Last month, I headed up to Moray to catch up with my friend Keira and her family for the weekend. Although I had been up in Aberdeen and Inverness recently, it had been a while since I had been in this part of the north, so I was really looking forward to it. Keira’s Mum, Pamela, has lived in the Moray area for a few years now and had booked dinner at The Bothy for us on the Saturday night. Keira had informed me that the food here was really good and that I would enjoy it, so I was looking forward to the evening ahead.
The restaurant is located in Burghead, Moray and has recently been refurbished. It’s open from 9am to 4pm every day, but it also serves dinner on Friday and Saturday nights. We were a group of 5 and we were sat at a table by the window; the restaurant has nice, big windows, which let in a lot of light, so it’s perfect for a summer’s evening. There was a good atmosphere because it was busy, but it wasn’t too noisy and there were a mix of families, friends and couples, creating a friendly vibe.
We started with some delicious cocktails that were prosecco based and very refreshing. The menu has a variety of different foods, but the specials are what really caught my eye. We’re not just talking about a couple of specials options; the list is quite extensive, and everything sounded amazing. Keira and I decided to share a starter because the whipped truffle goat’s cheese, marinated tomatoes, pickled red onions with rocket sounded too good to pass up, and I chose the pan-fried seabass, crispy chorizo, halloumi, sage and crushed potatoes for my main course.
Once our cocktails had disappeared we moved on to white wine, which matched excellently with my food choices. Everything was beautifully presented, and I couldn’t fault anything on look or taste. The goat’s cheese didn’t last long; I’m a big fan of anything with truffle and the smoothness of the goat’s cheese worked well with the sharpness from the picked red onion. I managed to steal a taste of Pamela’s West Coast mussels with a garlic and white wine sauce, which were also delicious; the sauce was lovely and creamy, without being too heavy. Being a huge fan of fish, I’ve eaten my fair share of seabass, but this dish is particularly memorable. I loved the flavour and texture of all ingredients because they were wonderfully crisp, but soft on the inside. There was a large amount of fish and a good portion of potato, halloumi and chorizo, so I was very full by the end, but it wasn’t a stodgy meal.
Everyone’s food looked great, but I was very pleased with my choices and I would eat both starter and main course again and again. I loved the setting, which was very fitting for a quaint town and I would definitely eat here again. The only downside was the service, which was relatively slow, not from the kitchen, but from the wait staff. It took quite a bit of time for us to receive drinks, even simple ones like water. However, the overall experience was very positive, and I would recommend The Bothy, and Moray, as a place to dine and visit.
Atmosphere – 3.5
Food – 5
Price – 4
Service – 3
Total – 15.5/20