Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Quick Review - Scotts at Troon Yacht Haven

When myself and Nicola head out for lunch or dinner, I have good intentions to post a review but for one reason or another, I end up not getting anything written. I would prefer to post reviews as close to our visit as possible whilst the experience is still in my mind, however life sometimes gets in the way and as the weeks roll on, a review from a time long forgotten doesn't have the same impact. Moving forward, I plan on posting quick reviews on more places that we have eaten. These post will be intentionally shorter that my usual reviews but will still aim to get the experience across.

The first restaurant to get the 'quick review' is Scotts at Troon Yacht Haven. Scotts is part of the Buzzworks Holdings, a growing entertainments group in Ayrshire. The restaurant is very trendy in style with just enough of a nautical theme to remind you that Scotts sits in a raised position overlooking The marina at Troon.

We were at Scotts on Saturday evening for an early bird dinner as part of a 40th birthday surprise for my brother-in-law Philip. We have eaten at Scotts a few times in the past and always enjoyed the food but been let down by poor service. I did have some slight concerns that the service would struggle again whilst trying to serve almost 30 diners, including a handful of attention seeking children. As it turned out, I had no reason to worry as the service provided by all of the restaurant staff who took care of our group was fantastic throughout. All of our group enjoyed their meal so for the purposes of this review, I am only going to talk about the meal that myself and Nicola had.

In addition to the a la carte menu, Scotts offer a fantastic value set menu for those diners who order before 6.30pm, offering two courses for £10.95, with the option of a dessert for an addition £3.75 - Most of our group had no problem ordering from the set menu. I started with the Grilled Goats Cheese Bruschetta, which was a simple, well presented plate full of flavour. The warmed, creamy goats cheese was served a crisp bruschetta and layered on a bed of red and yellow peppers and dressed salad leaves. I really enjoyed my starter and a will look to recreate this dish at home in the coming weeks.

Nicola struggled to choose from the set menu, mainly because her eye kept going to the Gratin of Lobster, Smoked Haddock & King Prawns that was on the main menu. In the end, that is what she ordered to her great satisfaction. The gratin was packed full with huge prawns, plenty of chunks of lobster, and big flakes of line smoked haddock all bound in a rich and creamy cheese sauce. The gratin sat on a mound of the smoothest mashed potatoes Nicola had ever eaten, and was topped with another of Nicola's favourites - pea shoots. The overall balance was wonderful, and Nicola was more than happy with her choice of main courses.
For my own main, I ordered the Thai Spiced breast of chicken with Coconut, Lime & Sweet Chilli Sauce, which was a deconstructed Thai red curry. The overall flavours my own dish were very nice individually, however I felt that this Thai curry was trying too hard to look good on a plate, rather than deliver on all fronts a a menu. I would have preferred that the chicken breast to have been chopped and cooked in the sauce rather than roasted and served with the sauce. I think the chef might have had a bumper bag of pea shoots as they also topped my own dish, I was puzzled as to why chopped coriander leaves weren't the obvious choice as a garnish. Putting all of this aside, I did enjoy my main course. The chicken was cooked well and the coconut, lime & sweet chilli sauce packed a nice spicy kick (although I would have preferred more sauce). I really enjoyed the Savoy cabbage that had been fried with red chilli - an unusual but welcome accompaniment.
As Nicola skipped the starter, she was always going to have a dessert, especially once she seen the White Chocolate and Tablet Cheesecake on the menu. If the main course was rich, this stacked cheesecake was even richer. The super sweet cream cheese filling which was blended with melted white chocolate on a crispy crumb base was presented with a sail shaped wafer and sweet caramel sauce. After two courses of creamy goodness, Nicola struggled to finish so I gladly helped her out.


I took advantage of the discounted dessert on the set menu and ordered Lemon Tart with berry compote. This was one of the nicest lemon tarts that I've had in a long time. The sharp tangy lemon flavour was complimented incredibly well by the sweet mixed berry compote, and the crisp tart base was cooked to a crisp perfection.
As I mentioned earlier, the rest of the party were impressed with the food and service, especially for the price of the set menu. For my own part, the food was very good and I feel that the service that we received has definitely changed my perception on Scotts and I wouldn't hesitate in going back in the future.
Keep up to date with Scotts on Facebook.



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