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“Lunch” 4 of 5 stars
Review of The Skerries Restaurant & Lounge Bar

The Skerries Restaurant & Lounge Bar
Merkister Hotel | Harray Loch, Harray, Scotland
01856 771 366
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Ranked #1 of 1 Restaurants in Harray
Price range: $8 - $40
Cuisines: Seafood, Scottish
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Solihull
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Lunch”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 10, 2012

At the back of beyond, great food good service and smiling staff. We had the 'small' seafood platter and soup of the day. Both were great and a plateful at that!

Visited October 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
lorna m, Manager at The Skerries Restaurant & Lounge Bar, responded to this review, January 13, 2013
Dear ItsBadger
Thank you for your review...we are very glad you enjoyed your lunch.....Our location is very central in the West Mainland, just a 15 minute drive from both Kirkwall and Stromness, and a five minute drive to all the wonderful sites, Maeshowe, Standing Stones, Skara Brae, Ring of Brodgar etc....What's special is our Location, overlooking Loch Harray and the Hills of Hoy, with Hen Harriers, Owls etc..on our doorstep....Paul's Cullen Skink is one of the best I have tasted a Thick, Potato, Leek and Smoked Haddock Broth, it is indeed one of our most popular dishes on the Lounge Bar and Restaurant menu....We try where possible to use Orkney Produce in all our menus, after all we have some of the best in the whole of the UK...Thank you again for taking the time to write your review, I will pass your comments onto the team...
Best Regards
Lorna Munson
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28 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    13
    9
    2
    3
    1
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Kirkwall, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
21 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
103 helpful votes 103 helpful votes
“One of our all time favourites”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2012

Can't find anywhere to review the bar at the Merkister so am using the restaurant, which I have never been into as the bar is perfect!
Great food using local produce, excellent value and large portions. One of my favourites is the scampi because it comes with lots of salad extras! Not just lettuce, tomato, etc, but coleslaw and cheese.... The portions tend to be so good that chips/potatoes are served on a separate plate because there is no room! It's a lovely atmosphere in the bar and has great views over the loch. Generally always very busy - if locals choose to eat somewhere, which they do, you can practically guarantee that it's going to be good. It is one of our top recommendations to our B&B guests for somewhere to eat while they are out and about. When we have friends visiting us it is top of our list to take them to for a meal.

  • Visited July 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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lorna m, Manager at The Skerries Restaurant & Lounge Bar, responded to this review, January 13, 2013
Dearjmr192
Thank you for your wonderful review, I will pass you kind comments onto the kitchen...we are very lucky to have the wondrous larder on our doorstep and try wherever possible to use local produce in all our menus.....Our restaurant specialises in Locally Landed Speciality Fish, Monkfish, Halibut, Scallops etc...and Hand Cut Aberdeen Angus Steaks, Rib eye, Sirloin & Fillet, served alongside speciality sauces, toppings and fillings. The Lounge Bar in the summer months, are not able to offer Steaks and Speciality Fish the whole time as the grills can become backed up with orders from the Restaurant, which is full most nights....We are also very lucky to have a fantastic local trade which enables us to serve lunches and suppers all year round...
Our salad dishes are very popular, serving your favourite, Scampi, but also Orkney Crab, Smoked Salmon, Cold Meats, Orkney Cheeses etc...it’s nice to offer the separate salad stuffs, on our salad platters, coleslaws, tattle salad, pasta salad, cous cous etc...
Thank you again for your review, and we look forward to serving you in the near future.
Lorna Munson
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Royal Tunbridge Wells, United Kingdom
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Not the best!”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 2, 2012 via mobile

Booked a table for two. On arriving at the hotel, my friend thought I had brought her to an old peoples home. The outlay of the hotel is dated and the carpet looked as if it was growing moss. The bar area is cramped and full of fishermen, so we had to wait in the corridor while we waited for our table. The menu was limited and 'very' expensive to say the least. Amble helpings of food, but let down by the quality. I wouldn't recommend eating here.

