Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

REVIEW: Many strings to Fiddler’s Highland Restaurant’s bow

Whisky Salmon Salad. Pictures by Sandy McCook.
Whisky Salmon Salad. Pictures by Sandy McCook.

As a fully-laden snowplough drove past outside, I couldn’t help but feel thankful that I was warm and cosy inside and tucking into delicious comforting food.

We’d found ourselves in Fiddler’s Highland Restaurant in the village of Drumnadrochit by default.

Earlier that day, Madame Winter had shown us she still had a sting in her tail and hurled snow, thunder and gale-force winds at us, some of which had been strong enough to bring down a tree and block the road between Inverness and Drum.

But the road had been cleared and the weather brightened up enough by the time we set off to let us enjoy the scenic drive to the Loch Ness-side village where we’d booked dinner at a hotel.

Once there we discovered the hotel was unexpectedly closed, which is why we wound up instead in Fiddler’s, which is in the heart of the village.

The place was packed, mostly with visitors, and we considered ourselves lucky when they found us a table for two.

We were presented with menus and told in an informative and pleasant way about the day’s specials.

To be honest, I could hardly concentrate as I was so taken by the huge number of whiskies on display – there are more than 600 on offer here, many of them rare and unique vintages.

Owner Jon Beach is passionate about whisky.

Fiddler’s even has its own whisky club, The Loch Ness Whisky Parliament – now that’s a group worth voting for!

A selection of the Parliament’s favourite whiskies were displayed close to where we sat, alongside dozens of other bottles and books on the amber nectar.

The drinks menu is worth a read and I was delighted to see them offering the traditional hauf and a hauf (a half pint served with a dram).

They also offer trios of whiskies to try at a variety of prices and I was tickled to see whiskies from three long-gone Inverness distilleries – The Glen Mhor, Glen Albyn and Millburn – on offer.

I might have been tempted but, as they were priced between £19.95 and £24.95 a dram, I felt they were a little out of my budget.

A glass of the very pleasant house red and a Black Isle Blonde beer went nicely with our starter, Fiddler’s prawn and whisky salmon sundae which, as you may have guessed, was served in a sundae glass.

On top of a nice crisp salad sat a fair mound of fat and juicy prawns covered in quite a spicy Marie Rose sauce and pieces of delicious smoked salmon.

Chunks of baguette were put to good use as we mopped up every last bit of this flavoursome classic starter.

As we waited for our mains we marvelled at the skills of the two young waitresses acting as unofficial ambassadors for the Highlands.

They answered questions from guests ranging from directions to Eilean Donan Castle in Skye to one about whether Mackie’s ice cream is made with ewe’s milk, and all answered with a smile.

For the main event my partner had plumped for one of the specials, roast haddock with garlic butter, new potatoes and a crisp salad.

As his plate was presented, a waft of garlicky aroma made me wish, for a second, I’d ordered this.

While the aroma was strong, the garlic flavour was subtle enough to allow the fresh flavours of the thick, white haddock to come through. A winning combination if ever there was one.

Incidentally the tatties served with both dishes were slathered in butter and very moreish.

My main course was lamb two ways and it was sublime.

Lamb fillet had been cooked, kebab-style on the restaurant’s chargrill, an impressive piece of kit that gave the lamb a fantastic barbecued flavour on the outside.

The meat was perfectly seasoned, the inside was tender and just the right side of pink.

The dish also featured slow-cooked shoulder of lamb with pearl barley, leeks and carrots.

Hearty, warming and full of flavour, it was the perfect choice for a chilly night.

We shouldn’t really have had a pud but they looked so good it was hard to resist.

My partner opted for ice cream served with a dram or liqueur of his choice while the whisky sponge sounded good to me.

Akin to a sticky toffee pudding but with a nice warming hint of whisky in the light sponge and creamy sauce, it came with a scoop of Mackie’s ice cream and whipped cream dotted with tablet – surely a contender for the most delicious Scottish pud around?

The measure of Dalwhinnie Winter’s Gold served with my partner’s ice cream seemed on the small side but the waitress explained it was the last in the bottle, and not quite a full dram, so he wouldn’t be charged for it, which was a nice touch.

We may have found Fiddler’s by accident but it was so good we’ll make a point of coming here again, no matter what the weather throws at us.

THE RESTAURANT

  • Fiddler’s Highland Restaurant
  • Address: The Green Mainstreet, Drumnadrochit IV63 6TU
  • t: 01456 450678
  • w: www.fiddledrum.co.uk

THE BILL

  • Prawn and salmon sundae, £6.95
  • Lamb, £17.95
  • Haddock, £14.95
  • Whisky sponge, £5.95
  • Ice cream, £3.50
  • Half-pint Black Isle Blonde, £2.50
  • Two large red house wines, £13.90
  • One large filter coffee, £2.75

Total: £68.45

 

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]