Scotsman Review
Our criteria 
  • 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. 
  • Food - We judge dishes on flavour, but also use of produce, cooking skill and presentation
  • Service - The staff and pace of a meal can make or break a meal out.
  • Value - From the food on the plate to service and surroundings, we check that you get what you're paying for.
Ambiance
8/10
Food
7/10
Total
0%
February 27, 2024

The Taybank, Dunkeld, review - this hotel restaurant's menu is good in parts

The food needs a bit of a tweak

My husband unwittingly brought a small pet, when we visited this hotel restaurant.

Barry the shieldbug resembled a green brooch against his owner’s navy jumper.

Sadly, before I’d finished the sentence, “You’ve got something on your…”, my other half had pinged the little beastie across the room in a panic.

I really hope this guy, who really shouldn’t really be out and about until spring, is okay.

Still, there could be worse habitats than the dining room of The Taybank.

It’s a bit like a greenhouse, with the sun streaming through the sash and case windows, a line of blue hyacinths along the mantelpiece, shell pink tulips on the tables, and potted plants draped hither and thither. The wooden seats are flung with grey and white fleeces and there’s a painting of musicians, which may allude to the C-listed building’s time under the ownership of singer songwriter Dougie MacLean. You can look out to the river, as well as their beer garden and the Braan outdoor sauna, which is situated on the banks.

On the casual lunch menu, they’ve got a promising list of options.

I went for the Shetland mussels (£12, also available as a main for £22), which came in a creamy saffron and garam masala-ish broth, with plenty of leeks. It was simple and lovely, without a single stunted, shrivelled or sealed bivalve, and there were two shammies of herby focaccia for sooking up the sauce. I’d soon filled the empty bowl with rattling empty shells.

My dining partner had gone for their salad (£12) option, which consisted of roasted celeriac chunks, frilly trimmings of kale, orange segments, crispy sage leaves, whole hazelnuts, endive and a subtle citrus dressing. There were none of the billed dates in there, but they’d replaced those with other miscellaneous bits, so they were forgiven.

We could’ve gone for a game and mushroom pie (£20), gnocchi (£18) or chickpea panisse (£18) for mains, but I opted for the roast pork belly (£20).

33 Ashton Lane, Glasgow, review - Irish tapas in stylish new restaurant in the west end

I was presented with three slabs of white meat, which seemed overly flabby. I know this is a fatty cut, but there was barely a hem of meat.

Instead of crackling, they’d given me a beige and bubbly pork puff sail, but it was as tough as Kevlar, and I couldn’t saw through it. I lifted it up, and tried to chomp, but even that was a challenge, so I gave up before my molars crumbled.

Oh well. I concentrated on the salad, which was thankfully relatively separate from the gravy they’d poured over the pork. (I don’t like the twain to meet).

This mixture featured an interesting and vibrant choice of bitter leaves and fennel, as well as chunky halved green olives, and more crispy sage. There was also a large dollop of vinegary salsa verde on the side. These elements were great, but there were a lot of piquant flavours going on, and not enough of anything to balance those out. My salivary glands were in overdrive.

I think my other half fared better, with the wholesome main course of dense venison meatballs (£18) in a spicy tomato sauce. These sausagey bonbons came with a big yellow cushion of polenta, plus kale and a flurry of grated Parmesan.

Margot, Edinburgh, review - we try the hip new cafe from the LeftField team

There are four puddings, and we might've been safer with the raspberry sorbet (£6) or salted caramel brulee tart (£6). Instead, we went for the wild card of tahini, kumquat and white chocolate puff pastry slice with orange sorbet (£8). Silly us.

This was strange. It sounded like a sweet thing, but this deconstructed pastry, which was like 2/1000 of a millefeuille, was more savoury than anything else. We could taste tahini, but the clotted white chocolate wasn’t its usual flamboyantly Milkybars-are-on-me sugary self. The slices of kumquat on top looked sunshiney, but didn’t add much. The best thing was the scoop of orange sorbet.

So, prices are reasonable and there’s lots of lovely produce at The Taybank. However, I’m not sure they quite know what to do with it.

We left feeling a bit confused.

I just hope poor Barry, once he’s recovered from the concussion, doesn’t feel the same way.

Squire restaurant, Fairmont St Andrews, review - bottomless Sunday brunch in luxury hotel
Dunkeld PH8 0AQ, UK
Dunkeld PH8 0AQ, UK, PH8 0AQ
01350 677123
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.
Scotsman Review
Our criteria 
  • 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. 
  • Food - We judge dishes on flavour, but also use of produce, cooking skill and presentation
  • Service - The staff and pace of a meal can make or break a meal out.
  • Value - From the food on the plate to service and surroundings, we check that you get what you're paying for.
Ambiance
8/10
Drinks
6/10
Food
7/10
Service
7/10
Value
8/10
Total
0%
Copyright ©2024 National World Publishing Ltd
Cookie SettingsTerms and ConditionsPrivacy Policy
crosschevron-down linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram