Fabric, Dunfermline

So yesterday OH and I dined with Mr and Mrs Hairy at Sol y Sombra in Broughty Ferry. It was a good time with great company and great food. However, I wrote about it in 2014 and when I reread my blog from back then I thought it was still as relevant today so I didn’t feel the need to write another. If you want to see it you can read it—> here

Instead, I am writing about Mini-me and I dining in Fabric in Dunfermline today. We had just walked around the fabulous Dunfermline Carnegie Library & Galleries and when we came out we noticed Fabric diagonally opposite the library. The menu looked good so we went in.

Fabric is the epitome of a place for women who lunch. The white stylish chairs, the single red roses at each table, the mirrored tiles, the chandeliers and the huge vase of flowers on the bar said it all. We were seated among other women who were enjoying afternoon tea. The cake stands of scones, fancies and sandwiches looked fantastic. At another table a woman sat surrounded by glasses and Prosecco in an ice bucket obviously waiting for friends so they could celebrate a birthday.

We were given menus and brought glasses of water with ice, which was great. We oohed and aahed over the offer of a starter and a main for £11.95. However, as it was a Sunday and they were serving brunch all day, Mini-me fancied the full breakfast with sourdough toast so I thought I’d get a starter we could share as it was only a couple of pound extra and therefore decided on – Arancini – red pepper, watercress and tomato salsa – followed by Tiger prawn squid ink linguine in a creamy tomato sauce. When the waitress appeared we ordered. She said, “Are you ordering the starter and main combo?” Yes I am. “Sorry, the pasta isn’t a main meal, it’s just these ones here. The menu is a bit confusing.” I couldn’t agree more. “Just the pasta then thanks.”

Tiger Prawn pasta

We waited quite a while and discussed afternoon teas and coming back for one, we read the drinks menu and chatted about what cocktail we would order if we were going to have one and we listened to other people’s conversations about being at Ladies Day. Eventually, our meals arrived and they looked great although Mini-Me’s toast looked like the Guinness Book of Records could give it an award for the whitest toast in the world. We both thought it was bread.

toast (yes really)

My pasta was lovely, roasting hot and very messy. I had to tuck my napkin into my top to save it from the tomato sauce (thankfully Mini-me let me) but I loved it. As well as temp hot it also had a bit of a kick to it and the sauce was beautifully creamy. I would have liked more prawns but I’m not sure how much is too much when it comes to good prawns.

breakfast

Mini-me was enjoying her breakfast – the bacon, sausages and eggs were great but the buttered toast was fast becoming a problem. She said the butter tasted cheap and was leaving a bad taste. The haggis was tasty until she got to the bottom of it and she started to wonder if it had been fried in the same butter. When I had finished my pasta I asked Mini-me if she was going to finish her toast as I fancied a bit to wipe up the last of my sauce. I even went as far to pick up a bit but it was rock solid. Her reply was, “If you’ve got a nice taste in your mouth I wouldn’t.” I didn’t.

We asked for the dessert menu but nothing jumped out so we just got the bill.

As we didn’t have any drinks (we just stuck with the water) it was a bargain £16.90 for a breakfast and a main meal (which wasn’t really a main meal it was pasta).

With hindsight we totally should have had an afternoon tea.

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The Fishmarket, Newhaven, Edinburgh

IMAG9675

During the week I saw on my Twitter feed someone raving about the new restaurant that had opened in Newhaven Harbour, The Fishmarket. (next to the Loch Fyne Oyster Bar in Edinburgh) I looked up the website  and had a look at their menu, which looked great. There was crab, lobster, langoustine as well as haddock, cod and lemon sole.   The main hook for me on the website was ‘From the Boat Straight to your Table’. What’s not to like?

I, therefore, suggested to OH that we could lunch there on Sunday. I felt it was prudent to phone ahead and book and I was glad I did as when I asked for a table at 1.30pm I was told I could either have 1.15 or 1.45.

We arrived promptly and were given a table in the window with a good view of the harbour. The restaurant was busy with family groups and other couples. There was also people sat at the bar who I am guessing maybe hadn’t phoned ahead.

The decor was clean with white tiles and contrasting dark green ones. The staff uniforms were nautical, white and blue striped tops so be pre-warned and don’t be like the woman who didn’t know and was sitting dining with friends and family but equally could have been clearing tables.

The menus were already on the table. However, a waitress walked past me holding heaped plates of mussels, which looked amazing but there was no mention of mussels on the menu. I looked around for a specials board but to no avail. When the waitress appeared to take our drinks order I asked about the mussels and was told the other table had phoned and requested them in advance. Oh. My first disappointment. A different waitress then appeared to tell us that the only draught lager, which had been recommended, had run out. Oh.

My next one was when a couple that came in after us but got their food order taken before us and received their food before us too. I realise all food is cooked to order but that was bad service and it was a full 40 minutes from entering the restaurant to getting our food.

As we waited, I noticed the two women sitting next to us orders arrived. One had fish and chips and the other 4 hand dived scallops, which all arrived on separate shells and took over the table. I checked the menu. The 4 scallops, each no bigger than a marshmallow, would cost her £24.

Anyway, I had decided on the lemon sole as I had realised on further scrutiny of the menu and checking other people’s plates that everything was deep-fried and I wanted something that wasn’t. OH knew before we got there that he was having dressed crab. So when the waitress eventually appeared we gave our food orders. Her first question to me was “do you want it battered or breaded?” Oh. Battered I replied disappointed. Her second question to OH was “do you want chips with that? It’s not that big.” OH agreed to have chips. My question is – If a waitress is suggesting you get chips with something why doesn’t it already come with chips?

The next disappointment was when OH’s dressed brown crab arrived with no shell in sight. It came on a plate in a circle with some sauce and chivIMAG9674es on top. As my mum pointed out when I told her, “it could have been tinned if there was no shell.” Saying that, OH did enjoy it but also said he was glad of the bread that came with it. OH also suggested that some side salad with some spring onions or strong herbs would have added to the dish. If OH is making serving suggestion then I know the dish is lacking.

IMAG9673My lemon sole was good. The texture, unlike haddock and cod that easily flakes, was mushy but it didn’t taste muddy as some bottom feeders can do. The chips were chip shop chips (there’s a take away chip shop attached to the restaurant, which is where the deep-fried dishes are cooked).

If getting shit-faced on Prosecco or Pinot Grigio is the acceptable face of afternoon drinking then The Fishmarket is the place for middle class people to go and eat unhealthy, deep-fried food without the same guilt.

Normally, I would have another glass of wine and OH would have a dessert but we decided we would just ask for the bill. When we got it, there was no drinks on it and the waitress had to ask what we had to drink.

Overall, the food was good. Fresh, tasty and very fishy (there was nothing on the menu that wasn’t fish) However, I had been expecting a classy seafood restaurant but instead I got a posh fish and chip shop so I won’t be needing to go back.

A pint, a small glass of wine, 2 mains = £38.80

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

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