Friday, 11 September 2015

The Ninth Wave, Fionnphort

One of the reasons that we like the West Coast of Scotland so much is that it feels so incredibly remote.  There are points on the Ardnamurchan peninsular, and across on the Isle of Mull, when you could be in Middle Earth and you almost expect to see a band of elves traversing the hills.

Two of the restaurants that we visited this summer were particularly remote, and I don’t know why but it somehow enhances the experience – as if you are being let in on a secret when you visit them.  The second, Meall Mo Chridhe, I have written about before and it remains as lovely as ever.  The other we visited for the first time this year, and I suspect that we will be back before too long.

The Ninth Wave is situated in the village of Fionnphort.  Village is possibly overstating it.  There was the restaurant, set back from the main road, part way up a hill, and three B&Bs and that was about it.  Most of the drive from the ferry is along a sinuous, single track road, each mile taking three times as long to cover as it would on the mainland.  We commented on this to the host as we paid the bill.  “Aye, that was deliberate,” he said with a twinkle.  They obviously want client√®le who really want to be there.

The road to the Ninth Wave

The choice of dishes is limited to three a course and changes on a daily basis depending on what produce has arrived in the kitchen – mainly fish and seafood courtesy of the chef’s fisherman husband.  In that respect it is extremely modern, for all that it is located in what is essentially a rural backwater.  It is small as well – about twenty covers in the twinkly little dining room.

The food was good.  It won restaurant of the year in the 2013 Highland awards and I can understand why.  Some of the dishes were excellent.  I adored my pigeon main course; the breasts marinated in pomegranate molasses and served with jewelled rice, candied nuts and sharp, cool yoghurt worked tremendously well.   A souffled crab cheesecake was also absolutely delicious with the sweet crab meat perfectly balanced against the smoky cheese.

Pigeon

Pudding - a thing of beauty
All of the dishes showed a lot of respect for the ingredients – scallops, mussels, lobster: all perfectly cooked.  The presentation, as well, was absolutely stunning.  The chef is self-taught and occasionally it showed; some plates were a touch under seasoned, some failed to blow any socks off even though perfectly competent.   But I suspect that it is food that will continue to develop and grow in taste and confidence – a suspicion that I would be more than happy to go back and confirm.

The Ninth Wave
Bruach Mhor
Fionnphort,
Isle of Mull
PA66 6BL
01681 700757

No comments:

Post a Comment