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Restaurant review: There’s so much more to Forfar than bridies – a visit to Sinclair’s Kitchen proves just that

Sinclair's Kitchen
Smoked haddock pate at Sinclair's Kitchen. Image: Mhairi Edwards/DC Thomson.

The Angus town of Forfar has played a huge part in my life so there were many memories for me when I visited Sinclair’s Kitchen recently.

My parents, and almost all of my family, hail from Forfar so it is a place where I spent a lot of time growing up. Saturdays were frequently spent visiting my grandparents, October holidays, too, were where we headed for a week usually.

As a young reporter, I was also to be found at Station Park on occasion to report football, while a walk around the loch is a fantastic way to spend a sunny afternoon.

Another favourite thing to do there is to take a wander up Balmashanner Hill to the monument there. The views from the top across Angus and beyond are an absolute delight. I would heartily recommend it.

World-famous bridies

I still head there from time-to-time, but my culinary reason for a Forfar visit is to head to McLaren’s for one – or two – of their world-famous bridies.

There really is nothing like a Forfar bridie for me and that is coming from a man who has eaten plenty of pastry products in his time. So, whenever I am in town, I make a beeline for one of McLaren’s shops.

Outside Sinclair’s Kitchen. Image: Mhairi Edwards/DC Thomson.

On this occasion, though, my culinary adventure wasn’t taking me for a bridie, it was to head to Sinclair’s Kitchen which is situated on the Arbroath road, a couple of miles outside the town.

Having seen the restaurant’s posts on social media, it was on my bucket list of places to visit. Their food looks terrific on Instagram and I really wanted to find out if it tasted as good as it looked.

I had been to Sinclair’s Kitchen in one of its previous incarnations as Forrester’s Seat and another eatery that I cannot recall the name of. In fact, I did take a girlfriend there on a first date many, many years ago when it was Forrester’s Seat.

I am heartened to see that good food there has endured, while that relationship didn’t. Anyway, I digress…

The fear you have when visiting a restaurant that you have so long looked forward to sampling is that it won’t meet your expectations.

However, that proved completely unfounded when we headed up there one Friday when my wife and I were off work and our daughter off school.

The venue

Sinclair’s Kitchen is a mile or two from Forfar, nestled between the Forester Seat caravan park and fields. It is an idyllic setting and the restaurant boasts a beautiful outdoor space that must be an absolute boon in the summertime.

The bar and dining area has a warm and welcoming feel to it, featuring beautiful stonework and wood panelling. Although not on when we were there as it was a lovely day, the log burner looks fantastic and will give off some excellent heat on cold winter nights.

The log burner ready to warm up those cold winter nights. Image: Mhairi Edwards/DC Thomson.

There are large windows and with the rain of that Friday morning having given way to bright sunshine, the bar and front dining area were bathed in natural light.

There is a second area to the rear of the restaurant that I had a peek at. It is tastefully decorated and the helpful server offered to put the lights on for me so I could have proper look.

The food

Sinclair’s Kitchen offers a la carte and a set menu for lunch. The set menu changes frequently as the chef makes the most of the best local produce that is available.

You can have two courses for £16 or three for £20.

It looked absolutely fabulous on the Friday that we popped in and all three of us opted for the two-course option.

Not being that much of a sweet tooth, I decided to go for a starter and a main.

There was a choice of soup of the day, ham and smoked cheddar quiche with salad and piccalilli or smoked haddock pate with toasted sourdough.

The smoked haddock pate. Image: Mhairi Edwards/DC Thomson.

I love my seafood so I opted for the pate. There was an excellent helping of the smoked haddock pate which was beautifully creamy and was served with a gorgeous dressing which lifted it to another level.

Small chunks of the fish added a little texture to what was a delightful starter. The toasted sourdough was the perfect accompaniment and I devoured every morsel of the delicious appetiser.

Smoked cheese and ham quiche. Image: Mhairi Edwards/DC Thomson.

My wife, Karen, had chosen the quiche. Now, personally, I love quiche and was torn between that and the pate – and I must admit I was making envious glances at the quiche when it arrived.

Fortunately, she is a generous soul and shared some of it with me. The pastry was perfectly cooked, with that shortcrust crumble effect spot on. Inside the smoked cheddar and the ham complemented each other perfectly, while the piccalilli added a lovely tartness to the dish.

Herb-crusted haddock, garlic king prawns, herb mash and seasonal greens. Image: Mhairi Edwards/DC Thomson.

Moving on to the mains, my daughter, Cari, who was having a dessert rather than a starter, and I both opted for the herb-crusted haddock, herb mash and seasonal greens with garlic king prawns.

This was an absolute joy. A rather meaty piece of haddock was prepared to perfection and was complemented beautifully by the garlicky prawns. The seafood sat on a bed of delicious herby mash which still had a bit of texture to it.

Superb seasonal greens

What came as a real surprise to me was the seasonal greens. They were truly magnificent, with a stunning flavour that was both earthy and sweet.

If I had a complaint – and this is probably only me as I like my food to be absolutely piping hot – the temperature of the dish could have been a little higher for my liking, but that was only a minor issue and Cari said she had no complaints.

The main restaurant area. Image: Mhairi Edwards/DC Thomson.

Karen had gone for the lasagne accompanied by fries, salad and slaw.

This dish was absolutely piping hot with the lasagne having been cooked in its own individual dish. Composed of thick delectable layers, Karen said it was an absolute delight and “really cheesey”, while there was a sweetness to the ragu that paired perfectly with the béchamel.

The fries were absolutely fantastic. Skin on and crispy, they were perfectly seasoned and both Cari and I had our fingers slapped for pinching one or two. Karen isn’t too keen on slaw, but I had a few mouthfuls and, for me, it was a tasty accompaniment.

Chocolate brownie with salted caramel ice cream. Image: Mhairi Edwards/DC Thomson.

Unsurprisingly, Cari was the only one to have a dessert (she almost always does) and had chosen the chocolate brownie with salted caramel ice cream. This actually came as a real shock because her staple, sticky toffee pudding, was also on the menu.

“Yummy” was all she said as she tucked in with gusto. For review purposes, obviously, I had to wrestle a piece from her. It was a lovely brownie, moist throughout, rich in flavour and texture, rather than being cakey which can happen – although it all depends how you like them. Salted caramel is a fantastic flavour and this ice cream was on point for me.

The bar restaurant area was bathed in natural light. Image: Mhairi Edwards/DC Thomson.

The verdict

Having had it on my bucket list for so long, Sinclair’s Kitchen absolutely delivered for me.

They are really doing something exciting there and the brisk lunch trade during my visit bore that out. It is a superb location and a lovely drive on a pleasant day.

The food was outstanding and I love how they are offering what is a lunchtime take on fine dining mixed up with traditional favourites, like lasagne.

The set menu changes frequently so there is ample opportunity to visit again and sample more of their dishes, along with the a la carte menu, which is incredibly appealing too.

It is also terrific value and, for me, a key part of the Angus food scene.


Address: Sinclair’s Kitchen, Foresterseat, Arbroath Road, Angus, Forfar DD8 2RY

T: 01307 818080


Price: £55.70 for three two-course set menu choices and four soft drinks


  • Food: 4/5
  • Service: 5/5
  • Surroundings: 5/5