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  • Writer's pictureSharon Wilson

Nairn’s - Bridge of Allan

Nick & Julia Nairn

Remember those stovies, steak pies, and mince and tatties you ate as a child? Where did you eat them and who do they remind you of? We are making such memories all the time and Nairn’s Cured Trout from Loch Melfort is destined to be my latest food memory.

It has been a bit of a journey to the opening of Nairn’s in Bridge of Allan. After the first

Lockdown there was a devastating fire and Nick and Julia Nairn’s previous place, Jam Jar burnt down. So it is all the sweeter to be able to report that this new restaurant on the same spot on the High Street is open, welcoming, and friendly with an unbuttoned laid-back atmosphere. Dusky blues, moss greens, and soft browns comprise the classy interior colour palette while the menu showcases Scottish produce of the land, sea, garden, and hedgerow alongside pizzas and snacks. Nick and Julia Nairn said:

“It’s been a long road back for Bridge of Allan, but we are delighted to welcome everyone back to Nairn’s. Having the opportunity to have a presence on the high street too is something we’re beyond excited about. “

Back to that Proustian Trout!

Cured Trout from Loch Melfort

Mr Bite and I are sitting next to the window which overlooks a garden terrace. We note the elegant water carafe and wooden salt and pepper shakers which come from Julia’s shop Home also located on the High Street. The trout is thickly cut, rich, and succulent; a stunner of a dish showcasing premium Scottish produce. The flavour coats my mouth. Mr Bite predictably has Macduff Beef Tartare with sourdough crackers and comments on the great textures as juicy prime steak meets crispy crackers.

Stone Bass with Mussels and (a light, fragrant) curry sauce and Venison with Brambles, kale, and leek puree comprise our main courses. Mr Bite is particularly wowed by the fish whereas I love the mix of deer and fruit. Reader, we can’t resist the triple-cooked hand-cut chips cooked in beef fat and served with house mayo and yes, they are every bit as good as they sound.

Desserts are showstoppers. I was always going to order the Raspberry soufflé with white chocolate ice cream and it’s a beauty; well risen, dusted with icing powder, moist texture, and intense fruity flavour. Yes, chef! Mr Bite’s Butter Brown Financier is drenched in heather honey and the Perthshire strawberries have been macerated to a yielding softness.

As we leave the restaurant Nick and Julia are enjoying a glass of Rose (Whispering Angel is on the wine list) to mark the ‘close of play’ on the Sunday shift (the last booking is around 4.30 pm). It is a pleasure to praise their staff and say how much we enjoyed the food.

Bridge of Allan is a pretty place nestled in the Stirlingshire countryside once famous for being a spa town. There are gift shops, a brewhouse, and of course all the visitor attractions of the nearby university and historic town of Stirling. Nairn’s is a charming restaurant in a beautiful and interesting part of Scotland. A great place to make some memories. (S. Wilson)

Nairn's, 28 Henderson St, Bridge of Allan, FK9 4HR - 01786 831616 -

Opening hours: Wed-Sat: 12 pm – 11 pm; Sun: 12 pm – 7 pm

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