I love the name Inchyra, I think it sounds like a wee Scottish lassie’s name. In actual fact it relates to a hamlet in the Carse of Gowrie in Scotland and might come from the Celtic placename for island. It is likely that Inchyra was an island in the firth of Tay at the time of its settlement.
I had been invited to review lunch at the Inchyra MacDonald Hotel, their Scottish Steakhouse. It’s not far from Edinburgh, around 25 minutes or so. The hotel is close to Grangemouth; which means that there are no wonderful views across the Forth; BUT it is in a very convenient location – it’s close to the motorway, close to Falkirk, 11 minutes car journey from the Kelpies and under 25 minutes from Stirling Castle.
The restaurant is a fair size and well kitted out. I love the decor; it reminded me very much of Kyloe in Edinburgh. Large comfortable booth leather clad seating, superb tactile wallpaper (it looks like it should be cow hide but in actual fact is just clever artistry and painted), splashes of tartan and a very comfy welcoming cosy colour scheme.
On arrival we waited around near the bar for about 10 minutes before any staff member acknowledged us. I think they may have been changing shifts so we may have just caught them at a bad time. Once they did attend to us, the service was impeccable and Charlotte is an asset to the restaurant who seems to know and understand the menu inside and out as well as the wine list and was very at ease recommending the best dishes to suit our likes.
As per Charlotte’s recommendation, we opted for the Malted Bread.
The gorgeous warm mini loaf in a wooden basket with salted butter and olive oil and balsamic vinegar got delivered to the table. The smell of warm malted bread wafted through the air and it wasn’t long before we were dunking it and smearing it with the soft salty butter.
And what better way to peruse the menu whilst munching on something that gets your tummy rumbling and ready for the 3 courses ahead (luckily we had both skipped breakfast).
The menu is a large one, but easily readable and broken down into sections to help make your selection a little easier. As its a steakhouse, you will most certainly find a large section dedicated to meats – steaks, chops and burgers in particular.
You’ll find classics for starters such as Scotch Broth and Prawn Cocktail but we always go with what we know don’t we. Clare loves smoked salmon and I love eggs, so that helped narrow it down for us.
The John Ross Jr Oak Smoked Salmon with Horseradish crème fraîche, lemon
and brown bread. The orange of the salmon was most striking against the pure white plate and the salmon was very tasty indeed. The horesradish cream was nice and pungent. However, as a whole the dish had a very soft texture. The salmon, the horseradish cream and the bread were all soft. Our recommendation is to perhaps toast the bread – it needed something crunchy on this plate.
On my plate was the Stornoway Black Pudding Scotch Egg with Millers larder piccalilli and mustard cress.
Perfectly cooked egg, peppery black pudding deep fried. What’s not to like. It sat on a bed of piccalilli which added a superb layer of tang to each bite.
Now onto the big deal. The reason for our visit. The name on the door. Steaks!
You’ll find lamb, pork chops and steaks all very tempting and their descriptions will set your taste buds to drool and make decision making very difficult.
For the steaks, you choose your cut (rump, sirloin, filet and rib-eye), decide on how you want it cooked, choose a rub ( BBQ/Chilli and garlic/Togarashi/Himalayan salt and olive oil) and choose a sauce (garlic butter, red wine, peppercorn, and béarnaise).
All steaks and chops come with grilled plum tomato, flat cap mushrooms and a choice of thin cut or hand cut chips.
Clare chose the rump, medium rare with the Himalayan salt and olive oil rub, thin chips and a red wine sauce.
I chose the Sirloin steak, medium rare with BBQ rub, hand cut chips and the red wine sauce. The red wine sauce was recommended again, and a brill recommendation it was.
The steaks were absolutely delicious. It was such a delight to cut into a tender steak where it’s actually cooked to your preference. My steak was chargrilled and smoky on the outside whilst still succulent and fairly red in the middle; Clare’s was blushing pink and tender.
Both chips were great and we continued to dunk the chips in the red wine sauce even although we were stuffed. A good sign of a great meal in my option.
Now you know I only do this for the photos! We managed to take a breather for around 20 minutes or so to make room for pudding.
As always I had the Sticky Toffee Pudding and it too, was fabulous. A sticky sweet note to end my lunch. I rejoiced as it came with a pool of caramel sauce that gets lapped up with the sponge. The ice cream was a nice ratio to sponge and sauce.
Unfortunately, not a great photo (this was due to me taking too long to take photos of the sticky toffee pudding! Sorry!) but another superb pudding. The Apple Tart Tartin came with ice cream and custard. Not a combo you’d think to put together, but it worked and even through the ‘we-are-so-full’ protests, we managed to finish it.
All in all we spent a few hours here, filling our bellies and just whiling away a wonderful Sunday afternoon.
They also do have a Sunday Lunch Menu which looks lush – 2 courses for £24 which I think is a bargain; and they cater for vegetarians and gluten freebies. I was delighted to hear that all their steaks and lamb are Scottish with the beef matured for a minimum of 21 days.
As part of the MacDonald Hotel chain, they have a wonderful spa and hotel, as well as packages where you can spend the day indulging in pampering and food or just stay over.
We thoroughly enjoyed lunch here and it comes highly recommended especially for steak! Great to know that they are delivering what it says on tin!
Scottish Steakhouse, Inchyra MacDonald Hotel, Grange Road, Falkirk, FK2 0YB Tel: 0344 879 9044 www.macdonaldhotels.co.uk/our-hotels/scotland/stirling/macdonald-inchyra-hotel-spa/eat-drink
My Spoon Award : Silver Spoon 8/10
I was invited by the Scottish Steakhouse, Inchyra MacDonald Hotel to review their lunch menu. Food and drink were complimentary but the views are very much my own.