“Follow me,” he says, before disappearing into the crowded restaurant.
My brother and I, sitting at the bar, scramble to grab our stuff and do as the waiter says.
We are led past the cocktail-shaking bartenders, tray-wielding servers and packed tables on our way to a flight of stairs at the back of the venue.
The friendly – if slightly frantic – waiter seats us on the balcony, an area reserved for diners which overlooks the bar, before all but running back downstairs to deal with the ever-growing queue of visitors.
It is 7.30pm on a Friday in Bruach Bar and Restaurant in Broughty Ferry – and it’s heaving.
Bruach Bar and Restaurant
The popular Brook Street bar was taken over by husband and wife team Tommy and Jacqueline Fox in April.
They have since introduced a lunch menu and a Sunday quiz, and have plans to redecorate next year.
Just one look around the packed joint tells me it’s going well.
It’s not the couple’s first rodeo, they have also made a success of The Barrelman – formerly The Mercantile – on Dundee’s Commercial Street, which they took over in 2020.
The food at Bruach in Broughty Ferry
My brother and I fall silent as we peruse the menus. There are plenty of pub classics to choose from, including fish and chips, curry and steak. We do a lot of humming and hawing.
“I want a burger, but I had a burger for lunch,” says Cameron.
“I want the tacos, but I could easily make those at home,” I reply. And so on and so forth.
Thankfully, choosing a drink doesn’t take so long. I’ve been here once before with some colleagues, and remember enviously eying up one of their mocktails – the Tik-Tok Star.
It’s the venue’s non-alcoholic take on the popular Porn star martini and is a sweet and refreshing mix of passionfruit, pineapple, vanilla and lemonade.
Cameron opts for a non-alcoholic beer and we sip on these while we wait for our food.
The starters are quick to arrive.
My Korean fried cauliflower (£8.95) is served in a glaze made with soy, chilli and lime, and topped with red chilli and spring onion.
The flavours complement each other beautifully – spicy, sweet, salty and sour all at once – while the cauliflower florets are crispy and piping hot. Yum.
Cameron, who wasn’t tempted by any of the starters, has opted for the halloumi bites and red onion chutney (£4.50) from the list of “bar bites”.
Customers can choose to have any four bar bites on a sharing platter for £17, which sounds like quite a neat deal.
His portion is half the size of mine – this is reflected in the price – but plenty, he says.
He isn’t blown away by the dish, which he describes as “nothing insane”, but clears his plate nonetheless.
Then it’s on to the mains.
I’ve gone for the vegan massaman curry with butternut squash, sweet potato and lime and coriander rice (£14.50) which is served on a wooden tray.
Despite this slightly impractical presentation – it’s a challenge not to wear my curry – it tastes divine.
The curry, topped with salty toasted peanuts, is rich, creamy and mild in heat, while the vegetables are butter soft and perfectly cooked. I use my poppadom to scoop up every last morsel.
My carnivore brother surprised me by ordering the three-cheese macaroni with skinny fries – but then he asked for it to be topped with pulled pork pibil (£18.50) and the world made sense again.
He is delighted, telling me the pasta is cheesy and gooey, while the pork – which has been slow-cooked in citrus juice – adds a fruity twist to the dish.
We are stuffed. But the desserts sound really, really, good.
I go for the cheesecake of the day (£7.50), which on this particular day, is Oreo-flavoured
I do not regret my decision. Served with dollops of fresh cream, fruit compote and berries, the slab of cheesecake is chocolatey, creamy and not too sweet. With a thick biscuit base and Oreo crumble on top, it has a satisfying crunch too.
Cameron has ordered the sticky toffee pudding (£7.50) – his favourite. It comes with warm butterscotch sauce, honeycomb and vanilla ice cream.
He pauses devouring it only to happily report there are “no raisins”. He thinks raisins ruin a good sticky toffee pudding.
It’s no mystery why Bruach is popular. Situated in the heart of Broughty Ferry, it is easy to get to and can be followed by a nice stroll on the beach.
When it comes to drinks, the variety of beers, wine, cocktails and non-alcoholic beverages means there is something for everyone. The food menu also caters to a range of dietary needs.
And despite its new owners’ plans to redecorate, I really love the wood-panelled interior which is both cosy and contemporary.
For me, Bruach’s biggest selling point is the atmosphere – it’s somewhere you can get that Friday feeling any night of the week. I’m excited to see what the owners do next.
Address: 326 Brook Street, Broughty Ferry, Dundee DD5 2AN
Tel: 01382 739878
Price: £75.30 for two starters, two mains, two desserts and two drinks
For more restaurant reviews, check out our food and drink section.