This is one of only a few reviews written by me on Trip Advisor but after reading the reviews by patrons who reviewed the place as 'Poor' and 'Terrible' I can only assume that either some people can never be pleased or are other local business owners writing 'Hatchet' reviews. Maybe the former 'never pleased' people should stick to KFC as they don't like fresh and well cooked food! The reviewer complaining about the lack of music, chatter or indeed atmosphere should maybe choose to go to lunch/dinner with better company next time as you make your own atmosphere, also such a nice restaurant doesn't need Muzak!
We travelled from Lossiemouth to Tomintoul (41m) on the 9th September 2013 after a nice drive in our old VW van. We hadn't booked, and looking at the amount of people eating we thought we wouldn't get a table. The female owner welcomed us in and warned us we would 'have a bit of a wait' as they were very busy and only had one Chef working that night. The Specials board was very tempting displaying lots of lovely local sourced seafood, meat etc. Despite the wait we had our food and drink orders taken within 2 minutes and sat comfortably in the red leather settees at the front of house talking amongst ourselves whilst other diners sat and ate in a very pleasant atmosphere. 5-10 minutes later we were shown to a 2 person table nicely laid out with some fresh bread and lovely butter. The owner apologised profusely for the delay but we both told her it wasn't necessary as the wait was not very long at all.
Our starters soon arrived:
My wife had Seafood Chowder which looked and tasted sensational. Squid, Mussels, Prawns, Mackerel and other locally sourced seafood. I don't like seafood at all but I wished I'd ordered it. That is until I tasted mine.....I ordered a meal with delicious ham, fresh black pudding, salad on a base of red onion with a well cooked poached egg on top. The ham melted in my mouth and all the flavours.Wow! The only thing we were upset by was the size of the portions....they were too big and we struggled to finish knowing that the main course was on the way ;-)
The main meals were just as delicious:
My wife had Chicken stuffed with haggis on a base of colcannon with whisky sauce accompanied with by well cooked and presented veg (e.g. carrots tied in a garni). The food was delicious and melted in the mouth (yes, I tasted this as well) and again it was fresh and superbly executed (excuse the pun).
I ordered Pork with Apple Cinnamon sauce on a potato rosti. It was delicious also, but could be argued an acquired taste. If you have a sweet tooth you'll be in heaven, if not, then it may taste odd with cinnamon. However, on the rosti base it converted a apple pie pudding taste to a savoury delight. Again the portions were huge and we struggled to finish (and I can eat ALOT).
During coffee we spoke to the owner, despite them still being busy, and she was lovely. She apologised again for the delays in service as they only had one 'old' chef in the kitchen and 10+ tables of customers but we didn't think there was any delays in service so replied there was no need for any apologies. Obviously she has high standards! We had a nice conversation and the atmosphere in the whole place was always extremely pleasant and somewhat romantic.
Our last pleasant surprise was the cost. We had two HUGE courses each, and 4 drinks (1 large bottle) as well as two coffees and it only cost us £48 with VAT. For the experience and the food this was extremely good value. We'll never forget our trip out that day/night and will definitely visit again for another meal soon. Clockhouse Restaurant: Keep up the good standards and don't let the moaners get you down!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.