The Two Fat Ladies at the Buttery has been a restaurant for 60 years and it spreads over several rooms all filled with collections of decorative pieces. The restaurant is not related to the television show of a similar name, that I could tell. Our table was not ready immediately upon arrival so we sat at the bar area where the very friendly bartender told us tales of the history of the place. When we were seated the very friendly staff were opinionated (in a nice way) about what to order from the a la carte menu. The tables were fairly close and set with white tableclothes and napkins. No music was in the background but the hum of people provided plenty of ambiance. Lots of dark wood and some windows made up the walls and the floors were carpeted. This place serves pretty heavy food in large portions with rapid paced service. They did ask if we wanted a break after the main course but we had already decided to skip dessert – it didn’t seem to have a good probability for success based on the rest of the meal.
Bread service was a trio of slices – garlic, parmesan/pumpkin and parsley flavored – with salted butter. All the varieties were quite soft and light with no crisp to the crust. The parsley was really strongly flavored, but the parmesan less so. The butter was good with not too much salt.
Flash-fried west coast scallops were served on Macsween haggis with a scampi bisque cream. The scallops were really tender and perfectly cooked. The haggis underneath worked well with the slightly spicy sauce around it, as well as the scallops. The haggis had a oat chewiness to it and lots of flavor. This was a server recommendation and well chosen.
For a main dish we had the Pan-fried fillet of Cajun spiced Scottish halibut served with sweetcorn and coriander salsa, avocado mousse and a tempura king prawn. It was a huge piece of fish and nicely moist and plated on some rice. The salsa was tasty but not at all spicy. The avocado mousse was more like a cream and was reasonably tasty but it had no chunks of avocado in it. The dish had lots of sauces to blend with the fish but this had so much it came off heavy with little subtlety. It felt very ‘old school’ with heavy, gloppy sauce.
With the fish we had a side dish of asparagus and Hollandaise. The asparagus had not been peeled and thus were quite tough to cut. The Hollandaise was way gloppy and had clotted with some really thick cheese. It tasted better than it looked, but that’s the best I can say for it.
Another side was the triple-cooked chips. The large chunks of potato were hand cut from a good potato but they did not crisp up, as they should. They did blister, but they were soft through and through.