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merkister1, Manager at The Skerries Restaurant & Lounge Bar, responded to this review, June 21, 2012
Dear Nairn62,
I am sorry you did not enjoy your meal at Merkister, you were in the Lounge Bar as opposed to Skerries Restaurant, however that should make no difference to the quality of the food served, so I am upset to see your review, you would have been asked during you meal if everything was satisfactory and if you had advised then you were not happy, we perhaps could have rectified at that time......We use Orkney Produce wherever possible in all our menus, so it’s even more upsetting to read your comments on the quality of the food served....Your comments on a Limited menu is staggering ......we have the biggest Bar Menu on the Island, 12 Starters and 30 Main Courses......"Very Expensive", not at all we are in line with all the other Hotels etc...£ 9. 25 for a Fillet of Fresh Battered Westray Haddock is not the cheapest, but by no means the most expensive......We do offer Crab, Lemon Sole etc, and they are expensive, but we pay a premium price for these foods....but it’s nice to offer them on our Bar Menu and they are indeed very popular.....I am sorry you did not enjoy your Dining experience, and if you want to contact me to discuss any of the aspects of the meal or service etc, please do not hesitate to get back in touch with me.....We should welcome customer feedback, and act on it accordingly.....HOWEVER...

Old People’s Home !!!! Carpet Growing Moss !!!!, Sitting waiting in Corridors...Sounds Awful, BUT
We have a Brand New Conservatory with lovely Leather Seating as our entrance, A New Axminster Wool Carpet fitted in Reception which is Green, but your description makes it sound like it's not clean, and I can assure you our cleaning standards are very high, and we don’t have Corridors apart from upstairs in between the bedrooms, so I don’t know where you were sitting when you arrived 30 minutes early for your booking, which is why your table was not ready..you would have been more than welcome if you had asked to have taken a seat and have a drink in the Residents Lounge......The House is 100 years Old, so yes the layout is dated, not much we can do about that.....The Bar is full of Fishermen as we are a Fishing Hotel, and have one of the Best Wild Brown Trout Lochs on our doorstep....I agree, if the bar is busy it can feel cramped but we do have a Restaurant for diners who want a more formal dining experience....
Again I apologise your meal was not as expected, and as advised would welcome any feedback my email address is merkisterhotel@googlemail.com. Thank you for your time.....
Lorna Munson
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Callington
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“Great palce to eat”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 1, 2012

We didn't stay here as we were booked into a nearby B & B but we ate here every night (5) we were in the area. We couldn't see the point of having the hassle of going elsewhere. Exfellent food, good service and good prices. Highly recommended.

    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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merkister1, Manager at The Skerries Restaurant & Lounge Bar, responded to this review, May 12, 2012
Dear CallingtonDParsons
Thank you for your comments on how much you enjoyed eating with us during your recent stay in Orkney, your kind comments have been passed onto all the staff....We have a large menu served daily during Lunch and Supper in the Lounge Bar, Skerries Restaurant opens in May, and both make the most of the Orkney produce on our doorstep where at all possible....we have a busy Bar which means our menu changes daily, sometimes hourly during the busy season....
Thanks again for taking the time to post your great review...
Regards
Lorna Munson
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scotland
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
31 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
“lovely lunch”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 30, 2012

We had a lovely lunch at the Merkister last weekend. The service was very good and the food wonderful - At first glance the bar menu looks like a standard, uninspired menu but it's worth a good look at the fish and seafood dishes. I had cullen skink which is a 'must have' if I see it on a menu. i can honestly say it's the best I've ever had. The salmon salad also deserves mention. Thanks to everyone at the Merkister

    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
merkister1, Manager at The Skerries Restaurant & Lounge Bar, responded to this review, May 12, 2012
Dear gettingreadytogo
Thank you for your review......I have to agree that our Cullen Skink is the best I have tasted also....a lovely thick smoked haddock, leek and tattie broth....Trying to create a menu that will suit everyone is not easy, but we do have a large Fish section as we have so much excellent fish available on our doorstep. Westray Haddock, Hand Dived Scallops, Cod to name just a few staples.....all l our fish is sourced locally as is all our Beef and Lamb......
I have passed your compliments onto the Kitchen, they do appreciate your comments....
Thanks again for your kind words.....
Regards
Lorna Munson
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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