HOTEL restaurants are an interesting breed – neither here nor there, they feel the need to be either everything to everyone or play it incredibly safe.
But every now and then you find one with a couple of interesting items on the menu that make you think again.
And there were one or two things at the RBG Grill that looked pleasingly out of the ordinary, so I threw caution to the wind and had to try them out.
There wasn’t a lot of choice on the starters front, which led me to the odd choice of having a blackened salmon salad to start.
I don’t usually make a habit of this. Green things are usually just an unnecessary interference in trying to shove meat down my neck, but I was glad to be proved wrong here.
The subtle spicing didn’t overpower the fish and with avocado and olives running through it, it turned into something rather special.
A second salad – this time parmesan – was equally as good.
Still on the unusual theme, I decided to give the duck confit a try.
A generous portion, the beautifully-rich bird was accompanied by a five-bean vegetable ragout and garlic potatoes.
Succulent, sweet and incredibly bad for me, I couldn’t fault the duck.
While the acidity of the tomato sauce cut through the fattiness of the leg wonderfully, it could have done with more seasoning and the whole thing got a bit heavy for my tastes.
Another main, a Portobello mushroom burger, got good reviews from my girlfriend.
The goat’s cheese served with it, rather than the mushroom was the star, but for a veggie choice it was executed without fault.
Some large, fat, soft chips were absolutely beautiful – sweet and indulgent – proof they don’t all have to be crispy to be worthwhile.
Thankfully, the dessert menu wasn’t as sparse as the appetisers. A large creme brulee felt slightly naked with no biscuit or compote, but it stood up well on its own. You could feel your teeth melt with the sweetness.
An Atholl brose had me intrigued – as an incomer, I’d never heard of it.
Essentially just a cranachan, it had a strong boozy hit which I loved. But the sickly cream and oats slowly got the better of me and I had to admit defeat.
It’s fair to say the food at the RBG Grill is solid and doesn’t disappoint – it is beginning to push at the boundaries.
The staff are friendly, unobtrusive and hard-working and the surroundings and location make you feel you’re in suburbia in the city centre.
With a few tweaks here and there, it could be something very special indeed.