When I talked to The Ferry Selkie owner Kelly before the restaurant opened in May, she described it as “the posh little sister” of The Selkie in Dundee.
She’s pretty spot on, the Brook Street restaurant is gorgeous. Decked out in Gillies furniture, Versace wall paper and floral decor, it feels like you’re in for a VIP dining experience.
I headed along on a Wednesday night with my colleague Joanna, and we got the window seat in the quiet venue.
Music was playing, the lights were low, and we soaked in the atmosphere while perusing the menu.
There are nibbles, burgers, salads and sides on offer – but we were there for the small plates.
The food at The Ferry Selkie
Joanna opted for the chef’s selection, which includes five specially selected small plates and a bread board for £30.
We were recommended three to five plates each, so we decided to share the veggie dishes and I ordered an additional two small plates and a side.
The chef’s selection consisted of gambas pil pil (£10), chorizo & black pudding in honey & red wine (£8.50), meatballs (£9), patatas bravas (£8) and roast asparagus (£8) – so it was great value for money.
I fancied satay chestnut mushroom (£9), sweet & smoky sizzling tofu (£7) and cauliflower popcorn (£4).
The plates arrive as they’re ready, so we started off with five pieces of toasted bread with chilli and sea salt butter and balsamic oil, and patatas bravas.
It was a great start, the potatoes were perfectly cooked. Soft, but still had a bite to them. The runny tomato sauce was slightly smoky and spicy, offset by the garlic aioli on top. Joanna hailed these as the best potatoes she’s ever had, and the bread was great for soaking up the extra sauce.
We moved on to gambas pil pil, the six prawns in oil were still sizzling when they arrived at our table. The prawns tasted incredibly fresh, were perfectly cooked and heavy on the garlic. It wasn’t as spicy as we expected, but there were bits of chilli on top that were easy to eat or avoid as you wish.
Roast asparagus was a highlight for me. The menu said with basil pesto and parmesan, though we got something we thought to be garlic mayo instead of pesto – but no complaints here. The six asparagus had a perfect crunch and saltiness, which kept me coming back to them the entire meal. Again, Joanna said they were the best she’s ever had.
Next she tucked into the two huge meatballs, sitting on a heap of smoky tomato sauce and parmesan. The sauce was rich and flavourful, and she could taste the high quality of the meat. She was happy that the sauce was different to the patatas bravas, showing that the kitchen don’t have one tomato sauce for all their dishes.
Meanwhile I enjoyed the sizzling tofu, arriving in the same cast iron pan as the prawns. I’ve eaten a lot of bad tofu in my 12 veggie years, but this was up there with the best. The firm but crumbly consistency was spot on, and the smokiness reminded me of evenings by a bonfire or a nice whisky. It had less garlic than the gambas pil pil, but is a great vegan alternative.
Then, I had a small dud while Joanna reached foodie heaven. My satay mushrooms weren’t as peanutty as I expected, though the mushrooms themselves were perfectly cooked. It was a filling dish, but I had hoped for more peanuts and the flavour fell a bit flat.
“That’s blown my mind” was Joanna’s verdict on the black pudding and chorizo. A perfect combination of Scotland and Spain, bathing in a honey and red wine sauce. The sweetness brought out the flavour of the meat perfectly, with the black pudding crumbling in the mouth while the chorizo provided some resistance. This is the best thing she’s ever eaten – and she wouldn’t even have ordered it if it wasn’t for the chef’s selection.
By the time the cauliflower popcorn arrived, I’d almost forgotten we ordered it. The batter was light and fluffy, and added a flavour to the soft cauliflower inside. If I had to guess I’d say curry power, and the batter reminded us of tempura.
The Ferry Selkie absolutely delivered on all fronts. All our dishes tasted incredible – apart from the slight let down of the satay sauce – and we were so full there was no room for dessert.
The chef’s selection is incredibly good value, and could lead you to discover some favourites you wouldn’t have ordered otherwise.
When we arrived we had a bit of a wait between being seated and having our order taken, but once we had ordered all our drinks and dishes arrived quickly. Our server apologised for the wait at the start and was attentive and kind throughout our meal.
The Ferry Selkie truly feels like the “posh sister” of The Selkie, despite the fancy interiors it carries the same homely feel of its Dundee sibling.
The Ferry Selkie information
Address: 335 Brook Street, Broughty Ferry DD5 2DS
Tel: 01382 913178
Price: £60.50 for a chef’s selection, two small plates, one side, two soft drinks and one glass of wine
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