Fine Dining in the Bubble by Lucy
November 28, 2009, 9:00 am
Filed under: Food Week | Tags: , , , ,

The St Andrews student is a curious breed. A barber-toting, welly-wearing bizarre sort of species, the likes of which is extinct in such venerable Universities as Manchester, Leeds and Birmingham. We, like any common garden student, prowl the streets in search of food on a budget, yet snub the likes of the ‘McDonalds’ and ‘Wimpy’ that usually form the foundation of collegiate diets, in search of finer fare. A quick kebab for lunch? Nay – in the land of the bubble we opt for gourmet Lebanese Khobez flatbread wraps, shipped from London, filled with mounds of oozing brie, fragrant harissa and lovingly assembled by Butler and Co.! It is only in such a climate as this that such celebrated (and consequently not budget friendly) establishments as the Seafood Restaurant, Peat Inn and Russell’s hotel Supper Room (to name but a few) could flourish when supported almost solely by the student population. We may as well admit it; – the proof is in these restaurants survival – we at St Andrews have a taste for quality.

For those seeking to explore these establishments, to try somewhere new or simply to broaden their culinary horizons, we at the Fine Food and Dining Society have compiled a short list, with reviews, of our favourite (more…fine) places in and around our beloved town.

The Seafood Restaurant has long held the reputation as the best restaurant in St Andrews, but does it deserve such an illustrious title? With this question in mind I approached the almost other-worldly glass cube, perched over the sea with a stunning 360 degree coastline view, notebook and appetite at the ready and eager, quite frankly, to stuff myself! On this occasion I dined in the evening, but I would definitely advise people to go for lunch instead– since you can actually see the ocean without the cover of darkness – and the set menu itself is less pricey (although both are definitely worth the money!). The dinner menu has the options of both the £25 Winter Menu, and the £45 one. The £45 menu does have a lot more options on it, as well as amuse-bouches and pre-desserts, but I found the Winter Menu perfectly satisfactory, despite there only being 2 options per course.

The food, quite simply, is delicious. Dishes like honey and soy braised pork belly with pea puree and heady truffle oil and grilled cod fillet with sautéed langoustines dripping with garlic butter adorn the menu. The food is always seasonal, fresh and prepared beautifully. The deserts are average but this can more than be forgiven in the aftermath of perfectly moist, flaky seafood…and besides- who goes to the Seafood restaurant for dessert?

Beautiful location, beautiful food and pretty beautiful prices: little glass cube, best restaurant in St Andrews? Definitely up there!

Sangsters is about 20 minutes drive outside St Andrews in the picturesque town of Elie. I shall not dally too much on this restaurant, being outside the bubble, except to simply state: fantastic. One chef cooking alone in his kitchen (no commis chef, no pot wash…nothing), preparing food that has won him one Michelin Star and simply the most divine food I have sampled in a long time. Book now.

The Supper Room at the Russell’s Hotel is situated on the scores about 3 doors down from Ma Bells and contains without question one of the most skilled kitchens in St Andrews. Acclaimed particularly for its regional Scottish fare it sends out delicious steaming plates of haggis, seared highland venison and hearty game pies; all cooked with a critical eye to fine dining standards. This cosy restaurant, full of character in its design and ambience has already been awarded 1 AA Rosette and numerous other accolades and deservedly so. The wine selection is fantastic and there is a snug, separate bar area with an excellent whiskey selection for pre or post dinner drinks. The society rate this restaurant so highly that we are threw a ‘Taste of Scotland’ banquet there on Thursday 19th November and left so gorged with delicious food that we could hardly stumble home!!

The Glass House: Although this definitely more comes under the category of mid-range than fine dining and although this choice may be controversial to some food snobs- snubbing even the mention of the dreaded word ‘chain’, I cannot lie: I do love the Glasshouse. The lunch and early bird dinner deals at 5.95 and 11.95 (plus wine) are almost TOO reasonable and as long as you don’t go in there expecting ‘The Fat Duck’ you can expect fast, tasty food with the promise of rewards (free meals and alcohol) if you participate in their loyalty scheme.

And there you have it…our favourite restaurants around our dear town of St Andrews – each of them perfect for a dinner out with friends or family and a each definite trump card for a ‘hot date’.

Many thanks and enjoy dining,

Courtesy of the Fine Food and Dining Society

If you’d like to hear more from the FIne Food and Dining Soc, get in contact by emailing them.


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