I have a week off work, so that can only mean one thing: dining out! For me it’s mandatory. You’re not on holiday if you’re cooking for yourself as you would normally! I have heard great things about The Steayban (pronounced Stay-ban) from a couple of people, particularly my Gran. And she isn’t easily pleased with restaurants these days, let me tell you! I owed my mum a lunch date, so we headed up to Glassford which is in between Hamilton and Strathaven in South Lanarkshire. You can find The Steayban on my Herby Food Map!
The Steayban is a small, cosy and trendy-Scottish styled inn. It’s cute and cosy. When you walk in, you’re faced with a little bar and some leather sofas and then the entrance to the restaurant. Tartan carpets, leather seats, comfortable cushions on the booths and roses on the tables. It has a lovely look and atmosphere and the staff are absolutely lovely too – welcoming, funny and they know the menu inside out!
While we waited we were given some bread, butter and a garlic spicy dip. Their bread of the day (or bread of the week?) was their own homemade onion and rosemary focaccia. It was a lovely texture with thin slices of onion through it and the dip was really tasty! My problem with bread (especially onion & rosemary flavoured bread) is that I can’t stop eating it.
This is the ‘Baked Gypsy Eggs with Chorizo,bacon and Smoked Paprika’ – a dish I can honestly say I wouldn’t have ordered myself. Oh my, it was delicious. What a revelation.
I took this picture to show you what was underneath the eggs. The bacon and chorizo are baked with vegetables (tomato, peas and onion, I think!) in a lovely, meaty, savoury sauce beneath the eggs which bake on top of the mixture. It was served with toast with what looked like a paprika mayonnaise style coating. It is crazy genius! Absolutely full of flavour.
We both opted for the Venison and Juniper Berry Pudding which was served with creamy spring onion mashed potato and a medley of roasted vegetables in a red wine jus. It was like Christmas in my mouth.
At first glance, I thought I was faced with a venison & dumpling blended pudding with vegetables. Nuh uh…
It was like a meaty version of a chocolate fondant pudding! When I said it was Christmas in my mouth, I meant it literally as well as metaphorically. The metaphor being the joy of opening presents. Meaty presents. And literally because of the comforting roasted vegetables, nicely stodgy rosemary flavoured dumpling and then the red wine jus gave the festive feel. Ah, it was just beautiful. The venison so tender and was cooked in a juicy stew with carrots, onion and celery. The roast vegetable medley was very sweet as it consisted of carrot, beetroot and parsnip – they were nice and soft but with just a little bite. I can’t fault it at all.
I was totally stuffed after my two courses, but we were informed that our desserts were free because of the menu we had ordered from. We were offered a break in between the main course and the dessert which I gratefully accepted! I ordered the special which was caramel creamed rice served with mango.
I’m including this in my blog, not as a negative (my blog has no space for bad reviews!) but to show two things: how nicely presented a simple, homely pudding was presented, but also (and mainly) to compliment the staff. The rice wasn’t properly cooked. The way it was dealt with was lovely. It was whisked away, no problem, and I ordered an alternative. During my alternative dessert, the waitress came back to me and said that she and the chef tried my dessert and agreed it wasn’t right and apologised. I thought that was lovely – often you see people return food and it’s contentiously accepted with a “Oh it’s fine!” and that’s it. It was nice to be reassured that I was right, and not just a fussy customer!
My alternative…oh lordy…
Ladies and gentlemen, I present the ‘Iced Bailey’s Parfait’! It was amazing. I love my Bailey’s anyway, but this was just amaaaaaazing. The frozen Bailey’s mousse was served with whipped cream and a sesame seed brittle. At the side was the chocolate popcorn sauce which was like a rich Nutella, and then a couple of pieces of toffee popcorn decorated the side of the plate. It looked, and tasted beautiful! The parfait was a really light with a strong, creamy Bailey’s taste – but not alcoholic in the overpowering sense. The brittle was crisp but chewy and tasted like toffee popcorn. The flavours just matched perfectly.
My mum ordered the strawberry Cranachan cheesecake which was served with ‘boozy raspberries’ (I think that’s a great name!). For those that aren’t sure what Cranachan is, it’s a traditional Scottish dessert which usually involves whipped cream, whisky, honey, raspberries and oatmeal. It’s not always served as a cheesecake – there are many different variations (stacked tarts, Eaton mess style, the options are endless). The cheesecake version was gorgeous – stacked up and garnished with the raspberry coulis and dark chocolate shavings. It was a mixture of rich chocolate, tart raspberries and light cheesecake. Yum.
We polished off our desserts alongside a cup of tea. I was impressed that even the tea is well presented – a cute little side order of Scottish tablet and meringue!
This leads me to round off my review of the Steayban. I LOVED IT. They know how to really cook. Their food is absolutely bursting with flavour, has character and they make traditional Scottish food. Not only is the food traditional, but it comes across in a modern way. I totally understand why I hear people talking about them, and it’s for the exact same reason that I am dying to go back and try more from their menu. I cannot fault anything. The atmosphere, the decor, the glorious food, the staff…they’ve got the whole package absolutely spot on!