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Restaurant review: The Laroch Restaurant and Bar in Glencoe is a Highland gem

Some of the dishes from The Laroch.
Some of the dishes from The Laroch.

A few weeks ago I paid a visit to Glencoe. This place is magical, and if you haven’t been yet, I urge you to go experience some of the best views you’ll see in Scotland.

Exploring is something I’ve loved since I was a young girl. But it’s always the people you do it with that really makes every place even more memorable.

My friend Megan, who I met on social media just before the pandemic, invited me to join her on a trip to the stunning part of the Highlands. I couldn’t resist, especially having never visited.

She describes me as her “foodie friend” so I’d forwarded her a few places I thought we should pay a visit for dinner in advance.

The Laroch Restaurant and Bar

The Laroch Restaurant and Bar in Ballachulish was one of them.

Ideally located just a 20 minute walk from our accommodation, we didn’t think to book in advance, which we’d soon find out was a big mistake

The Laroch Restaurant and Bar, Ballachulish. Pictures by Sandy McCook.

When we arrived the restaurant was heaving. Despite the team being rushed off their feet, someone stopped to welcome us and asked if we had a reservation.

Soaked through thanks to the rain that had started on our walk, we hesitantly replied in sync “no”.

Running her finger through the bookings list, she declared what we feared most, that there was no tables, and even worse, nowhere else to eat close by. Our hearts sank and we desperately looked around the venue to see if anyone would be leaving to free up a table.

The restaurant area at the front of the venue.

Like magic, our knight in shining armor (who was also one of the waiting team) approached the desk to say he could take us in his section as someone had just left.

She revised the list again, and eventually gave us the green light. We both exhaled with a huge sigh of relief.

Dining in the bar area, we left the red and tartan restaurant behind and followed him to the bar.

It too was packed, but we were extremely grateful to see our table now cleaned and ready for our arrival.

The restaurant was packed on the night Julia visited.

The food

The menu has a wide verity of dishes with a lot of seafood and meat on it. There’s a nod to local, too, and we both hummed and hayed over multiple options which is always a good sign.

The only thing I disliked about the menu was its text font. It was squiggly, bold and not the easiest to read. We both struggled figuring out where one dish description started and the other finished, but we did managed in the end.

We’d ordered a gin and tonic and a glass of white wine to toast our success for the night and as soon as I read the words “Laroch hot smoked salmon and prawn Marie rose” I was sold.

Laroch hot smoked salmon with prawn Marie rose.

The starter came with avocado and a citrus dressing (£9.50) and it was a generous portion. The Marie rose sauce was moreish and covered all of the prawns. The avocado was soft and the micro herbs on top added a crispness to the mix, while the tomatoes were plump and juicy.

Megan fell for the goats cheese bon bon with red onion confit, apples, beets and walnuts (£7.50) and said it was the perfect mix of sweet and salty.

Every element complemented the next and there was a lot of different textures from the crunchy walnuts and the pear puree. Every bit was interesting and different, including the crunchy thin sliced of apple, and the bon bon itself was massive.

Goats cheese bon bon.

The attention to detail on both plates was excellent and were both very colourful.

For mains I’d decided on mussels but choose the small option (£9.50) and added a side of truffle and parmesan fries (£4.25).

The portion of mussels was humungous and was served in a garlic and cider sauce with plenty sliced onion throughout. Parsley was sprinkled all over the dish and I dunked the chunks of bread it came with into the sauce which was very creamy.

I offered to share my chips with Megan and we both agreed for the price that there wasn’t enough in the small bowl they were presented. The truffle and parmesan wasn’t well distributed and they felt a bit like an afterthought in comparison to the other impressive dishes we had ordered.

The small portion of mussels with a side of parmesan truffle fries.

As recommended by our server, Megan opted for the Thai green chilli chicken curry (£16.50). It was creamy and flavoursome and the rice to curry ratio worked well while the fresh chilli brought the heat she was looking for.

Thick chunks of succulent chicken breast were smothered in sauce and roasted coconut was sprinkled on top. This wasn’t any pub curry.

Although we were stuffed, we knew we’d be walking up the Pap of Glencoe the next day so figured we’d fill out boots.

The chocolate and orange tart with clementine ice cream screamed at me (£7.50) and the white chocolate cheesecake (£7.50) with orange, pineapple and passion fruit piqued Megan’s interest.

The chocolate tart.

The bitter chocolate with the candied orange was delicious and the sorbet, while a little sour, actually was more creamy than anything. It was refreshing and sat on a bed of chocolate soil. The short biscuit base was easy to cut through and the whole thing was very moreish.

Megan’s cheesecake looked a picture and came topped with candied orange segments and pineapple.

The passion frit sorbet and the puree underneath were delightfully refreshing and worked well with the sweeter cheesecake.

The white chocolate cheesecake.

Full to the gunnels, we settled up and dragged ourselves away from the comforts of the cosy bar.

Some customers had already opened up the dart board and were in the midst of competing against one another, while others were giggling away over goblets of gin and pints of beer.

It wasn’t until we were leaving and complimented the presentation and flavours of the dishes that we found out the owner and head chef Alan Donald is a Michelin stared chef and had worked in various Michelin starred venues.

Now things were making sense…

The verdict

The Laroch Restaurant and Bar is a Highland gem. For those heading to Glencoe or living locally I can’t recommend the food here enough.

Not only will you be able to explore a delicious menu that is plated up in an elegant manner, but you’ll also be able to experience some incredible views of hills, mountains and lochs that surround the village of Ballachulish.

A must visit for anyone venturing that way and looking for tasty scran and a place to enjoy a few drinks.


Address: The Laroch Restaurant and Bar, Loanfern, Ballachulish PH49 4JB

T: 01855 811940


Price: £74.05 for three courses for two people, a side and a glass of wine and a gin and tonic.


  • Food: 4/5
  • Service: 4/5
  • Surroundings: 3.5/5

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