Boys Eat Scotland review of Dinner at The Queens Arms
The Queens Arms reaches out to you from its basement location on Frederick Street and you can’t help being drawn in to this most welcoming pub that was packed with a lively mixture of locals and visitors when we arrived for dinner a week or so ago. You can see the appeal-a great atmosphere, comfy seats, cosy corners, craft beers and a large whisky collection combine with an appetising food offering to make this an ideal place any time of day.
Our table for the evening was in one of the cosy private booths complete with a copper topped table. Once inside you can close the stable-like door and enter your own little private island of calm inside the busy bar.
We decided to kick the evening off with a beer while we ordered from the “Light Bites, Bigger Bites and Sharing Plate menu”. The bar has a selection of Scottish beers on tap and in bottles although a few more craft beers wouldn’t go amiss. The whisky menu on the other hand is huge with something for everyone.
My starter was easy – Kinlochleven mussles – being a Kinloch boy nothing else would do! Raymond decided to try the beetroot arancini, served with a blue cheese dip and balsamic dressed rocket salad.
The Kinlochleven Mussles were served with a sautéed leek, bacon, garlic and white wine liquor and were plump and delicious. I had to check that this was actually a small portion as thirty five mussels (yes I did count them) arrived all freshly opened and ready for eating. The dish was unbelievable value at £6.50 and was served with a couple of slices of bread to mop up all of that robust, salty liquor.
Raymond’s beetroot arancini were equally generous – three rice and beetroot balls encased in a delicious crunchy coating. The combination made for a satisfying starter although more blue cheese dip next time please!
We both opted for pub grub staples of crispy battered fish of the day with Maris Piper hand cut chips, lemon and tartar sauce (£10.50) for me and Aberdeen Angus burger on a toasted onion bun, Queens relish and Maris Piper Chips (£10) for Raymond. The Desperate Dan inspired pie of the day did catch our eye though, so a return visit to sample the huge pie for 2 folks, complete with a jug of gravy, mashed potato and seasonal veg is a must!
The good sized fish arrived resting on top of the chips with a perfectly light and crispy batter and a flaky interior topped with a scattering of sea salt. The chips had a decent crunch and were fluffy inside – no complaints!
Raymond’s burger arrived in a soft onion bun with lettuce, tomato, Blarliath cheddar (£1) and was crowned with Queens relish. The burger was nicely cooked medium so was still juicy inside and the onion bun was actually worth eating rather than the usual frozen white bap of nothingness. The chips were also very tasty served in their skins in a chippy bag – it was a well balanced burger and he managed to polish off the lot.
We had planned to share dessert but could’t agree on which one, so I opted for the Wimbledon special of white chocolate and strawberry mousse and Raymond chose the lemon and stem ginger posset (£5.50). We were so glad we didn’t have to share as the desserts were the stars of the show. I’m quite sure the other drinkers and diners could hear our tinkling spoons over the cheers from the Poland v Portugal match, scraping out every last morsel.
My mousse arrived in a tea cup with a side biscuit of shortbread. It was so smooth and creamy and you could really taste the ripe strawberry and white chocolate flavours. Three splodges of strawberry gel enhanced the flavour further. The shortbread was also perfect – light and short, just the way it should be.
Raymond’s posset looked shy and retiring but really packed a punch with sharp lemon combining beautifully with the warming ginger – two of his favourite flavours in a dessert. The addition of the crisp lemon shortbread biscuits worked perfectly with the smooth creamy posset.
The desserts were an unexpected highlight to a lovely meal at the Queens Arms. This is an ideal bar for both locals and visitors alike to relax and enjoy a warm welcome, a decent drink, some great food and a pub with a personality. Over the last week I have already recommended it to two of our tour guests for a dram and some fresh Kinlochleven mussels and we will certainly be visiting again soon to try out Dan’s pie!
PS. The Queens Arms Bar offer’s an initial 20% discount off your food bill if you subscribe to join their email updates. You can subscribe here.
The Queens Arms
49 Frederick Street
0131 225 1045