DINNER AT LIDO, TROON
Perhaps it's a sign of age but nowadays there is really nothing I love more than catching up with friends over really good food and perhaps a few drinks... just to be sociable, obviously. So when I was invited down to Lido in Troon to sample some amazing, fresh, Italian food with two of my best friends, Rachel & Yasmin, I couldn't accept the invitation quick enough.
Although I'd never been to Lido before, I was treated to an amazing day out at Scott's last year (you can read about it here) and they are both part of the Buzzworks Holdings group. I've been lucky enough to go to a lot of food events over the past few years but Buzzworks really do hospitality like no other restaurant group so I knew we'd be well looked after.
LOVE FOOD, FEEL GOOD
The theme (and, more importantly, hashtag) for the evening was 'Love Food, Feel Good' and it got me thinking about some of my favourite memories which, unsurprisingly, all involve sharing awesome food with those closest to me in some pretty cool places all over the world. Calamari in Duke's in Malibu, pancakes for breakfast in a diner in New York, Tim Tams (an aussie biscuit brand) in hostels all over Australia, sharing platters with Jayne at Cafe Mambo in Ibiza watching the sunset, pizza from a Pizza oven in the garden in a villa in Tuscany with my family and, of course, approximately 376 brunches with Rach & Yaz in Hutchesons over the last few years.
Anyway, onto the important stuff; food & gin!
LET'S START WITH THE GIN...
We'd no longer been shown to our private dining room than we were given a short gin masterclass by our bartender for the evening. There were four different Edinburgh Gins to chose from, all served perfectly with the appropriate tonic and garnish.
Anyone who knows me knows that I'm (admittedly) a massive pain in the arse to drink gin with because I'm very particular about how it's served. I've sent back many Hendrick's over the years because someone thought it was acceptable to serve it with lime... First world problems, right?!
I was delighted to hear that our bartender Ewan is also a massive geek (I'm sure he won't take offence that) when it comes to the perfect gin and tonic serve.
In the interest of putting his serve skills to the test, I worked my way through the gin menu (I'm a trooper) and concluded that my favourite was the pomegranate Edinburgh gin served with super thin cucumber slices.
I'm not normally one for flavoured gins so I'd probably not have picked a pomegranate gin but I was so glad I did, I'll definitely be adding it to my gin cabinet.
ALL ABOUT FOOD
After travelling down from Glasgow, we were all ravenous by the time we got down to Troon so the canapés arriving were a welcome sight. Luckily we didn't need to chose between the scallop wrapped in parma ham, the mushroom & truffle arancini or the tomato and basil bruschetta as there was enough for one each for everyone. PHEW! The scallop was my favourite but they were all delicious.
Soon after, the starters started arriving on sharing plates so that everyone could try a bit of everything. I was instantly intrigued by the sound of the duck ragu and it certainly didn't disappoint. The beef carpaccio with truffle oil and parmesan shavings was the dish I kept going back to for 'just one more little bit' but I also loved the pumpkin tortellini too.
Rachel has a few quite weird allergies (who knew you could be allergic to green beans and pulses?) and I was super impressed that they prepared separate dishes for her from scratch rather than just saying there was dishes she couldn't have. I think this really shows how freshly meals really are prepared by restaurants when they're willing to do this without even having to ask. And, you know, I'm quite fond of Rach so her NOT being killed by a rogue green bean is helpful to me. And her!
Next up was some tasty sharing planks, my favourite kind of sharing dish and goes down perfectly with some Prosecco or wine.
We had a welcome little break between the sharing planks and the main course and were treated to a pasta making masterclass from our Italian chef, Mitto.
THE MAIN COURSE
We already felt like we'd consumed quite a considerable amount of food by the time the main course arrived but they were definitely worth saving some room for.
The king prawn and crab spaghetti with lime, tomato and chilli is definitely something I'd have picked from the menu and it was absolutely delicious.
The Robata flame grilled sirloin was melt in the mouth good and I'll probably get that again when I go back, I can't resist a good steak dish. The butternut squash risotto tasted great but I can't eat too much of anything too creamy so a couple of little tastes of that was enough for me.
The whole baked seabass tasted so fresh and like I was on holiday sitting down by the harbour, probably somewhere a little more Mediterranean than Troon though. The Moroccan Lamb was extremely tasty too and I wish I hadn't been quite so full so I could have tried more of it.
ALWAYS ROOM FOR DESSERT...
Despite the vast quantity of food we'd already eaten, there was the teeny tiniest little bit of room left for some dessert. Again, they brought everything on the menu and presented it on a sharing platter for us to work our way around. I only actually managed a little bit of the passionfruit cheesecake and the lemon meringue pie which was a real shame because they were both absolutely delicious!
WE'LL BE BACK
We had such a lovely night we're planning our return trip very soon. The venue itself is relaxed but stylish and the round booths look like the kind of spot that we can cosy up for hours of chat, food and maybe a bottle of Prosecco or two...
Thanks to Beattie Communications for the invitation and looking after us so well and thanks to everyone at Lido Troon & Buzzworks Life for the always fabulous hospitality.
Lido, 11-17 West Portland St, Troon