We had really been looking forward to dinner at the Lochleven Seafood Café near our hotel in Ballachulish Scotland. The only question was…would the meal match the hype surrounding this restaurant?
An adjacent big green building houses the café’s sister company, Lochleven Shellfish. They have been exporting live shellfish to Europe and the Far East for many years. What started as a place where some locals could buy fresh shellfish and later some simple meals eaten outside on picnic tables evolved into the idea of a restaurant. Thus was born the Lochleven Seafood Café! It opened in 2006…
The interior of the Lochleven Seafood Café has a modern touch…simple and straightforward with some interesting wall mounted sculptures to set the tone.
We started out with a couple of pints of River Leven Blonde…and excellent light lager. It’s brewed in Kinlochleven, a small village about 6 miles up the road at the head of Loch Leven. We consumed a couple of bread baskets with some great rolls and olive oil for dipping. (1.25 pounds sterling/$1.60 U.S.) We preferred butter with the rolls and we were provided with an ample supply as soon as we asked…
I’m not into olives but everyone else at the table was…especially the ladies. This order of Mixed Olives from the “Side Dishes and Nibbles” portion of the menu satisfied everyone’s desire for these treats. It was a lot of olives for 3.00 pounds sterling/$3.90 U.S.
Appetizers included a bowl of Palourdes (carpet clams) grilled with garlic butter was very well received by everyone. (7.95 pounds sterling/$10.30 U.S.) Then there was a beautiful bowl of Shellfish Soup! (7.95 pounds sterling/10.30 U.S.) It was another winner! …and of course someone had to go for a half dozen Loch Creran Oysters! (9 pounds sterling/$11.70 U.S.) So fresh! Another early choice was a bowl of Cullen Skink. (5.25 pounds sterling/6.80 U.S.) It was terrific!
So what the heck is Cullen Skink soup? It isn’t the most appetizing name but this thick Scottish soup is full of smoked haddock, potatoes and onions. This is true rainy weather comfort food!
My better half ordered the Roasted Langoustines for her entrée. (22.95 pounds sterling/$29.80 U.S.) She made short work out of this large pile of fresh shellfish! After all of the starters and nibbles, my wife's sister Bonnie decided to order a light dinner. She had a Grilled Half Lobster with garlic butter and a House Salad. (19.95 pounds sterling/$25.90 U.S.) It was excellent!
I got a little exotic…at least by my standards. I ordered the Diver Harvested Scallops dinner with Bacon. (21.50 pounds sterling/$27.95 U.S.) These large scallops were the best I’ve had in many years! Bill loves shellfish and he couldn’t resist the most humongous entrée! It was the Shellfish Platter for one with 3 dipping sauces. (40.00 pounds sterling/$52.00 U.S.) It contained lobster, clams, oysters, mussels, langoustines, etc., everything that can be served on ice. Bill stayed with it and didn’t talk much as he demolished his delicious shellfish extravaganza!
What the heck… We just had to overdo it a bit more didn’t we? Laurie and I shared a Traditional Scottish Cranachan. (5.50 pounds sterling/$7.15 U.S.) FYI...Cranachan is a dessert that is usually made from a mixture of whipped cream, whisky, honey and fresh raspberries with toasted oatmeal soaked in the little bit of whisky. It was very good!
For their dessert, Bonnie and Bill ordered a selection of luscious Handmade Oban Chocolates. (3.00 pounds sterling/$3.90 U.S.) Like everything else at the Lochleven Seafood Café, they were excellent!
The Lochleven Seafood Café was easily the best restaurant that we experienced in Scotland…and we ate in some really good restaurants! While it was expensive, this is one instance where we really got what we paid for…really fresh top notch seafood! This is a MUST DINE restaurant for any travel itinerary covering western Scotland…
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