One thing I enjoy the most is visiting renown restaurants/michelin star restaurants. Even visiting average or above average restaurants with friends makes me happy.
One of my most recent visit is Three Chimneys at the Isle of Skye.
Frank Bruni (New York Times) Personal Top 5 restaurants in the World
Twice included in Restaurant Magazine’s ‘The World’s 50 Best Restaurants’
The Sunday Times – Top 100 UK Restaurants 2011/13.
I think coming to know of their recognitions prior to my visit has definitely escalated my expectations of Three Chimneys sky high.
Having visited 22 different michelin star restaurants so far + revisiting a few of these restaurants many times i.e. martin wishart in Edinburgh, joel de rubuchon, the square and arbutus in London, has totalled my michelin star restaurants journey to 30 + visits so far. This has resulted in me having high expectations for a restaurant with such recognitions.
All I can say is, perhaps if you have not been to a michelin star restaurant, Three Chimneys would be good enough for you or perhaps one of your best. But for me, it was average.
I have to commend on the freshness of the ingredients used, plus the ingredients were locally sourced.
Service? Well, it took a while for the waiters to ask if we wanted drinks. We were frustrated of waiting that we started betting that if they don’t ask us in the next 10 minutes, we are just going to stick to water. Trying to catch a waiter’s attention was almost impossible. My friend waved right in front of the waitress, and she looked away into another direction and walked past. She definitely was looking at him waving away! Appalling. Not impressed at all.
Atmosphere was nice. But the chair I was sitting on was unstable and rocking backwards and forwards! Many times I got myself into a fright thinking I was falling off the chair!
What can I say about the value of the courses.. 90 pounds for 7 courses on a tasting menu. Well, the tasting menu sure sounds attractive hence we all went for it. But food presentation was simple. None of the dishes blew me away. 90 pounds? Definitely not worth it. Having been to many michelin star restaurants, I rather pay for Martin Wishart than for this as it is much more value for money (75 pounds for the tasting menu). I rarely do feel ripped off…and three chimneys has definitely felt like one.
I have been to Kinloch Lodge which is a one michelin star restaurant during my visit to Skye last year September and all 3 courses definitely left an impression in me that i wanted to go back! As for Three Chimneys, probably not in a long long time, or perhaps never again.
Apologise to the poor lighting as where I was sitting was dark-ish so my photos are not very well exposed.
Our dining table. Nice and cosy.
Anchovies breadstick? I missed the introduction of the canapés while I was in the toilet.
Bread was good. Rosemary bread tasted like ‘han chin peng’. Buttermilk bread was ok. Best was the granary bread.
Best dish of the night is the amuse bouche: shellfish soup. Full of flavours, just the right amount of shellfish in it to give the texture and bite.
1st dish on the tasting menu:
Loch Dunvegan Langoustines with Tattie Scones & Bridget’s Organic Mesclun.
Simple dish. Langoustines was fresh. Had better langoustine dish than this so this didn’t really impressed me.
Virgin mojito which was so so. Could taste the lemonade + mint to begin with. Then the bottom half of the cup tasted just like ice water and nothing else.
2nd dish of the tasting menu:
Colbost Skink, Marag & Talisker Crumb, Local Croft Egg Yolk
Tasted like cullen skink….what else can I say..
3rd dish of the tasting menu:
Loch Bracadale Crab ‘Flory’ with Green Apple, Nasturtium & Mull Truckle
Feels like I am eating a salad. Nothing special about the dish.
4th dish of the tasting menu:
Loch Harport Oysters, Rare Black Isle Beef Sirloin, Mustard Leaf,
Pickled Onion, Parsley & Anchovy
Beef sirloin? I didn’t taste it. All I remembered is the oyster. Again, simple. nothing exciting.
5th dish of the tasting menu:
Sconser King Scallop with Gingerbread Crust, Parsnip, Sorrel & Quince.
Scallops was ok. Fresh. Would prefer some kind of puree to go with the scallop rather than sorrel and quince. Sorry, but I have tasted better scallops dishes than this.
6th dish of the tasting menu:
Pan-Fried Saddle & Slow Cooked Haunch of Lochalsh Venison
with Salsify, Red Cabbage, Beetroot & Blaeberries
This was the second best dish of the night. Venison was tender and cooked just right. Went well with all the other ingredients on the plate. Everything complemented each other. This dish was up to the standard of a michelin star restaurant.
7th dish on the tasting menu:
Three Chimneys Hot Marmalade Pudding Soufflé with Drambuie Syrup & Mealie Ice Cream
3rd best dish of the night. Souffle was perfect. The slight bitter taste of the marmalade pudding soufflé went well with the sweetness of the syrup. Well balanced.
A bill of 589 pounds for 6 people.
Disappointed as only 3 out of the 8 dishes (including the amuse bouche) have made it through. The venison dish, shellfish soup and the soufflé were the only few dishes which were up to standard.
I would have expected a bit more of a higher standard as the price of the tasting menu for Three Chimneys is actually even more expensive than the tasting menus of most of the michelin star restaurants I have tried. My expectations were so high as I was thinking that they must be so confident in their food to charge such a high price. But, sad to say, nothing exciting.
L’enclume (simon rogan’s 2 michelin star restaurant) in Lake district serves a 13 courses tasting menu and it’s only 95 pounds. Not only that, every dish was so creative that it completely blew me away. I rather have spent the money on another meal at L’enclume.
Will I recommend this restaurant? perhaps if you are looking for a nice meal in Isle of Skye, you could give it a go. But I would choose Restaurant Kinloch Lodge in Isle of Skye over this restaurant. If you decide to go to Three Chimneys, lower your expectations. Perhaps it’s not for the customers who have been to many michelin star restaurants as Three Chimneys will disappoint.
The Three Chimneys
Colbost, Dunvegan Isle of Skye,
Highlands IV55 8ZT.