Cail Bruich has been in business for 11 years and is a medium sized place with bench seating on both sides of the wide room. The bench is a little different in that they have back support cushions hanging from the top of the seat. At the end of the room, opposite the entry, is the large service area that has a pass through into the kitchen and a bar with a few seats. Music plays in the background and there are lots of plants decorating the brick walls. There is a large rectangular ‘green’ painting (that turned out to be preserved rather than living) on one wall. In addition a number of jars of vegetables and fruits line the counter tops. They offer only a tasting menu on Friday and Saturday with some optional supplements (cheese, oysters) and wine pairings are available. Tuesday through Thursday they also offer an a la carte menu and are open for lunch. The staff spoke good English and were friendly.
We started with a negroni, which was nicely made with one ice cube, while we looked over the menu card.
They brought some snacks, first being a cannoli stuffed with cheese and worcestershire. The very thin crisp wrapper was stuffed with creamy yummy cheese. It was delightful.
Next were some fresh, young vegetables from the garden with seaweed salsa verde. The salsa was mild and good and the radishes were tender and good with the salsa.
Bread service was a sour dough half loaf with basil tarts. Also there was a cultured butter with tarragon and a brown crab emulsion. The bread was moist and doughy on the inside with a fairly crackly crust. Both spreads were nice but I would have preferred a plain salted butter to accent the lovely bread. The basil tarts were excellent and filled with a creamy summer cheese and topped with radish and cucumber slices.
A white crab salad was served with rice puffs and melon balls. The sweet melon went well with the crab for a wonderful mixture. The tiny rice puffs added the needed texture.
A langoustine topped cracker was the top layer on a 2 part dish. The langoustine tartar was alongside some creamy sauce and topped with a few greens. The crisp cracker was very nice with this combo. Underneath were Orkney scallops with fresh peas, sea buckthorn and wasabi ice cream. The sea buckthorn was part of the dressing on the raw scallops and it was not as tart as I expected. It all worked nicely together and was further accented by some drops of ink. The peas burst with flavor. This was great.
Isle of Wight tomatoes were mixed with strawberry, smoked dashi and lovage. some of the strawberries were green as were the nasturtium leaves. All the tomatoes were excellent in flavor and had been peeled to keep them tender. The yellow cherry tomatoes were particularly sweet and wonderful. A nice addition was the savory broth. This dish exploded with summer, fresh flavors.
Gigha halibut was plated with salt baked kholrabi, gooseberry, oyster and sake. The vegetable was on a red miso sauce onto which a sauce of oyster, sake and seaweed oil was added. The fish was a tad dry and the kholrabi coating made it salty. Nice ingredients here but not a great dish.
Goosnargh duck was plated with girolles, carrot and blackcurrant. The duck had a coating of fennel and was served with its own jus. The meat was moist and I loved the seasoning as well as the sauce. The vegetables were also nice, especially the assorted carrots.
A pre-dessert was elderflower, white chocolate and Perthshire strawberry with some lemon sorbet. The white chocolate was in a mousse alongside chunks of butterscotch cookie. The tart lemon sorbet was delicious with the sweet strawberries. In fact all the parts went together for a lot of fun combinations. A good one.
We had an aged Armagnac (1995) to go with dessert which was lime, sorrel, brambles and buckwheat. A creamy lime/thyme mousse was next to a sorrel granita and bramble sorbet that were topped with frozen buckwheat that was crispy and some giant blackberries. The creamy fluffy part went well with the slightly tart sorbet and the buckwheat added texture. Overall though, I’d call this one okay. The tastes blended but there were just too many of them.
The final dessert was called ‘Waste not, want not’ and was made with sweet corn ice cream stuffed between coffee biscuits and topped with bergamot gel – all from leftovers. This had mild flavors but the cookies were crisp and overall it was fine.