Saturday, 13 August 2011

The Real Food Cafe - Tyndrum, Scotland.

The destination of our summer holiday was Loch Ness. I have seen very little of Scotland so we decided to take the scenic way. This way I got to see the amazing sights including Glencoe and Ben Nevis.

Which ever way we decided to drive up there it would have taken us over 4 hours to get there and we would have needed to stop for refreshements. F and D often like to travel around Scotland and see the sights, F likes to show off his country to his English wife, and who wouldn't? So due to F and D frequently driving on the roads north (of which there are not many and no motorways past Perth on the East coast, so no motorways insight for us past North Glasgow...) they know the roads and pitsops rather well. Where we were stopping for lunch had already been decided.

The Real Food Cafe is at the road side and near to it is The Green Welly Shop which houses it's own cafe but also a range of shops. The shops mainly consist of an outdoor shop and a whiskey shop... which stocks the most brands of whiskey I have seen in my life... ranging from £1.75 for a mini bottle to over £3,000 for vintage whiskey!

The thing that strikes you when you first step out of the car is the amazing scenery. Yes there is a road slap bang in the middle but it's no motorway and it wasn't very busy whilst we were there either.

Back to the Real Food Cafe, this place prides itself on producing fresh food, using fresh locally sourced (Scottish) ingredients. The main food of choice is fish and chips, however it is not like your usually chippy where the fish and chips are precooked and left on the side until someone purchases them. Like I mentioned they pride themselves on producing fresh food, so they apologise in advance that you will have to wait a bit for your food but this because it is being made to order. The restaurant also tries to encourage responsible fishing by recommending alternative types of fish to go with your chips which differ from the norm of cod or haddock. Each type of fish comes with a description on the menu to let you know whats what if you're unfamilar with anything, or perhaps have always wanted to try an alternative but have never known what you may or may not like.

(For a better look at the menu: )

Fish and chips isn't the only thing on the menu but it is definitely the most popular with nearly everyone I saw eating there having some sort of fish and chips. They also have a range of soups, burgers, pies and pastries. They also have a bakery in which they serve homemade delights.

F decided to order Coley and D haddock and they shared a portion of chips and mushy peas. When we asked F how he was finding his fish he said it was really nice and would actually prefer coley over haddock or cod when buying fish and chips.

T had a small fish and chips... it wasn't particulary small and he could barely finish it. The batter was crispy and not sloppy/fatty and the fish was free of skin and bones.

I myself had only a small appertite at this point (due to all the sweets I had been consuming) so I just ordered some chips and mushy peas. The chips were lovely and very filling, crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. The peas to my surprise were minted too which made them to die for. I could have eaten just a couple of pots of these for my lunch!

It was an unusally warm and pleasant day so we decided that we would sit outside and to eat and admire the beautiful landscape. A nice little touch was that they had plastic water jugs and cups inside whcih they keep topped up for you to use, not forcing you to buy a soft drink.

The staff were really lovely and most helpful in explaining where things were and what things were on the menu.

As this place is one of the only places for miles it isn't cheap, but I don't mind paying these prices as long as I enjoy what I am eating. More often than not you find that when you stop at places on long car journeys that the cafes and restaurants are over priced and bland. I have been to more than a few where the food is precooked and left out on hot plates until someone orders it... which can mean hours..

For a better look at the menu check out:

The Real Food Cafe Website: (this is currently under construction at the time this blog is published)

Real Food Cafe on Urbanspoon