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Loch Leven Seafood Café
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Loch Leven Seafood Café
North Shore of Loch Leven nr Ballachulish
01855 821 048
Daily mid March to 31 October - 7 days for coffee, lunch, snacks and evening meals.
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From tank to table 

This lochside gem definitely comes under the category of not really wanting to write about it in case you fail to get a table in future. Luckily it is some distance from Edinburgh on the north shore of Loch Leven just past Ballachulish so a taxi is out of the question and booking required. 

Me and Mr Bite first visited a few years ago and the memory lingered. Fresh langoustines, a Spanish twist and of course the views. 

Seafood is kept in seawater tanks just like at the Kishorn Seafood Bar further north (last stop before Applecross) and both have similar modest café settings although as far as I am aware are not related. Both however, are just the types of eateries Scotland should be specialising in. 

Our group of four dined there on two consecutive nights and so were lucky enough to sample a range of dishes.

Top marks probably went to the Cullen Skink which we all tasted over the weekend and unanimously voted delicious. 

It was a really thick, chunky, indulgent version – a meal in itself. Our two Norwegian pals hadn’t tasted the traditional east coast dish before and liked the smoky flavour. 

My shellfish soup on the first evening was superb, Lise’s seafood gratin looked a little ‘soupy’ and Nil’s trout with quinoa was a touch dry. Both the latter were from the specials board which supplements the published menus. 

Fresh langoustines for me were perfect with aioli and I think a special mention is deserved for the triangles of fresh, warm ciabatta and Arbequina olive oil. Seriously, if you are still buying oil from the supermarket please desist and treat yourselves to some of the good stuff. 

Mr Bite had one of his faves spaghetti alle vongole on the first night which he devoured and praised. On the second night his ‘spoots’ may have been slightly overdone but were still tasty and garnished with green and red specs of herbs and chilli respectively.  Nil’s loved his hake; Lise had mussels with cider – always a good choice. 

Puddings were rated highly by everyone – sticky toffee with ice cream twice, a gluten free Amarino cherry cake with whole cherries, Irish coffees, and a good celebration of Scottish cheeses on the board alongside quince and grapes. 

The women drank Chardonnay and Albariño whilst the boys mostly drank the local River Leven Ales which were also purchased from the nearby Glencoe stores to take back to Norway.
It’s worth mentioning that prices are very affordable and there is a children’s menu too. 

An on-site shop sells Spanish oils, tableware and paella sets whilst the tanks stock live lobster, langoustines, crab, mussels, various clams, scallops and oysters. So you can buy from the tank, buy for the table and recreate the whole experience at home. (S. Wilson) 

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