This visit, on which I was accompanied by regular guest questers Tracey and Susie, was my third trip and completed the full house of breakfast, lunch and now dinner.
Previous visits had been a bit mixed. I’d been baffled by the curried potatoes served with their veggie breakfast, then lunch of chipshop haggis and mediocre cauliflower soup had been in similarly head-scratching territory.
On this visit, we were warmly welcomed by the waistcoated staff, as usual. After some contemplation of their menu, we settled upon their sharing platters, choosing both their seafood and meat & cheese to share between the three of us. We added a bottle of the Riesling Gewurztraminer, which was very good indeed.
The seafood platter offered a pair of oysters, huge prawns, a good portion of mussels, smoked salmon and crispy squid. Each element was very good with the prawns particularly impressive.
The meat and cheese selection brought together a selection of established favourites, with good goat’s cheese, Dunsyre blue, cheddar and Clava brie. The charcuterie was a selection of various salami and chorizo type things, which were slightly samey in texture. This was a pleasing selection, but had a little room for improvement.
After we’d munched the main bits then picked over the debris, we were left to consider an enjoyable evening in smart surroundings. This was comfortably the best meal of the three I’ve had here. Still, I find it a place that’s very difficult to categorise and I struggle to see exactly what their aiming to achieve. It all just feels a bit unfocussed and lacking a coherent identity.
So overall, I enjoyed this visit to the Riparian Rooms after two lukewarm experiences. Their wine and platters were both very pleasing, this evening, so I’d be happy to recommend me you paying them a visit for this aspect of their offering. On other elements I remain to be convinced, but here’s hoping that in time I grow to appreciate them, too.
Blythe scores the Riparian Rooms
3.5/5 for food
3.5/5 for presentation
4/5 for setting
3.5/5 for service
giving an overall 14.5/20
Today’s questers were: Susie, Tracey, Blythe
We ate: meat & cheese platter; seafood platter
We drank: riesling gewurtztraminer
We wore: stripes, correct length trousers, pointy collar
Total bill: £67.50