While up north recently we were near Inverness at dinner time and decided to stop into Chez Roux at the Rocpool Reseve, a five star resort in the centre of Inveress.
The hotel is set in a beautiful building which was lit up at night and looked really impressive. It’s a short walk from the centre of Inverness but there is a car park if you are driving like we were.
We were immediately greeted at the door by a very polite member of staff who took our coats and showed us into the restaurant. The restaurant was opened by Albert Roux, of the famous Roux family of chefs, and is part of several branches in Scotland. The idea behind the restaurants is to serve fine dining but in a relaxed way and at a reasonable price. This perfectly sums up our meal here.
They offer a set menu of three courses at a very reasonable £28 per person. This includes the amuse bouchée and petit fours. The wine is a bit more pricey with my glass of rosé costing £9, although it was delicious.
We decided to go for the al a carte menu as we didn’t fancy eating another three course meal, the Christmas overindulgence had beaten us! After we ordered we were presented with two amuse bouchée, one a delicious pate on Melba toast and the other a beautiful smoked trout with a Parmesan crisp. We also received a large basket of delicious, warm bread.
For starters I opted for pike quenelles with mushrooms and sauce Nantua, a delicious crayfish based sauce. The quenelles are like soufflés which combine creamed fish and egg and are poached. They were beautifully light and when combined with that wonderful sauce they had the most amazing fish flavour.
CB went for the hot smoked mallard duck with beetroot, pear and candied walnuts. The duck was beautifully cooked and tasted delicious. All the components worked really well together.
Even though we’d seen many cute deer on our travels I couldn’t resist the venison. It was served with artichoke gnocchi, red current gel and red wine pepper sauce. All the components worked really well together, there were lots of bits in this dish including Brussels sprout leaves, salami and every mouthful was different. The red wine pepper sauce and the red current gel were the real stars of the show. Sadly, the venison was a little overcooked for my liking but it was style very tender.
CB couldn’t resist the steak which came with the most perfectly cut chips, green beans, garlic butter and a delicious bernaise sauce. The steak was beautifully cooked and had a lovely smoky, charred flavour.
When we asked for our bill we were presented with a lovely little dish of petit fours. There were two of each of mango and passion fruit jellies and chocolate, salted caramel truffles. Being a huge salted caramel fan I saved that one till last. While both were delicious I have to say the fruit jelly stole the show. It was so tasty and inspired me to look out a recipe for making my own.
Service was lovely and relaxed and all the staff were very polite. The layout is very like a dining room rather than a restaurant and there is nice background music playing. This makes the whole atmosphere really relaxing and not stuffy unlike some higher class restaurants. Starters range from £8 to £10 and mains about £20 to £24. Considering all the extras we definitely think this was a bargain. Overall we would definitely recommend a visit here and we will certainly be trying some of the other branches.