While up visiting Dornoch and the local area, we decided to pop in for an evening meal at the St Duthus Hotel in Tain. If I had to rate the restaurant on effort, decor and friendliness of staff, it would be a five-star all round from the Scottish Mum family.
As it was, the food was incredibly disappointing. I don’t know if we chose the wrong dishes or whether we were just unlucky or too fussy.
Given the dishes are not that cheap, I expected more and had high hopes when we entered the lovely interior. Two kids picked from the kids menu, while middler and grown ups went for the adults choice.
The kids dishes were a disappointment, and I’d have been willing to pay more for a better quality pizza.
Two kids chose the pizza option. One with smilies and one with chips. The pizza seemed to be a cheap pizza with a dollop or two of cheese thrown on top and grilled.
It was a disappointment as I make fresh dough for pennies. Littlest wouldn’t even taste more than one tiny bite.
Middler chose sweet and sour chicken which was £8.90. Not too expensive, but nothing to sniff at either. He asked for half and half chips and rice. The chips and rice were nice. The chicken seemed to be the reconstituted chicken in breadcrumb stuff that you buy in frozen packs. If it wasn’t, I apologise, but that’s what it seemed to be.
All his meal looked like was chicken nuggety things with a jar of sweet and sour sauce thrown on top.
On to the adults. For the soup, well, what can I say. It was just like my mother in law used to make, unfortunately. It had no taste apart from the slightly burned caramelly taste that overcooked boiled vegetables tends to give off. With lots of salt and pepper added, I managed to eat mine and hoped for more from my main course. The bread roll was lovely though.
For our main course, I can’t say I was disappointed as the gravy was lovely. The vegetables were nice and the potatoes great although I suspect the roasties were pre-made or cooked from a frozen packet. Either way, I was much more pleased with my plate than the sweet and sour chicken middler had.
When I ordered, I went for roast beef with all the trimmings and in hindsight, it was obvious why the waitress was surprised when I asked how the roast beef was cooked as I don’t like mine red in the middle. She said it doesn’t come like that, and by the point of eating, with the gravy, I actually found it quite tasty, but the roast beef seemed to be from a packet or a can and not an actual roast.
Having to send back a more than half full plate of sweet and sour chicken from a boy who usually clears a plate and asks for more of anything tells its own tale.
I did mention about the cheap pizza with cheese thrown on top and they removed it from the bill and offered littlest something else to eat which he declined.
I loved the surroundings, the staff were fabulous and it should be a lovely little gold mine of a place. It’s a pity about what came across as mostly fast food processed offerings to me. Maybe we ordered the wrong things, but it was a disappointing visit for us.