Monday, July 09, 2007

Future Posts

The Buddha Belly will be posting reviews on the following shortly:

Clive Ramsay's, Bannockburn
The Horseshoe Inn, Eddleston
The Cotton House, Bonnybridge
McDonald Cardrona Hotel, Peebles
Yang Sing, Falkirk

Keep visiting Buddha Belly Eats and the Buddha Belly will help you select somewhere not so ordinary to go and eat and drink.

Friday, July 06, 2007

The Boathouse, South Queensferry.

I was on my way into Edinburgh for a business meeting and suddenly I thought that it would be great to take a slight detour down to South Queensferry for lunch. I had read good reports of The Boathouse and suggested to the Buddha's wife that we should pay it a visit and I was pleased that she readily agreed.

The Boathouse overlooks the Firth of Forth and has stunning views of both bridges. We were fortunate enough to get great seats in the downstairs bistro area and they afforded us fantastic views of the old railway bridge.

The Boathouse has been described as a “fish lovers' paradise”. Well, in my view this is greatly overstating the menu. On the lunch menu I could only find three fish dishes (oysters and scallops) and one was the daily special! (sea bass). The all day menu was just as disappointing as I could only identify two mains (haddock and chips or mussels) that could be loosely described as a fish dish.

To be honest I had expected more, but that is not to say that the food was not good, it is just that it was limited fish selection. If a restaurant boosts that is offers the very best in Scotland’s fish and seafood plates then I would have expected more choice and more imagination.

With that said, we did have a good dining experience. We weren’t particularly hungry when we took our seats at the window of spectacular views so we decided to limit ourselves to sharing a tapas, a mixed salad and mussels. We also ordered two glass of house white for the Buddha’s wife and a glass of tap water and a coffee.

To be perfectly honest, I was so disappointed with the lack of fish choice on the menu that it put paid to my appetite. I know that Tam Cowan has reviewed The Boathouse and that he has given it the thumbs up. But, what would expect from someone who is a Motherwell supporter and he’s just glad to be eating anything that’s not wrapped in newspaper. Only kidding Tam and keep up the good work.

The food arrived promptly and was good. The tapas offered a plentiful supply of fresh olives, meats, fish, pates, vegetables and bread. The mixed salad was extremely fresh; the salad leaves dressed balsamic dressing was refreshing. The mussels steamed in a chilli, tomato and coriander were brilliant.

The waitress attempted to charge me £1.80 for the glass of tap water. You would think that there was a shortage of rain drops in this country! I asked her to think again and that certainly put paid to any tip that I was thinking of offering. Maybe, a bit harsh, but this type of thing gets on my wick.

All in all it was very tasty lunch and at £25.00 was well worth it. I would go back just in hope that there are more fish dishes on the menu. So in summary and true Tam Cowan fashion the Buddha Belly Eats rating is:


Contact Details:
The Boathouse
19b High Street
South Queensferry
West Lothian
EH30 9PP
Tel: 0131 331 5429

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Purple Mango, Milton Keynes

When I first visited the Purple Mango I was extremely disappointed both by the food and the service. So it may be a bit of a surprise for you the read that I have returned. Well I am a wee bit myself, but my sister-in-law and my brother-in-law persuaded me to give it another chance.

My Brother-in- Law insists that the Purple Mango is the best Indian restaurant in Milton Keynes and surrounding area. Well he is right in that the restaurant is very stylish, modern and offers a very nice atmosphere and I'm glad to report that it has also gone up in estimation.

The last time I was there I ordered the chicken biriani which turned out to be bland and tasteless. I was really disappointed. I would not make the same mistake twice. This time I decided that I would pick from the banquet menu and I got to choose from an extensive menu which included a starter, a main course, side dish, rice or a nan bread and a coffee. It was great value.

For my starter, I ordered a Prawn Tikka Puree which was absolutely fantastic. This was followed by a plentiful supply of tasty Lamb Bhoona that was medium curry with plentiful fresh spices, onions and green peppers. I decided to order Allo Ghobie, which is potatoes and cauliflower as a side dish, together with Special Pilau Rice. I would not say that Lamb Bhoona was the best I've ever tasted, but it was good. The Allo Ghobie was mouthwatering. Mmmmmm lovely.

As a footnote, my Wife and sister-in-law ordered the Purple Mango Special King Prawns that were deliciously flavoured with herbs and spices. The prawns were the largest I have ever seen served in any restaurant they had been beautifully cooked in a clay oven.

I’m glad that I gave the Purple Mango another opportunity to please me palate and I’m pleased to report that it offers good generous and thoughtfully presented food from a creative menu. My only negative comment is that on both visits the staff came across as being a bit gruff. Maybe, its because I’m used to the really friendly staff at my local curry house, The Gulnar. The Buddha Belly Eats rating is:


Contact Details:

Purple Mango
26b Walnut Tree
Local Centre
Walnut Tree
Milton Keynes
Tel: 01908 677980

The Wavendon Arms Again

This week we're on wee tour down south and we decided to pay another visit to the The Wavendon Arms. Ardent readers of Buddha Belly Eats will recall that I visted the The Wavendon Arms earlier this year. We had booked for 8.00pm and arrived at 7.30pm and settled in the bar for quick aperitif. Well a pint of Bombardier in my case, a small glass of Leffe for the Aussie whooos and a bottle of Pinot for the ladies.

Bang on 8.00pm we were shown to our table. The place was heaving and the atmosphere was relaxed and comfortable. The menu had not changed since we last visited. The “Specials” menu is a daily feature that certainly enticed some of our group. I ordered grilled asparagus, poached egg, parmesan and rocket for my starter and ribeye steak, chilli onion rings, pesto tomato and chips on the side for my mains.

My starter was delicious and I grudgingly shared it around the table. Once I had rescued my starter from the appreciative mouths of the scavengers I summarily devoured it. It was good. No, it was very good. The poached egg yolk mixed superbly with the balsamic dressing. The asparagus was blanched to perfection and combined spectacularly with the poached egg, parmesan and rocket. Mmmmm. I might sneak back today for another plateful. I would give the starter 9/10.

The mains arrived just in time to be accompanied by another pint of Bombardie. The steak had been cooked to medium rare as requested. The chilli onion rings were a tad on the dry side. Maybe, this was result of the dish being placed under a hot plate for slightly longer than it should have been. Still, I did enjoy the steak, pesto tomato and chips. I would give the mains 7/10.

We forced ourselves to order three deserts for the table, two hot chocolate cakes with ice cream and one sticky toffee pudding with cream. We all got stuck in to the puddings and they were a magical way to end the meal. I would give the deserts 9/10.

And finally, is it just me or do the waitresses at the The Wavendon Arms look the same, about 5'5" tall, size 8-10, blonde hair pulled and tied back, black trouser and black t-shirts, tanned or fake tanned and their naval showing. I must be getting dead old because I am finding this whole revealed naval thing a bit disturbing. I can't seem to take my eyes of them. I don't know what I'm going to see, but it does slightly and momentary disturb my thirst quenching activities. I hope that I’m not starting to go through a bare naval induced mid-life crisis thing.

The Buddha Belly Eats rating is:


Contact Details:

The Wavendon Arms
2 Newport Road
MK17 8LJ
Tel: 01908 584277