I moved to Dundee about a year ago for this job.
So whenever I am deciding where to go for my next food review, I like to ask my more knowledgeable friends and colleagues for their recommendations.
And one venue which comes up time and time again is The Ship Inn in Broughty Ferry.
It does classic pub grub, one co-worker told me.
The portions are huge, another said.
That was enough to convince me to book a table.
The Ship Inn, Broughty Ferry
The Ship Inn, situated on the Broughty Ferry waterfront, is a traditional venue with a ground-floor pub and upstairs restaurant.
The cosy eating area, which seats 36, offers stunning views over the Tay.
At least I heard they are stunning – but the relentless rain and grey skies during our visit made it hard to tell.
The rustic decor reflects the venue’s name, with wood panelling, leather benches, seaside-themed artwork and fishing nets hanging from the ceiling.
My friend, who was visiting me for the weekend from Edinburgh, said it felt like we were in a little submarine.
She meant this in a good way, but as Storm Babet slowly encroached, I couldn’t think of anything worse than being out at sea.
To kick things off, I opted for the goat’s cheese and caramelised red onion tart (£6.95).
I was delighted when it appeared, presented beautifully with a generous scattering of crispy leaves and balsamic glaze.
The thick round of tangy cheese paired perfectly with the sweet chutney, while the shortcrust pastry was warm and crumbly. Yum.
Nieszka went for the flaked pepper-smoked mackerel (£7.25), which came with julienne beetroot, salad leaves and horseradish crème fraiche.
She enjoyed squeezing her lime on top and happily reported that the horseradish wasn’t too strong, while the beetroot added some nice texture.
Our plates were swiftly cleared by the friendly waitress and our mains arrived soon after.
My first impression of my vegetarian lasagne (£13.25) was that it was very large and it looked very tasty.
My second thought was – why are there olives on top of my vegetarian lasagne?
And two slices of steamed carrot?
Perhaps I’m not clued up on my Italian cuisine, but it’s not a version of a vegetarian lasagne I’ve come across before.
Nonetheless, I like olives and carrots, and their appearance didn’t detract from the dish.
The gooey layers of sweet potato, spinach, feta, pasta and sauce were heaven.
The garlic bread was perfectly salty and stodgy.
My salad went largely ignored (I was saving room for dessert) but it looked very nice.
Nieszka went for the lamb shank, which is the most expensive item on the menu at £21.50.
The large chunk of meat, slow roasted in a redcurrant, rosemary red wine and garlic sauce – looked well worth the price.
It was a comforting bowl of delicious food, while the meat was tender and cooked perfectly, Nieszka said.
She only wished it had come with more creamy mash, to soak up the lovely sauce.
The large twig of rosemary on top – which she placed aside before tucking in – also felt slightly wasteful.
Somehow, we found room for dessert.
I am a chocolate girl, and chocolate is what I got when I ordered the salted caramel fudge cake (£6.50).
The three-layered sponge usually comes with pouring cream, but the waitress kindly accommodated my request for a scoop of vanilla ice cream instead.
The huge slice of cake, topped with fudge pieces and salted caramel sauce, was warm, moist and rich. The cool ice cream gently offset each mouthful.
I still think about it a lot.
Nieszka ordered the millionaires cheesecake (£6.75) – the restaurant’s take on the classic millionaire’s shortbread.
The shortcake biscuit base was topped with layers of cheesecake mix, caramel, and chocolate truffle sauce, and served with thick fresh cream.
It was creamy and delicious she said, and not too sweet.
Unfortunately, we were about halfway through our puddings when the waitress appeared to let us know they needed the table back in 15 minutes.
We had only been seated for an hour and a half, so this came as a surprise.
It meant a rushed end to what was an otherwise relaxing evening. And leaving behind half a pot of hot tea.
I did enjoy my leftover cake for breakfast the next day though. So, silver linings.
I can now see why The Ship Inn is so popular.
With its idyllic seaside location and cosy interior, it was hard to believe I was in Dundee.
It could have been any one of the rural Highland pubs where I ate Sunday lunch with my family as a child.
Perhaps this is why I didn’t want to leave when I had to.
The food was comforting and delicious, and great value for money considering the portion sizes.
Meanwhile, the staff were kind and helpful, with quick and professional service.
Next time it’s batten-down-the-hatches weather – you’ll know where to find me.
Address: 121 Fisher Street, Broughty Ferry, Dundee, DD5 2BR
T: 01382 779176
Price: £72.05 for two starters, two mains, two desserts and four soft drinks.
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