Note: With the rush to try all of the new items and the hurricane, I haven’t had an opportunity to try the 2017 versions of these dishes. These reviews are based on what was served last year. The items and descriptions are the same, but there may be nuances in preparation that aren’t taken into consideration below.
Scotland returns in its same location as last year across from the Canada Pavilion.
Only the Belhaven Brewery Scottish Ale is new, replacing last year’s Innis & Gunn entry. The website continues to mourn the loss of the scotch flight.
Fresh Potato Pancake with Scottish Smoked Salmon and Herbed Sour Cream – $5.25
This is a flat, heavily spiced potato pancake with an herb-y flavor that contrasts nicely with the chive-heavy sour cream. The salmon doesn’t fit in so well, but is high quality and works nicely as an independent part of the dish. Overall, it’s very good though probably overpriced given a full dollar increase over the last two years along with a reduction in the amount of potato served.
Traditional Scottish Lamb Stew with Neeps and Tatties – $4.75
The various stews never photograph particularly attractively and this year’s Lamb version is no different. But don’t let that sway you from strongly considering this dish, which is a particularly hearty portion with large mounds of mashed potatoes and turnips and several large bites of tender, flavorful lamb mixed in with carrots and onions. You might want to hold off on this one for a cooler evening, but it should impress throughout the Festival.
The Tipsy Laird: Whiskey-soaked Cake with Lemon Cream and Toasted Oats – $3.50
This tasted dry and artificial – like it had been sitting somewhere for too long before being served. Hopefully what they hand you will be fresher, but it is on the small side for the money, particularly if the quality isn’t there.
Citrus Thistle featuring Hendrick’s Gin – $10
The Citrus Thistle is one of the better cocktails at the Festival and unlike the majority that we’ve seen, isn’t an ounce of cheap booze poured underneath non-alcoholic frozen slush. It does pack a bit of a punch with the Hendrick’s Gin, but the citrus flavors help dull the taste of the alcohol while enhancing some of the pine and more subtle notes of one of the better mainstream gins. Anyone sampling cocktails should pick one up.
Value: 7/10 (Relatively speaking)