Ee-Usk Restaurant in Oban

You have to be careful what you wish for! When planning our little trip to Oban, I was tempted by the good reviews and awards boasted by the Ee-Usk Restaurant. It calls itself “one of the best seafood restaurants in the country” (extract taken from their website). I even thought ‘I’d better book a table in case it was a busy evening’. It was one of these situation when you get an idea stuck in your head and you will do anything to get there.

The restaurant looks encouraging at first sight: sitting at the harbour and glazed from top to bottom, it makes you imagine how wonderful it must be to  peer at the sea while eating. We went there on a Saturday evening around 8. The staff was polite but not too enthusiastic, as it mostly consisted of very young (teenage?) waitresses who would give you the specials list on one breath not even looking at you, like a shy kid forced to recite rhymes in nursery (kids don’t wear make-up, though).

Ali ordered thai fishcakes for starters and I had mussels in wine and garlic. Both dishes tasted as you would expect but they were not exceptional. At least the mussels were fresh. Another good thing – we were hungry and the food was served reasonably quickly. For main course we both decided to go with wild halibut, “locally landed, oven baked, served with creamed leeks and Ee-usk chips”. And this was a mistake. The fish arrived in a big piece but was dry and overcooked. The leeks were a minute portion, enough for two mouthfulls, and the chips were six or seven tiny pieces of potatoes. This is supposed to be a main course, for goodness sakes! And it costs £17.95 each! We finished with chocolate and coffee mousse at £5.45 per portion which was served in small wine glasses and which we would have enjoyed much more, if it had been left longer in the fridge to set.

My conclusion is: don’t always believe the award and accolade stickers on the door! The food at Ee-Usk was in our experience poorly prepared and hugely overpriced and we will be looking for a different place to eat when visiting the area again.

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