Tuesday, 29 May 2007

But n Ben

Parents came to visit this weekend so we took a trip to the tiny Auchmithie just past Arbroath to have a meal at But n Ben (details and review here). It's very small and cosy and a bit like being in someone's house. They use lots of local produce, so lots of fishy things, but also venison and game pie and stuff like that, and most of it is done in quite a Scottish style with lots of cream and rich sauces.
What they're really known for is their Smokie Pancake - a massive pancake stuffed full of Arbroath smokie pieces in cream sauce. Probably about a week's worth of calories all in one dish, but very good. The smokie soup is also tasty, and you can get a hot buttered smokie in its whole form as as a starter too. Jane and I both had a big bowl of mussels to start. They don't always have them in so it was a lucky day.
For mains, Dad went for the seafood platter - another large amount of food as you can see from the picture! Different types of salmon, a bit of smokie, some winkles, a monster crab, some mussels etc etc. Very impressive. And just when you think you're about to burst, along comes the sweet trolley loaded with tempting home made puds. Barry modestly limited himself to ordering just one this time (bread and butter pudding), but proceeded to help finish up my sticky toffee sponge and Mum's coffee and walnut cake.
We had to make a slightly hastier exit than we might have done after I suddenly realised that I'd left my vat of chickpeas boiling away on the hob!! I had visions of coming home to a house full of smoke and a glowing red hot pan in the kitchen containing a smoking chickpea-charcoal brick. Amazingly they were fine even after being boiled for a good 5 hours - thankfully I'd used an enormous pot with plenty of water. Big sighs of relief all round, and a wee cheeky whisky to help all that food go down, and then off to bed to sleep off the excitement!

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