Sunday, July 20, 2014

Captains Galley - Scrabster

The amusing story here is we booked this restaurant for dinner thinking it was a big fish and chip shop. When we arrived and saw the menu table d'hote at £50 each we nearly fell through the floor as we took our two boys 15 and 18 and they are not gourmet eaters.

But oh gosh were we in for one of our greatest surprises. The Captains Galley is not on any of the Michelin Guide starred lists but it should be. Jim Cowie can cook and if not a star he must be very close. He is whimsical which came as a big surprise, when I ordered roast belly pork and oysters as a starter and the dish knocked my socks off. Perfect crispy slow cooked pork combined with oysters so fresh they started climbing off the plate!

All our meals were top of the line and above. A large piece of very fresh cod served roasted with slow cooked ox tails, langoustines simply split and grilled piled high on a plate with a light lime sauce, it was all too much. When one goes to Kitchen in Edinburgh one prepares for a night of exquisite delight, so thinking this was to be a good fish supper ill prepares one for the gastronomy the class the sheer quality of this food.

How he keeps it going stuck in Scrabster (which I guess he won't leave as he has superb access to the freshest catch), I don't know. The restaurant was not full although there may have been 12 others who enjoyed a night to remember. But how do Scrabster folk afford it? How do they not? Its a mystery. Service from Jim's wife was a light touch with everything just right.

A place to go and savor....

Link to captains galley

Roxburgh Hotel near Kelso

Welcome to the Roxburghe: a beautiful country house hotel and golf course

Had lunch at this palatial mansion in the hills above Kelso owned by the Duke of Roxburghe. It is billed as a 5 star experience. I cannot confirm this, see below.

  1. Love the atmosphere and the place
  2. Nice service fairly attentive staff who smiled and were helpful
  3. Well laid out tables nice bathrooms
  4. Overall a good attempt at serving a quality lunch 
  5. Our vegetarian guest had the best meal, good pasta and simple but nice melon and sorbet
  6. My wife's roast beef while not rare enough for her was tasty if a bit tough.
  7. Desserts were nicely served and good. 

  1. Let down by frankly poor quality cooking.
  2. My minestrone would not be recognized by any Italian. Basically it was blended tinned tomatoes with a few veg and some pasta bits. It had no depth and taste. Minestrone needs good stock and is not a tomato soup but rich pasta and vegetables. 
  3. My roast pork belly was really not right. I had a slow roast pork belly as a STARTER recently at a Michelin restaurant and it was twice as big and 10 times as tasty with a superb crispy crust. The tiny piece you served was badly cooked, the skin rubbery and inedible, the pork hard and tough. It was served with bizarre attempt at modern cuisine ie two uncooked spring onions artfully draped over an uncooked piece of fennel, potatoes with no flavor at all. The gravy was nice though.

Finally when I paid the bill the reception asked me if it was a good meal and I replied no, and went into detail to be told "oh sorry".