I know it’s not for everyone, but I am very much a sharing person when it comes to food.
Why restrict yourself to only trying one dish when you could have your pick of many on the table?
I have had my eye on One One Two on the Brae on Nairn’s high street for a while now. I am a wine fan so the wine bar side of things appealed to me, however my boyfriend Aidan is not so that’s maybe why we hadn’t been.
Their recent foodie photos on Instagram were too much for me to resist so I took the plunge and booked us a table a couple of Fridays back.
One One Two on the Brae
One One Two is a family-run wine bar, wine shop and deli, but you definitely don’t have to like wine to thoroughly enjoy yourself there.
I called on the Monday for dinner on the Friday and could only get us a booking at 5.30pm, so if you are restricted time wise then it’s worth being more organised than I was.
We were warmly welcomed into the restaurant which is on the smaller side but feels spacious, light and open. A large wine display lines one wall and the decor is a classy nod to Nairn’s seaside location.
I had been told when booking that we would be sat at a higher bar table – which I thought was a nice touch – and we agreed it was one of the comfiest of its kind. The table was large and the seats substantial, so don’t be put off if you are told the same.
As previously mentioned, I had been admiring One One Two’s food offering for a good while on Instagram. They do small plates which is right up my street and we had a tough time not ordering one of everything from the menu.
We didn’t get a specials menu, maybe this was due to the earlier time of our booking, but we noticed them going out to other tables after ordering and were a tad jealous.
I kicked off the night with a white wine flight (£12) which was great, especially for anyone struggling to decide what they fancy. Aidan had a ginger beer (£2.80) after designating himself driver for the night.
Something to note from the get-go is that we were told dishes would arrive as they were ready, which we were absolutely fine with – expecting this would be within about 20 maximum. However, there was about 40 minutes between our first and last dishes arriving.
I think part of the fun of small plates is being able to mix and match, but that was impossible as each dish was pretty much cleared before the next arrived. I can’t say whether this is normal for the restaurant or whether they were maybe short staffed, but we did find our hungry tummies wanting for more.
That being said, we ordered five small plates in total and were thoroughly impressed by almost every one of them.
We started out with gordal olives marinated in basil pesto (£4.95) as Aidan can’t start a meal without olives. I don’t usually like them, but I must say the flavour on these ones was spot on.
The batter on the tempura monkfish with spiced harissa caramel, coriander and lime aioli (£12.50) was gorgeously light, and the caramel was a surprise. It tied the spicy, tart and herby flavours together and the fish was cooked to perfection.
Char sui pork belly bao buns with hoisin sauce and pickled Asian veg (£9.50) were up next. While the flavours were delicious, we felt the size of the pork inside the buns was a little small for the price.
This was the only one we questioned in terms of value for money, the other plates – and our meal as a whole – felt like the right price point.
By far our favourite was the crispy chilli crumbed chicken schnitzel with lemon yuzu mayo, parmesan, turmeric pickled cucumber and fried onions (£10). The chicken was so crispy and the cucumber just the right level of picked. We struggled to share this one as we both could have polished the whole thing off in seconds.
We also chose the buffalo cauliflower with Frank’s Hot Sauce and garlic aioli (£9). The cauliflower was well cooked, still with a bit of bite, but the sauce was a little too vinegary for our liking.
Last up for the savoury courses was a lightly smoked cured venison loin with shaved Fat Cow, rhubarb, rocket, hazelnut dukkha and pomegranate dressing. I loved the addition of the cheese on this one, and the meat melted in the mouth.
Of course we couldn’t pass up dessert. As always, we ordered two to share, starting with Jean Luc’s profiteroles with banana and rum parfait, miso caramel, carmelised banana and cashews (£8.50). This was my favourite as I am a banoffee pie person and this felt like an elevated version of that.
Aidan’s favourite was the lemon yuzu posset with Perthshire raspberries and white chocolate crumble (£8), which struck the right balance between tart and sweet and was silky smooth.
There is no denying that One One Two on the Brae knows food as well as it knows wine.
Yes, we did wait a little longer than expected for it, but I’d still rush back, maybe just with a group of gal pals rather than with a ravenous Aidan.
It’s unlike anything else in Inverness and the surrounding area and I would love for more places to take a leaf out of One One Two’s delicious book.
Address: 112 High Street, Nairn, IV12 4DE
T: 01667 457135
Price: £90.25 for one wine flight, one soft drink, olives, five small plates and two desserts. A service charge was not added to the bill.
- Food: 4/5
- Service: 3/5
- Surroundings: 4/5