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. 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. Facebook Messenger An icon of the facebook messenger app logo. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Facebook Messenger An icon of the Twitter app logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. WhatsApp Messenger An icon of the Whatsapp messenger app logo. Email An icon of an mail envelope. Copy link A decentered black square over a white square.

Restaurant review: The Kitchen Brasserie in Inverness delivers a fancy feast without the fuss

The Kitchen Brasserie on the banks of the River Ness. Image: Sandy McCook / DC Thomson
The Kitchen Brasserie on the banks of the River Ness. Image: Sandy McCook / DC Thomson

The Inverness food scene is unlike that of any other Scottish city.

Despite the vast number of people who flock to the Highland capital each year, the streets aren’t lined with chain restaurants and familiar names.

Sure there’s a Nando’s, two McDonald’s, a Zizzi and – a ghost of birthdays past – a Frankie and Benny’s.

What Inverness does instead is conjure up a host of local independents – and it does it well.

The Kitchen Brasserie. Image: Sandy McCook/DC Thomson

There is a balance between new ventures, like Hou Hou Mei and Jimmy Badgers, and steadfast staples that roll of the tongues of locals when asked where they recommend.

The Kitchen Brasserie is one of the staples. Though I hadn’t been until recently, it’s safe to say I was expecting great things.

The Kitchen Brasserie

In my opinion, some of the restaurants in Inverness that are blessed to be situated by the river don’t make the most of it.

Luckily, The Kitchen Brasserie is not one of these places. It totally embraces its riverside location; the wave-like roof mimics the movement of the water and the glass facade means there is hardly a bad seat in the house.

My boyfriend Aidan and I headed to the restaurant for a meal one dark Friday night and were warmly welcomed in from the cold.

Inside The Kitchen Brasserie. Image: Sandy McCook/DC Thomson

We were taken up to the first floor by a very friendly staff member and led to a table which had a fantastic view of the River Ness with the city’s lights dancing along it.

The restaurant has a cosy feel, with enough tables to create a buzz but not so many that the relatively small space feels cramped.

We decided to do a fun experiment and both order the mint julep, a cocktail version for Aidan (£8.25) and a mocktail version for me (£4.95), the designated driver for the night.

We both love a minty cocktail, with mojitos being one of our go-tos, and both the alcoholic and non alcoholic mint julep were the perfect accompaniment for our meal – I loved the ginger kick.

The food

I, of course, follow The Kitchen Brasserie on social media and it excited me that they seemed to change up their menu and specials often. While I am one of those people who studies a menu before eating somewhere, I also like an element of surprise.

The menu did not disappoint, with a lovely range of fish, meat and veggie dishes at various price points.

Aidan takes trying new restaurants very seriously – to the extent that he will now indicate which parts of our conversation I should remember to quote him on.

By the time he had finished his first bite of his beautifully presented wood pigeon starter (£10.50), his opinion of the dish had already fully formed: “When something looks this good, it’s often style over substance, but this starter is not.”

Wood pigeon starter. Image: Sandy McCook/DC Thomson

Served with celeriac, quince and hazelnuts, it was meticulously presented and smelled incredible, so I do not doubt that his verdict was sound.

I skipped a starter because I had already eyed up the dessert menu and knew I needed to leave space.

When it comes to main courses, fish is my go-to, especially in Inverness where the quality is always incredible. On this night however I decided to push the boat out and go for meat. This was mostly down to the fact I had spotted the slow cooked beef cheek (£25.95).

Served with mashed potato, carrot, hazelnuts, king oyster mushrooms and a red wine jus, this dish was sublime.

Slow cooked beef cheek. Image: Sandy McCook/DC Thomson.

The piece of meat was huge and – though I wish I could avoid the cliche – it melted in the mouth, meaning it was light despite the rich stickiness of the jus.

Aidan went for one of the day’s specials, a baked monkfish tail with pickled cucumber, saffron potatoes, samphire, granny smith apple, sesame seaweed and almond fennel and dill veloute (£24.95).

His decision was driven by intrigue as we both agreed we couldn’t figure out how so many rather weird and wonderful flavour combinations could blend together into one dish.

Unsurprisingly based on the standard of the other dishes, he loved it.

Baked monkfish special. Image: Sandy McCook/DC Thomson

He said the fish was beautifully cooked, which cannot be said for all the monkfish I’ve tried in restaurants over the years, and that the dish as a whole was fresh while still maintaining a depth of flavour.

I sneaked a bit of the sauce which was a tad on the herby side for me, but that only meant Aidan was happier that my fork wasn’t intruding on his side of the table.

Onto desserts, which I was very glad I had left room for.

We both had our eye on the pineapple dish, which was served with marshmallow, white chocolate, passion fruit and rum and raisin (£7.95). I always feel opting for the same dish is a wasted opportunity, so I agreed to swerve like the loving girlfriend I am.

Pineapple dessert. Image: Sandy McCook/DC Thomson

Aidan’s stubbornness ended up doing me a favour, as the strawberry custard jelly dessert I went for was delicious (£7.95).

If you ever had jelly and ice cream as a kid, this was like the grown up version of that flavour-wise.

The custard jelly part was like a firmer version of a panna cotta with a lovely strawberry flavour. It was served with tonka bean ice cream, salsa, syrup and mint which all tied in perfectly together.

Strawberry custard jelly. Image: Sandy McCook/DC Thomson

The pineapple dessert was also wonderful, though Aidan reckoned the thick slice of pineapple at its heart could have been a little thinner to make the dish easier to cut through and devour.

I had heard from a few foodie friends that the portions at the restaurant could be on the smaller side, but we were both really happy with each of the courses we got.

The verdict

The Kitchen Brasserie is a perfect example of the kind of restaurant I want to eat at.

You can tell the sheer amount of thought and care that has gone into each dish, but it doesn’t feel fussy. The staff are attentive and kind, but you aren’t scared to pick up the wrong fork for your starter.

Each dish was beautifully presented and I think the versatility of restaurant and its offering could lend itself to every occasion from a celebratory meal to a cosy Sunday lunch by the river.

Lauren Robertson is part of The Press and Journal’s Live News Team and lives in Inverness.

She is one of our staff reviewers and runs her own lifestyle Instagram account Highland Highlights which showcases things to do in Inverness and the surrounding area.


Address: The Kitchen Brasserie, 15 Huntly St, Inverness IV3 5PR

T: 01463 259119


Price: £90.50 for one starter, two mains, two desserts, one mocktail and one cocktail. A service charge wasn’t added to the bill.


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