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Martin Wishart at Loch Lomond

Cameron House Hotel, Alexandria, United Kingdom, G83 8QZ
Critics Review 17/20
Restaurant info
Opening Information

Lunch:
Saturday — 12:00–14:00
Sunday — 12:00–14:30

Dinner:
Wednesday to Saturday — 18:30–22:00
Sunday — 19:00–22:00

Martin Wishart at Loch Lomond closes on Mondays & Tuesdays.

Facilities

About Martin Wishart at Loch Lomond

Martin Wishart at Loch Lomond has recently undergone a complete makeover by Martin Wishart house designer Ian Smith. The idea has been to create an elegant and stylish, but relaxed and calming environment where guests can feel at ease. Encouraging them to be fully open to the fine dining experience and enjoy the spectacular mountainside beauty of Loch Lomond.

Cuisine: Scottish
Dress Code: Smart Casual
Price point:
£ £ £ £ £

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Critics Review
Review By Andy Hayler
17/20
This restaurant is tucked away one floor up from the reception area of the large Cameron House hotel, located on the banks of Loch Lomond. Martin Wishart’s outlet opened in 2009, an offshoot of his excellent Leith flagship. It gained a Michelin star in the 2013 Guide, and has Graeme Cheevers in charge of the kitchen. He previously worked at the Peat Inn, and worked his way up from a commis chef position to head chef at the Loch Lomond restaurant at the tender age of twenty three. The dining room has a pleasing view over the waters of the loch and the grounds of the hotel. The room is partly carpeted, though the otherwise reassuringly low noise levels that result are rather oddly raised by background music, which this evening was rather incongruously a selection from the glory days of disco. The tables are well spaced and covered with impeccably ironed white linen tablecloths. There was a choice of either a six or eight course tasting menu at £80 and £95 respectively, and a full vegetarian alternative at both lengths; you can mix and match dishes freely between these menus. A pair of nibbles began the meal: a gougere of onion and Gruyere cheese with a rich liquid centre, and a squid ink macaron with smoked apple mousse and chives topped with sevruga caviar. The gougere had excellent choux pastry and good cheese flavour, but the macaron was even better, with excellent texture and precise flavour balance (17/20 average). The wine list had wide geographic coverage, with labels from Romania and Switzerland as well as more familiar regions; prices ranged from £28 to £1,400. Sample bottles were Bodegas Ontanon Crianza 2011 at £37 for a bottle that you can find in the high street for £11, J.J. Prum Riesling Kabinett 2010 at £64 compared to its retail price of £19, and Lenne Estate Pinot Noir at £80 for a wine that will set you back £38 in a shop. Posher bottles included Dominus 2009 at a very fair £140 given that its shop price is £152, and Chateau Talbot at a much less kind £280 for a bottle whose current market value is £131. Similarly, Margaux 1999 was an excessive £1,200 for a label that currently costs £397on average in a shop. Sourdough bread was bought in from a local farmhouse called Ardarden and was pleasant enough, but was nothing special (14/20). The kitchen here can surely make better bread than this. A further nibble comprised brown shrimp with lime, chive and crisp wild rice, which had just the right amount of citrus to balance the inherent sweetness of the shrimps (17/20). Even better was beef tartare with horseradish cream on a rice cracker. This had lovely meat with precise seasoning, a spicy kick from the horseradish and a pleasing textural contrast from the rice cracker - terrific (18/20). Presse of tomato with avocado, basil oil, dehydrated tomatoes and micro basil had good tomato flavour, though was not quite in the same league as the previous nibbles (16/20). The first formal dish of the meal was mackerel (apparently landed at Peterhead) that had been marinated and cured, served with quinoa, fresh cheese, melon, pickled cucumber and radish. the fish was of pleasant quality but not thrilling as mackerel can sometimes be, though I liked a buckwheat crisp on the side topped with bonito mayonnaise (16/20). Hand-dived Orkney scallops came with