The Tayberry in Broughty Ferry opened over a year ago, but it was only last month that Mr Daydreamer and I finally managed to find the time to try it out, when we had a week off. In between swapping bedroom furniture and decorating our spare rooms, we made reservations and popped down one Tuesday lunchtime to enjoy a fancy lunch date, just us two.
On arrival we were shown upstairs, where there’s a second level to the restaurant. Downstairs has more tables and seems more spacious, while upstairs had around five or six tables but with a beautiful view out over the River Tay. Though the view was spectacular (the sand dunes covered with long golden grass gave way to the steely ocean and bright blue sky), it did feel small. It also felt as though something was missing with the interiors – the very plain white walls with purple and tartan accents were lovely, but uninspiring.
The thing is, once the food arrived, none of that mattered – every dish was superb. To start, we both ordered pathivier of potato, smoked Arran cheddar and creamed leek, with crispy leeks and a caramelised onion jam. The flavours were pretty intense, the cheese being most prominent and complemented beautifully by the leek and caramelised onion (so, so gorgeous). The pastry was perfect – fluffy and crispy and light – and the potato and crispy shredded leeks added texture. It was interesting and satiating all at once.
For our main courses, Mr Daydreamer chose the Perthshire venison loin and braised venison wellington (is your mouth watering yet?), with salsify wild mushroom puree and port jus. With his glass of red, he was in heaven! He tucked straight into his dish, not knowing quite where to stab his fork next; the venison loin was cooked to perfection, the meat tender, while the venison wellington was bursting with meaty flavour and melted on the tongue. I know, because I think I ate around a third of it… the mushroom puree went beautifully with the meat, the port jus a classic but perfectly fitting finishing touch.
I chose the roast sirloin steak, with wild mushrooms, roasted shallots and pink pepper sauce, and thoroughly enjoyed every bite. Good steaks aren’t too hard to come by when you’re prepared to pay for them, and this one didn’t disappoint. It was cooked how I asked, juicy but not fatty, and was complemented by the mushrooms and shallots. I don’t usually do sauce on steaks (why ruin it?), but this one was so creamy that I couldn’t resist dipping my skinny fries in, over and over and over… oops!
To finish, we decided to share dessert – rather regrettably, because after the first bite I was wishing we’d ordered one each. Even though I probably ate most of it, I could have happily tucked into another: treacle tart, bee pollen parfait, honeycomb and treacle syrup. Sounds good right? Well, it was even better than you can imagine and I’d highly recommend you choose it if you see it on the menu. It was beyond delicious. Sticky and sweet, without being heavy, the treacle tart was dark and delicious, and the honey comb was a crunchy but welcome twist. I honestly couldn’t get it onto my spoon and into my mouth fast enough. Not particularly elegant given the surroundings, but who was going to mess with a pregnant lady at lunch? Not Mr Daydreamer anyway, nor the other guests, who were happily enjoying their own meals. (One couple next to us were celebrating his birthday, and had just finished the tasting menu which they said was amazing, the perfect way to try out the restaurant.)
Admittedly, at £75, our lunch was expensive, but it was a wonderful treat that fully satisfied both my stomach and my mind – it’s not often you can say that about lunch, is it? I’d recommend The Tayberry for a special occasion or as a treat for someone who loves fine dining, however, it’s definitely worth a try at least once by everyone – so long as you go in the knowledge that you’ll eat beautifully prepared food, and pay a bill which reflects this. 5/5
The Tayberry is run by Adam Newth, originally from Arbroath. He started his training at August College before going to work in Edinburgh aged 16. Adam went on to the popular Seafood Restaurant in St Andrews and quickly moved into his Michelin years working at Number One at the Balmoral and Cameron House. He later opened as head chef at Castlehill in Dundee, creating quite a stir by gaining Dundee its first two rosette award. Adam then decided to go it alone and, luckily for Broughty Ferry, The Tayberry was born. He’s since gained another two rosettes and a Michelin recommendation.
If you fancy trying The Tayberry, or are looking for an excuse to return, I’d suggest you book fast – the restaurant has mid-week availability, but weekends are filling up, over the festive period.
Images: Kris Miller