My favourite place in Scotland has always been Argyll – specifically the chunk surrounding Lochgilphead and Tarbert. For my sister’s birthday, I treated her to an overnight and dinner in our childhood haunt, Tarbert.
I remember walking past the Starfish Restaurant last year and pointing out that I’d like to go. My sister couldn’t remember that happening and was convinced I’d created the restaurant in my imagination. Luckily, she was wrong.
I love the fact that you can see the water that their seafood comes from by standing on their front doorstep! Talk about reducing food miles!
We both really struggled to choose our dishes because of the number of options. The menu is generous as it is, but then they have the board of fresh catches available that day AND then on top of that they had a specials board!
Typically, due to being overwhelmed with choice, I opted for mussels. I don’t even care if that’s boring, but when you love mussels as much as I do, and half the restaurants in Glasgow buy them from Tarbert, AND YOU’RE IN TARBERT…then this is exactly what should happen!
But also, I just love them.
Smoked Mackerel Pâté
My sister ordered the mackerel pâté with oatcakes which was just delicious. I make my own quite a lot (and am pretty obsessed with it) and theirs was almost as good as mine. Which may sounded big headed, but it really is a compliment, I assure you. You can’t beat smoked mackerel.
Curried Scallops with Dahl
I haven’t eaten dahl in years and it’s not something I actually see very often on menus. The scallops were kings of the loch and were just to die for! The dahl was rich and full of flavour which was lightened up with the coriander and lime.
I ordered the fish pie which is usually a risk as fish pies can often be quite bland. Sadly, this one was quite bland and I enjoyed eating the side vegetables a bit more than the pie. The textures were all lovely, but just a lack of general flavour. Even some extra smoked fish to punch it up would’ve helped!
I can’t remember the name for this and it’s destroying me.
I’ve given up trying to remember the name of this desert. My sister ordered it and she can’t remember either, but she can confirm that it was a rich chocolatey delight!
Traditional Creme Caramel
Not much to say about this apart from the fact I LOVED it. Perfect.
This meal well and truly ended us – we left extremely full of delicious food and went straight to our beds! This is yet another place I’ll definitely return to!
Starfish Restaurant, Castle Street, Tarbert, PA29 6UH