caramelised white radish, ponzu beurre blanc, soy and bone marrow dumpling dipped in dehydrated scallop roe. The shellfish were of high quality with good inherent sweetness, nicely balanced by the sharpness of the ponzu, the hint of soy working well (17/20). Lobster was caught in Troon and served with fennel, smoked egg yolk, tomato concasse, brown shrimps and crispy wild rice. The lobster meat was tender and worked well with the fennel and tomato, the rice and egg yolk adding additional layers of flavour (17/20). Foie gras mousse came with poached apricots, fresh almonds, seeds, nuts, bitter leaves and oloroso jelly. The mousse had silky texture, the richness of the deep liver flavour cut through by the acidity of the apricots, with the jelly and nuts providing contrasting textures, and finally the slight bitterness of the leaves bringing an extra flavour dimension. The balance of this dish was superb, every element bringing something to the party, and the overall effect was glorious (19/20). From the vegetarian menu, Jersey Royal potatoes came with egg yolks and broad beans, baby leeks, crisp wild rice and a smoked mousseline. The broad beans were of particularly good quality, and the dish elements combined well (17/20). Turbot from a very large 8kg fish (generally speaking, the bigger the turbot the better the flavour) was cooked very precisely, with a mother of pearl sheen on its surface. This came with smoked cockles, mushroom puree, mushroom duxelle with lime segments, all resting in a sauce of white wine and cooking juices. The fish was lovely and the duxelle in particular was an excellent foil for it (18/20). From the vegetarian menu, celeriac was braised with salt and baked, served with a puree of summer truffle and a vinaigrette along with brunoise of vegetables. The celeriac had plenty of earthy flavour, though there is always a limit to how thrilling summer truffles can be (16/20). My main course was saddle of roe deer with caramelised shallot petals, shallot crisps, salt baked celeriac, a sauce of caramelised onion and the venison cooking juices, and a summer truffle vinaigrette. The deer was cooked pink and had excellent flavour, the shallot elements working nicely and the sauce having reasonable intensity (17/20). A little pre-dessert of lemon curd, oatmeal and passion fruit foam was refreshing, the acidity of the lemon curd balancing the passion fruit well (17/20). Lemon verbena parfait came with strawberries from Perthshire, an aero made from Valrhona chocolate, caramelised white chocolate, green strawberry, strawberry sorbet, a garnish of wood sorrel and finally a "consommé" of strawberry and camomile. The strawberries themselves had good flavour and worked well with the chocolate, though the wood sorrel seemed out of place (16/20). The best dessert was chocolate with cherry and pistachio delice, Valrhona manjara chocolate, a chocolate mousse, cherries steeped in chartreuse and a sorbet of cherry beer. The combination of chocolate and cherries is a classic, the dish was pretty and the balance of the fruit and the chocolate was spot on (18/20). Coffee was Illy, and came with some petit fours: an excellent mango jelly, good blackcurrant macaron, delice of salted caramel that was a bit too salty, and a pleasingly rich whisky truffle. The bill came to £174 per head with plenty of good wine. If you shared a modest bottle then a typical cost per head would be around £115. Service, led by the charming Christopher Donnachie, was excellent throughout the evening, friendly and silky smooth. I was very impressed with the whole experience tonight. Some second restaurants of existing Michelin starred chefs can feel as if they are just knock offs designed to milk money from the gullible (I'm looking at you "Ametsa With Arzak Instruction") but nothing could be further from the truth here. Instead the young head chef is developing his own distinct style while still guided by the culinary foundations laid by the original restaurant. The best dishes tonight were absolutely superb, and the standard was high throughout. If you are anywhere near Loch Lomond then do yourself a favour and book a meal here.
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Visited On Sunday, 17 December 2017

