Scotsman Review
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  • Ambience - It's important that a restaurant is inviting. We rate the decor, comfort and atmosphere.
  • Drink - Is the wine or cocktail list as exciting as the food, or does it fall short? Same goes for soft drinks. 
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June 17, 2023

Tamburrini and Wishart, Loch Lomond - discover a heavenly lunch on Cameron House's bonnie banks

This duo opened their Cameron House collaboration in 2021

It’s probably the hottest day of the year.

We’re looking out the window at the people in shorts, or floral sun-dresses. It appears to be ‘legs oot’ weather. There are hot dogs, and barefooted children running across the lawn.

Ordinarily, I might feel guilty, and drag myself out to absorb some rare Vitamin D. Not today.

We’re cosseted, like a pair of pampered pedigree house cats, in this space, up on the first floor of five-star hotel, Cameron House. I’ve commandeered one of the Orient Express-esque velvet banquettes, where there are cushions in a marbled pattern like vintage notebook covers. They’ve also got tartan carpets, tiny porcelain vases filled with frothy white flowers and those views, which also take in the seaplane on the banks of Loch Lomond. 

This place opened back in 2021 and was formerly solely Martin Wishart’s gaff, until his pal, Paul, came on board for a partnership in the style of Lennon-McCartney or Bert and Ernie.

I’ve ordered a lot of casual small plates recently, and, an afternoon of fine dining feels especially indulgent.

However, we’re the only ones here, since everyone else is al-fresco flambeing themselves to a crisp.

We’re trying the lunch menu, which is only available on weekends. It seems like good value at £45pp, considering the seven course tasting list is £110pp.

It starts with the ‘snacks, bread and broth’ option. Sounds humble, but it’s absolutely not.

This includes slices of crispy crusted sourdough, one quenelle of sea-salt-sprinkled butter and another of sweet and slightly smoky cauliflower butter. Our snacks consist of two scallop crackers, topped by dots of dill emulsion. Then there’s the broth - bowlfuls of deer and shiitake consomme. It’s a rich hug in a mug, with the smell of meat and the taste of mushroom, sometimes vice versa. Served in a bowlful of smooth pebbles, there’s also a pair of stone-coloured dashi macarons that are filled with black garlic puree.They look dramatic, and taste it too, sticking to your soft palate like peanut butter.

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For starters, I have the caramelised Orkney scallop, sliced into three thick wedges. It’s a beast, like The Rock in bivalve form. This is served on a magnolia-coloured langoustine foam and, underneath, is a salty XO sauce

My dining partner is smitten by the Australian black truffle rice with aged Parmesan, which celebrates Tumburrini’s Italian heritage. It’s as cheesy as a mouse’s dream, with truffle grated on top of the risotto, and a dose of creme fraiche in the mix, to lighten the decadent depth. His main course of brill is equally beautiful. Two brine-cured and bronzed pieces of fish are served in a sauce that’s speckled like a Monet painting thanks to herby oil and a helping of keta caviar. This offering comes with a bowl of a mash that’s as smooth as gel. It’s incredible how much butter that potato can absorb.

I’d gone for a peony pink slab of Goosnargh duck, which came with a jus gras and three scoops of beetroot puree, each as shiny as a pair of polished brogues. The star of the plate had to be the pair of crinkly morels, as these heavenly fungi were stuffed with veal sweetbreads, chicken mousse and wild garlic. If you think life is too short to stuff a mushroom, get these chefs to do it for you.

At this point, there’s the option of a cheese course for a supplement of £25, but we went straight to the dessert.

I bagged the dark chocolate marquise, which was almost too bonnie to eat. This three-tier tower of cocoa heaven was topped by swirled vanilla-flecked creme, tiny shards of white chocolate, silver leaf and pearl-like balls. This also came with a crispy golden biscuit and a dulcey cremeux on the side. I wanted to wear the elegant creation, though the zingy passionfruit ice-cream might have dribbled down my hot forehead. 

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Our other set menu choice was the mille-feuille. It featured white chocolate froth sandwiched by buttery pastry layers, halved strawberries and a scoop of milk ice-cream, with a smaller strawberry flavour neatly balanced on top. Both were intense. The taste of summer.

And I’m happy to forego one of the hottest afternoons for a few hours in this decadent space.

Vitamin D is overrated.

Cameron House

Loch Lomond

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(01389 312 269,

mille feuille

Gaby Soutar is a lifestyle editor at The Scotsman. She has been reviewing restaurants for The Scotsman Magazine since 2007 and edits the weekly food pages.
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