I find that only having a day and a half back in Scotland a week makes it difficult to see all of my favourite people every weekend. After swapping numerous drunken Facebook mails that made me cry with laughter the next day, I realised how much I missed one of my oldest friends, Kenny. What better way to catch up than to share old stories over lunch?
My eye has been on Arisaig, which can be found nestled in one of the corners of Merchant Square, for a long time. They offer a mouthwatering menu of Scottish dishes that can be served to you on the cobbled terrace of their establishment.
We chose to sit in the terrace, watching curious passers by checking out the crafts fayre that dominated the floor of Merchant Square. Our waitress was friendly and provided us with plenty of time to ponder the menu. On a Sunday, they only have a set lunch menu available, although the choices on it were amazing so it didn't bother me that a la carte wasn't on the cards.
For starters, Kenneth Decided to go for the haggis fritters with onion gravy...
This was an amazing breadcrumb parcel stuffed full of Scottish haggis, and drowned in flavoursome, rich onion gravy. The two fritters were pretty big, and each bite was deliciously packed full of flavour.
I decided to start with the home-made fishcakes, served with sweet chilli salsa...
The fishcake mixture was enveloped in a lovely crispy batter. Mashed up potatoes, chives and salmon came bursting out of the flaky batter, and were perfectly accompanied by a leafy green salad. The sweet chilli salsa was delicious, and had a fierce kick to it. The combination of flavours was amazing, and I'd say that these were the best fishcakes I've ever had.
For our main courses, we thought we would be a bit naughty and get our drink on. I went for a glass of California White Zinfandel rose, and Kenny had a Magners cider...
These were the perfect partners for our main courses. Kenny went for Arisaig sausages with creamy mash and onion gravy...
Two big, succulent sausages sat on a bed of creamy mashed potatoes, surrounded by a moat of thick onion gravy. It was a really good sized portion too, and smelled amazing. I would definitely considering getting this on my next visit, as it was the perfect comfort food for a Sunday.
I decided to go for haggis and clapshot, served in a whisky and mustard sauce...
Clapshot is a mixture of mashed up potatoes and turnip (so neeps and tatties). It was served in a mound next to what looked like a full haggis. The sauce was stunning, and really delicious. The sweetness of the reduced whisky mixed beautifully with the strength of the mustard. This coating the meatiness of the haggis was just bliss!
I felt stuffed, but couldn't resist a sneak peek of their dessert menu. Needless to say, I succumbed to gluttony! Kenneth ordered the sticky toffee pudding...
A comforting, rich and sickly sweet dessert that was a perfect way to end our amazing lunch. I do think however, that my dessert was the best. I went for their cheesecake of the day, which was coffee and amaretto...
Although it's not as thick a topping as other cheesecakes, this was the perfect amount. The sweetened coffee and amaretto mascarpone mixture sat atop a fragile, crisp biscuit base. It was a beautiful cheesecake, and I'd love to attempt to make it myself. It was the best thing I could have chosen to have rounded off our reunion.
As always, out stomachs bulged with food babies. It was definitely time for the bill so I could squeeze in a snooze on the train. For two starters, two mains (both part of a deal menu), two desserts, wine and cider, the bill was a mere £40. I was over the moon for the portions and quality of food we received at Arisaig, especially at £20 a head.
If you fancy some good Scottish grub at very lovely prices, ensure that you book yourself in to Arisaig. I will definitely be back to sample their a la carte menu!
1 Merchant Square
Tel: 0141 553 1010
Wheelchair access: Yes