Michelin starred food, not far from Glasgow at Loch Lomond
Fresh from a visit to Martin Wishart’s brasserie, The Honours, at Glasgow’s Malmaison to celebrate their first birthday, we made the short trip through to another of his hotel restaurants, this time the one Michelin star Restaurant at Martin Wishart at Cameron House on a cold and chilly Valentine’s weekend, however, the welcome at the restaurant (and the hotel) was warm and friendly.
Mrs Foodie loved the decor and not just because the green matches her kitchen! There’s an Art Deco feel with mirrors that resemble ship porthole windows. The seats were comfy and as an added bonus there was a view over Loch Lomond from where we were sitting.
We settled down to look at the menus. The Du jour menu is £32 each and as it was Valentine’s, we splashed out on the accompanying wines at £25.50 each. A series of amuse-bouches appeared one after the other. Each eagerly munched.
First to arrive, a cauliflower and pickled lime coronet as well as a cheese and onion ball (which of course was delicious and more exciting than it sounds!)
And then one presented in a scallop shell: Squid ink crisp and smoked salmon mousse – just make sure you don’t eat the pebbles!
Finally, Iberico ham, Puy lentils and creme fraiche.
Mr Foodie ordered Roe Deer Chou Farci – meat wrapped in cabbage leaves with little onions. This French version of the dish looked like Sarmale that we’d eaten in Romania. A Romanian Calusari Pinot Noir accompanied the dish, and it turned out that our server was from Romania! The wine was light in colour and taste but “had legs” and was very smooth with strawberry and blackcurrant on the nose. Both went pretty well together.
Marinated queen scallops with Jerusalem artichoke puree and Cep cappuccino for Mrs Foodie. A light and creamy mushroom sauce and poppadom potato crisp topped with thinly sliced mushroom. The crispy but light poppadom was a contrast to the smooth sauce and scallop. The accompanying wine was Cote du Gomariz, Ribeiro from a region of Spain that touches Portugal. This was more minerally with a lightly acidic, fruity taste.
Mr Foodie chose roasted breast of Goosnargh duck (from Lancashire) with sauerkraut, polenta, chestnut and a pear and spiced jus. The polenta was cooked just like a tattie scone with a crisp exterior and fluffy interior. The duck skin was perfectly crisp with tender meat. The fruited sauce with chestnuts provided a wintery feel to this dish.
Dos Dedos de Frente 2010 2 “fingers to the head” from the Catayud region of Spain went with this dish, with a slightly smokey, leathery aroma this was more full-on than the previous red. It was darker and thicker but still smooth and with some sediment.
Fillets of John Dory “Polonaise” with cauliflower cream, romanesco and smoked eel butter. Moist but firm John Dory fish sitting within the creamy sauce alongside crisp but tender cauliflower. This was delicious!
A pre-dessert to cleanse the palate. Ideal after the butter sauce with the John Dory. Vanilla cream foam and Granny Smith apple sorbet.
Mille Feuille of pear and caramel with straw wine jelly. The puff pastry was so light that it crumpled under the weight of the fork – there was no way to eat this daintily! The juicy and tender pears melted against the crisp puff and the luxurious cream, and it was served with a lovely sweet Muscat beaumes de White.
Mr Foodie’s pudding could double as the model for a modernist apartment building perhaps! It was beautifully chocolatey with a mixture of soft velvet and crunchy textures and paired with a Maury Mudi gliza red wine, this thick viscous syrupy and very sweet wine was a good match with the chocolate cake.
We were stuffed….and yet we had to find space for the petit fours to go along with our coffee. Pistachio macaron, candied nuts, whisky truffle and fruit jellies. All scoffed!
As expected the meal was delicious and relaxed in the lovely surroundings of Cameron House. The staff were friendly, professional and were extremely approachable. This is definitely a special occasion restaurant as even with the excellent cheaper lunch menu (£32 for three courses) the bill still came in at £147.14 once wines and service etc were added on.
The restaurant is located within Cameron House Hotel but is a separate business from the hotel (much like Andrew Fairlee at Gleneagles). Take the door on your right and follow it round to the left and up the stairs from the main entrance. We travelled there and back using public transport – take the Balloch train, alight at Alexandria then take the McGill’s 305 or 306 services. Buses are every 1 – 2 hours and run on both Saturdays and Sundays.
+ Great food
+ Great service
+ Great location
– We opted for the cheaper lunch menu rather than a tasting menu but the bill was still pretty costly!