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The Three Chimneys, Dunvegan
The Three Chimneys and The House Over-by
Colbost,
Dunvegan,
Isle of Skye,
Highlands and Island,
IV55 8ZT,
Scotland
01470 511258
Lunch mid-March - end of October from 12.15 pm (last booking 1.45pm)

September 2009

 

The drive to this three AA Rosette restaurant is dramatic hour across Skye. A spectacular journey full of jagged mountains and rugged coastline (mind the sheep). Eventually you reach an old crofter's cottage which houses this famous restaurant. The candlelit dining room with its thick stone walls faces the shores of Loch Dunvegan, it is romantic and atmospheric. Add the Skye produced-focused menu and the whole experience becomes truly unique.

 

I visited with members of Bite Club so there were plenty of us to compare notes. Home-made bread was passed around which was delicious as were some goat's cheese canapés. Next, an amuse-bouche of mackerel with apple julienne was divine. The crispy, oily fish and tart Granny Smith flavours married perfectly.

 

For starters I chose Loch Dunvegan langoustine with organic mesclun from Fasach and lemon and olive vinaigrette (£6 supplement) and my partner had seared saddle of wild rabbit and hare with tattie scones, Ayrshire bacon, carrots and greens, beetroot and blaeberry game gravy. My shellfish were everything they should be: cold, fresh and meaty with a simple, lemony sauce. My partner's dish was more complex; juicy, ruby red hare flesh and rabbit meat mixed with a riot of earthy, forest flavours whilst the deep, intense game jus bound it all together nicely.

 

Main course for me was steamed Mallaig halibut and Sconser scallops with Anna potatoes, Glendale courgettes, locally-foraged mushrooms and claret jus whilst my partner had the roast loin of Glenhinnisdale lamb with its kidneys, liver and slow-cooked heart, neeps and hairst brees. My halibut was creamy and quiveringly tender, the scallops were big and meaty, the mushrooms slippery and earthy and the potatoes satisfying. My partner's meatier dish was described as "luscious lamb with princely offal offerings with the barley stew making a good base". I thought the heart was particularly nice being a cross between liver and beef in flavour.

 

A small surprise dish of my all time favourite pud, Eton mess, kept us happy until desserts proper arrived. I had the warmed, almond vanilla tart with poached peaches, raspberry crush, creamed crowdie and grand Roussillon syrup while my partner had the dark, milk and white chocolate plate with cherries.  I particularly liked the Nordic twist of peaches and cheese whilst the almond tart was soft and sumptuous with crispy, buttery pastry and dusting of icing sugar. My partner enjoyed the spectacular chocolate plate which consisted of milk shake, fondant, garnache, pudding and crisps, all of made of various chocolate and very 'adult' alcoholic, black cherries.

 

Desserts were so good that a couple of us actually shared a second, the famous hot marmalade pudding with Drambuie custard. It had a lovely texture, not too soft, not too firm. The sponge was sweet, gingery and warm and the custard a creamy, vanilla pool of lusciousness.

 

The Three Chimneys offers an experience which I would heartily recommend to anyone. The food is actually very unpretentious. It focuses on top-notch local Scottish produce and uses it to create exceptional dishes. The setting is unique and the consensus amongst the Bite dining club was that we had had a thoroughly enjoyable evening. 

 

Price: £55 for three courses.

 

 

 

 

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