Another superb evening at your excellent restaurant only marred by the sad news yesterday. We are so sorry for you all and hope that we see you up and running again in the near future.

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Visited On Sunday, 17 December 2017

We went with our 5 year old (some may say that’s bonkers) and the service was unbelievable. They made such a huge effort with him. As for the food - as you would expect stunning. So sad that this amazing experience was followed by the terror of what came the next morning.

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Visited On Sunday, 17 December 2017

Great food, Lovely lunch, would definitely recommend!

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Visited On Sunday, 17 December 2017

Staff mill around, are watchful and when attending make you feel welcome giving it a homely atmosphere. Well done all.

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Visited On Saturday, 16 December 2017

Overall really enjoyed our evening and experience. Four stars as we felt some aspects of the styling of the restaurant felt dated/confused.

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Visited On Saturday, 16 December 2017

The best meal we have ever had! We had the vegetarian and standard tasting menus (6 courses). Every mouthful was a delight. Service was exemplary - we will most certainly be back!

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Visited On Saturday, 16 December 2017

Food was delicious but very expensive

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Visited On Saturday, 16 December 2017

Staff looked after us very well.

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Visited On Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Superb food as good as any I have ever tasted, wonderful flavours and textures

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Visited On Sunday, 10 December 2017

The Tasting Menu was fantastic, the quality, flavours & presentation of the food is exceptional and the service second to none. We have eaten in many restaurants over the years and this one remains our favourite.

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Visited On Wednesday, 06 December 2017

Excellent food excellent staff :)

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Visited On Saturday, 09 December 2017

It was appropriate to order a half bottle of red wine for the one red wine drinker in our party. The first three choices from the wine list were out of stock and I was left with a £30 half bottle or none at all. This proved to be embarrassing as I had to press my guest that I really didn't mind, although it was by now quite obvious that the price was more than I would normally pay. We ordered two bottles of white also and as one of our party of four was not drinking I have to say I was disappointed in what would otherwise have been a flawless evening . The six course taster menu was outstanding.

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Visited On Sunday, 10 December 2017

Fantastic location fantastic food fantastic manager-what a shame he’s leaving!, thanks for everything Chris!

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Visited On Saturday, 09 December 2017

The food and service was excellent but unfortunately you did not stock Bacardi the number one rum or creme de menthe. We have visited on a number of occasions but now feel our visits will be less often or not alt all.

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Visited On Sunday, 26 November 2017

As always the highlight of our annual trip to Scotland, unrivalled cuisine, service & knowledge in a relaxed atmosphere. Thank you all.

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Visited On Saturday, 02 December 2017

The standard of service we received was spectacular, with incredibly attentive and knowledgable staff. The setting is great to start with but the layout and decor of the restaurant makes for a great experience. The food was great, although lacked any particularly stand out dish. The wine pairings were particularly well chosen.

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Visited On Sunday, 03 December 2017

A special place for a special meal! Excellent customer service and knowledgeable staff. Sunday lunch is excellent value for money. We’ve booked again for Sunday lunch on Christmas Eve. Margaret Mackie

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Visited On Sunday, 03 December 2017

For me - it's the best experience money can buy in Scotland. I fell decadently drenched in luxury surroundings, service and excellent food. What a place!

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Visited On Sunday, 03 December 2017

What a wonderful experience.The food was delicious and the service exceptional.We cannot wait until our next visit

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Visited On Friday, 01 December 2017

Sensational. Lovely evening celebrating my wife's birthday. We thorough enjoyed the 8-course tasting menu. Want to eat it all again!

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Visited On Wednesday, 29 November 2017

We have now visited the restaurant at Cameron House several times and each visit gets better. The staff always welcome us back, making us feel special. The quality of food and service is exemplary.

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Visited On Friday, 01 December 2017

The service and the space are excellent. The eight course tasting menu is currently complex and interesting but perhaps I am just losing interest in tasting menus. I will go to Martin Wishart again, but that will be for a normal 3 course menu which seems to me a better test for a chef. Also I prefer to tip as I judge, and had done so before paying the bill which had obligatory service included. So I ended up tipping twice.

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Visited On Thursday, 30 November 2017

Chris the semmelier made the evening a complete pleasure. Best meal at wisharts in a few years.

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Visited On Sunday, 26 November 2017

FABULOUS in every way!!! Sun 26 Nov, 12:30, x2 - Sunday Lunch I am a regular at Cameron House, using the Boathouse as my 'local' from the Marina, and Great Scots Bar / Cameron Grill for "nights out", but only my 2nd visit to MW. My first was 3 years ago for the "taster" menu, but this time just for lunch. Fabulous value at £32 per head for 3 courses, cos by the time you have all the canapés etc, it's far more than 3! We both took up the £25.50 option to have matching wines too. Also, as there are 2 options per course, we chose to go 50:50 on every dish, so just had ONE of every dish on the "Du Jour" menu. The main course lamb was "to die for", but all of the other dishes were fab too, ditto the canapés. Faultless service, great Sommellier, awesome food - we're back there in 2 weeks for a repeat!!! FINE DINING at its very best - you'd be doing amazingly well to find a better place to eat ANYWHERE!!!!!

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Visited On Sunday, 26 November 2017

This is probably my favourite resteraunt of all time. Consistently excellent food, service and ambiance with immaculate attention to detail. We requested the vegetarian menu with no alcohol and this had been prepared for our arrival. I can't rave about the experience enough.

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