Travel Report: Ee-usk Seafood Restaurant, Oban.
July 2019. Ask me if I’m into seafood and I’m likely to give a muted response. Seafood? Meh. But actually, whenever I have seafood I really enjoy it. I just can’t be assed with picking bones out of my dinner and generally I don’t want my dish to have eyes. Moreover, put the likes of fish and octopus on a menu alongside words like beef and lamb and… yeah… seafood is never gonna come up trumps. Having said that, the last big seafood dinner I had was undoubtedly one of my best meals of 2019. Furthermore, it came as a birthday treat courtesy of my sister at the amazing Ee-usk Seafood Restaurant in the Scottish town of Oban.
It’s not everyday one turns 41. Hence my sister wanted something special to celebrate the day and cap off what had been a fantastic visit to Oban. She certainly chose the right place! Ee-usk is famed throughout Scotland as offering up some of the finest seafood in the country. Moreover, this award-winning restaurant enjoys a great location overlooking beautiful Oban Bay. However, as we entered that night neither of us were exactly feeling the magic of the interior. Should we cram ourselves in among the braying masses? Enjoy the view of all those pulled down blinds? Nah.
Luckily, Ee-usk has an outdoor patio and, hallelujah (!), there was one table free. So we pounced, greedily claiming a little corner next to the entrance.
Our efficient albeit slightly snippy waitress was quick to come and take our drink orders. Having gone for a refreshing Skye Blaven Craft Ale, Natalie and I began mulling over our options. A visit here can potentially rack up quite a bill, but fear not they have a set menu deal that offers excellent value. Basically you get a starter, a main and a dessert for £17 per person. The offer is available daily between 12:00-13:00 and 17:45 and 18:45. To guarantee a seat, it’s wise to book ahead.
When the starters arrived I just knew it was going to be a delicious feast that evening. Natalie went for the Smoked Haddock Chowder, I opted for the Warmed Trout on Salad. The bread basket was complimentary, which I thought was a decent touch. We decided to just go all-out with the fish, especially as everything is caught locally. Oh, and Ee-usk is how you pronounce “iasg”, the Gaelic word for fish.
It was also a festival of fish with our mains. My sister plumped for the Battered Seabass with Potato Croquettes, Salad and Tartare Sauce. I imagine you’d be hard pushed to find a better plate of Fish & Chips in Scotland. And no wonder, as the Macleod family, who own the restaurant, have over 25 years experience in the seafood industry.
My main of choice was the Oven Baked Fillet of Hake in Lemon and Dill Butter with Savoury Mash and Salad. Again, exceptional. As a cheeky bonus, we also ordered a side of onion rings, priced at £3. But when the plate arrived, I was amused/horrified to see that they’d given us 3 onion rings! Three onion rings to share between two people. That’s £1 per onion ring. When I pointed this out to the waitress, she gave me a flushed look, scuttled off and returned a short while later with two extra rings. Fair enough.
For dessert, I gave the 2 Scoops of Plain Ice Cream (how about that for marketing) the wide berth it deserved in favour of a traditional Scottish Clootie Dumpling served with cream. This steamed pudding is a bit like a fruit cake, just a little richer and fused with spices. I loved it, but I’m imagining it won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. For me this really was a great ending to a wonderful evening meal.
For more on Ee-usk Seafood Restaurant, including opening times and downloadable menus, head to their official website.
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