The sign outside the Bistro had the proud boast - 'Recommended by Nick Nairn TV Chef' and announced Pascal was the French chef here and Jaqui his French partner ran a tight ship where fresh fish was on offer from their locally 'working' boat. Not long after being seated my suspicions were kicking in - One waitress appeared at our table to apologise that their chip and pin machine was out of order and would cash or cheque payment be alright! The second waitress then approached asking if her colleague had blamed her for not telling us we wouldn't be able to pay by credit card. We had a clear view of the kitchen - Pascal was missing but maybe his partner Jaqui spoke with a Glasgow accent was busy preparing our meal.
Favorite Dish: Our meal was okay I can't remember the fancy names which described what feast we had in store. I can only describe mine as a cod kebab (French Style :) ) Kenny had his usual steak with pepper sauce (again French Style) Neither of us noticed any touch of France - the only difference to any other restaurant in Argyll was this was the only place we were served iced water with our meal. Since we didn't get a receipt due to technical problems - I have no idea if they charge for this or not! On the positive side I did finish my meal with a delicious helping of sticky toffee pudding - no pretence this time Scottish and absolutely yummy - Kenny had coffee :) Country unknown!
The owners of the Anchor Hotel describe their restaurant as 'coastal - comfortable and calming' and it was all three. It didn't look that appealing from outside, but inside it was small, intimate and relaxing (this is why I don't have a picture of the food - even taking pictures inside seemed to draw the other diners attention to us) The staff were attentive and friendly. Their menus stated clearly 'We don't have everything but we do have fresh food' If seafood is a favourite food then it all depends what the boats bring in. They don't use frozen fish but rather 'just caught' fish and seafood. A pleasant and relaxing restaurant where time comes slowly.
Favorite Dish: We both chose the cod and chips with fresh lemon drizzled salad and coleslaw - very fresh and tangy. The chips were served in a separate bowl where the were encased in a grease proof cone, a very ingenious simple touch which ensures your chips stay hot, stay dry and are non greasy. Simple food - maybe but home cooked and totally delicious
The Victoria Hotel prides itself as being the only yellow coloured building here in Tarbert in a sea of colour. The restaurant is long and narrow with great views of Tarbert and its lovely harbour. The decor is very much in keeping with the sea with brilliant touches of maritime themes. I did love the table centre piece of the seafood pictured in the tables. If you are unsure of the menu the waitress in our case anyway was happy to expand on what was included in your choice of dish. We found this place to be a very relaxing restaurant to take some time to have a drink and enjoy a satisfying supper. It wasn't busy when we visited but in Summer it will be so book ahead to reserve a table here.
Favorite Dish: The menu here is varied with lots of choices including some unusual vegetarian dishes and a children's' menu. We chose the specials from the blackboard and were delighted with our choice. I had the most heavenly smoked haddock cooked with cream, cheese and white wine. This dish was accompanied by a mixed root mash which also included finely shredded cabbage. Kenny had his usual steak with fresh vegetables and pepper sauce. The food is freshly prepared but waiting is a pleasure with the fine views and a drink from the bar. The portions are generous - the dessert menu looked tempting - but we finished with some nice coffee with a little piece of shortbread on the side.
On one of our jaunts around Argyll we were late getting back into Tarbert. It was around 20.00 hours and we were both tired and hungry. I remembered we had seen a cute hotel just outside Tarbert so we took our hungry stomachs to the West Loch Lodge. How disappointing to discover from the waitress inside that she still had three covers to serve and they finished at 20.30. A takeaway was our best option the sign below the fish bar read 'Made in Italy A wee Italian corner in Tarbert' this made me laugh but on further inspection of their varied menu indeed this was Italian food even if a little 'tongue in cheek'
Favorite Dish: I chose the Pasta Tarbet with tasty fresh fish smothered in white wine sauce. Kenny doesn't do pasta, risotto or pizza do he opted for fish and chips. Back at the cottage our hunger was satisfied and Kenny's wallet was happy too!