My second attempt at getting a table at The Walnut was successful and a warm welcome awaited us. I learnt my lesson the first time – book in advance especially if wanting to dine on a Friday or Saturday.
We booked a table early in the evening and were the first people to arrive but that didn’t last long, it soon filled up. Happy to have the restaurant to ourselves for the first 10 minutes meant we could have a wee look around and peruse the blackboard menu at our leisure.
There are only a few members of staff here but they are good at their job. Friendly, efficient and there when required.
We had a difficult choice on what to eat from the menu with starter dishes like Home-smoked Salmon with beetroot salad and horseradish or Pork Rillette with pickles and oatcakes; and main dishes such as Lamb Shoulder hotpot with anchovy greens and Braised Beef short-rib with salsa verde; but we eventually settled on a different starter each and the same main.
Once our order was taken we tucked in to some lovely warm bread with a good decent wee pot of butter and a genuine butter knife!
For starters we had : Crab Claws with Aioli and Salad of Roasted Carrots, Goats Cheese and Walnuts.
I very much enjoyed the Crab Claws. The meat was soft, succulent and sweet. The claws were cracked so it was easy to pull the meat out of the shell. The aioli was nice but found I didn’t need it. I didn’t want to spoil the delicious taste of the sea.
Lotte, my foodie friend in crime, opted for the Salad. The carrots were soft and savoury.This dish has the right flavour combination with the crunch from the walnuts, the soft silkiness from goats cheese and the carrots are the stars of the show.
For mains we both had : Roasted Pork Belly with savoy cabbage and black pudding. This dish was just brilliant. The thick pork belly slice was juicy with crispy crackling adding crunch to the dish. The black pudding was homemade and peppery wrapped up like a lovely little parcel. The cabbage and the mash were soft and creamy which when scooped onto a fork with a bit of the pork belly and the gravy (which had a real depth of flavour) created the perfect bite. This made for two very happy, very full people indeed.
We skipped desserts with a heavy heart and went for the cheese platter instead. As we were both having cheese they cut us a larger piece of each cheese rather then serving up two separate plates. We had Dunsyre Blue and Broon Coo, with homemade oatcakes, a tweel and some chutney. The oatcakes were light, oaty, buttery with a little crunch; the tweel was crispy with a great sounding snap! Cheese – you cant go wrong with cheese; it all depends on your own tastes.
The Walnut is wonderful. Its small, its cosy. The service is good, the staff are friendly and the food is great. Its great value for money too. For 2 people, 3 courses each, the bill was £35. This place is BYOB (bring your own bottle) and there is no corkage charge. I’ve added it to my favourites list.
My Spoon Award is : Gold