airy.

The waitress appeared with a bottle of tap water and wore a loose floaty apron which added to the ye olde feel. She gave us 3 menus. A la carte, set lunch and specials. The lunch menu was 2 courses for £14.95 and 3 for £17.95. The a la cart menu offered main meals around the £18 mark and the specials menu boasted scallops, pigeon and hake.

We were asked what drinks we wanted and as there was no wine menu I asked for a glass of Sauvignon Blanc. New Zealand or Spain? New Zealand of course. Large or small? Large. OH asked for a bottle of St Mungo’s lager as there was nothing on tap.

After much deliberation, OH decided on Whipped Arran Blue – celery, sweet cicily, toast and I went for the Smoked Haddie, leeks, hazelnut dressing. OH is trying to eat more fish, which is what I usually order but as the other menu items didn’t appeal as much (we were ordering off the lunch menu) we both ordered North Sea Coley, celeriac, spinach, mushrooms, shellfish sauce.

As we were waiting, the waitress arrived with our drinks and a plate of homemade bread and a carrot dip with pumpkin seed granola and parsley butter. I am not usually one for filling myself up with bread before a meal but I ate it all and when I was asked if I wanted more I was sorely tempted. It was gorgeous.







Arran Blue
Smoked Haddie

I have to say, my starter was amazing. There was large lumps of delicious smoked haddock, the leeks and hazelnut dressing gave it a fantastic taste and texture and the fish skin gave it a lovely salty crunch. After I had finished I could not wait for my main meal and bragged to OH how clever I was at finding this hidden gem of a restaurant.

OH wasn’t quite as enthusiastic about his starter. I had thought it would look a bit blue but it resembled vanilla ice cream. The taste however was very blue. I tried a small amount and mentioned that it could do with a glass of port and OH agreed that was exactly what was missing. He enjoyed it though and like the crunchy celery.

There was the perfect wait between courses and the waitress was very friendly and attentive.

Coley

Our dishes both looked great when they arrived and initially I thought it was good but as I kept eating I got more and more meh with it. The skin was only crispy at the edges, I wasn’t sure the mushrooms actually went with the dish and the spinach could have been drained more. The celeriac was the biggest flavour on the plate and didn’t really deserve to be. Trying to find something positive – the shellfish sauce was good and it was a quality piece of fish.

I think because the bread and the starter had been so absolutely bloody brilliant, I got overly disappointed in my main. It was now up to the dessert to try and at least equalise in the second half. (or should it be third?)

White chocolate custard

OH ordered the Set White Chocolate Custard, hazelnut crumble, coffee jelly. Did it score? Yes it did. The coffee jelly was small but strong enough to cut through the sweet white chocolate and the crunchy crumble balanced well with the squishy, set custard. OH also ordered an americano, which arrived with 2 square truffles of really strong chocolate. I believe when only 1 coffee is ordered and you still get two bits of sweet yummyness the restaurant gets brownie points. I ordered another glass of white but small this time.

I know that some of you reading this don’t like toilets that are a hassle (Mum I mean you) and unfortunately these ones are up a spiral staircase. However, the staircase fits in perfectly with the rest of the decor and the toilets are lovely (and there is White Stuff toiletries).

When the bill arrived I kicked myself that I didn’t order a bottle of the house white as

1 3 course lunch – £17.95, 1 2 course lunch – £14.95, 1 small, 1 large NZ White £17.90 (!!!) 1 lager £4.50, 1 coffee £2.50 = £57.55

Service was fantastic, ambience and decor great and I’d say on the whole food was very good (I just need to stop putting starters on pedestals just to knock it over when the main arrives)

Pig’Halle, Perth

Today OH and I headed to Perth. We’ve visited Pig’Halle  a few times before and have never been disappointed so when we were thinking of somewhere for lunch today it didn’t take us too long to decide on the French restaurant on South Street. It was busy when we arrived but they still managed to seat us without a reservation.

We were given menus which had both the a la carte and the set lunch menu inside. Unusually, the choices on the set menu also included that day’s specials, which the lovely French version of Will from The Inbetweeners described beautifully to us.

Breaking from the norm, OH and I both ordered the same starter. Personally, I blame him for rushing me into my decision. He had already jumped the gun when French Will poured our water and ordered his boring non-alcoholic beer before I had even had a chance to look at the wine menu. Panic set in and I requested a glass of house red (large obviously – I wasn’t that panicked). Then, as soon as French Will returned with our drinks, he said he was ready to order. That’s when I realised we were both ordering the Pressed Hock Ham Terrine, soused vegetables and toasted sourdough bread to begin with. I then ordered the Herb Crusted Baked Coley fillet with a seafood risotto and shellfish bisque and OH plumped for the Seared skirt steak, shallots confit, baked jumbo mushrooms, boulangeres potatoes, sauce aux 3 poivres.2015-01-24 13.16.09

Unfortunately the plate with the bread, caramalised onions and aioli arrived at the same times as our starters as I’m sure if it had arrived with the water OH wouldn’t have rushed the ordering because he was so hungry.

2015-01-24 13.16.04 Anyway, the terrine was good. Nothing overly special but it was done well and had a good texture and firm consistency. I ended up spreading the aioli on the sourdough bread, which was fantastic.

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OH’s skirt of steak only came medium rare, which was perfect for him as basically he likes his beef chased through a hot kitchen. He cleared his plate and the only issue he had with the dish was that it was bit too creamy for him. My fish dish came with eyes, tentacles, suckers and shells so not for everyone but I always try to order things I’d never make at home and this plate full of seafood certainly ticked that box, and what a plateful it was! I couldn’t finish it.The crust was the best bit, full of flavour and crunch. The clam was a bit disappointing and too chewy for me but the rest was lovely. I did have to ask for a bowl to put the shells in and I could have done with a finger bowl or wet wipe after peeling the king prawn but nonetheless it was a tasty bowl full of seafood loveliness.

Neither of us had room for a dessert so we passed when the waiter cleared our plates. However, since Oh was having a coffee I had another (small) glass of wine. Disappointingly there was no little bit of sweetness with OH’s coffee that I could steal so I ordered the bill.

2 set 2 course lunches, 1 large, 1 small glass of house red, 1 non-alcoholic beer and a coffee came to £39.30

(apologies for the pics in this blog – I think I need to give my phone lens a clean)