jiggybunnet - 05-04-2008
“Don't. Just...don't.” I used to live in Keith and worked in Dufftown for five years. I had always been given the above advice regarding “The World Famous Glenfiddich Restaurant” on Church St (which has nothing to do with the world-famous whisky brand and must not be confused with the coffee shop and restaurant at the distillery itself). On a recent trip to Dufftown with some overseas friends, the Fife Arms (my favourite place in Dufftown for good, simple pub food) was having some repairs done to the kitchen and so we decided to try the Glenfiddich Restaurant. The garish, aposematic yellow exterior should have been warning enough. We should have turned tail and fled, but we soldiered on, and things did not improve. The moment we walked in the door, our senses were assaulted by the reek of stale cooking fat. The restaurant was freezing cold – there had been a cold snap in the area and it felt little warmer inside than out. The surly, jeans-and-hoodied waitress seemed to agree, as she was still wearing her woolly hat. We ordered 4 teas and 2 coffees - which was obviously too complicated for the waitress, as she brought 2 teas and 4 coffees. The coffee was undrinkable. We ordered 5 portions of the haggis in whisky sauce – which arrived on a bed of salad and in an oddly-shaped bowl. The haggis itself was fine, the sauce was interesting, but the bowl made it difficult to eat – and the whole concept of “haggis on salad” really is as ill-advised as it sounds. The same haggis and sauce on a plate, with neeps and tatties would probably work better. I’ve done a lot of travelling, have eaten street-food and enjoy occasional greasy-spoons, but I’ve rarely seen anything like this; there’s really no excuse for offering standards this low in the UK. I was embarrassed to have taken my friends there and I’m ashamed to think that other visitors to Dufftown might go there in future, unless they read honest reviews like this one. As an embarrassing example of kitsch and “Scotteesh”, the Glenfiddich Restaurant is in a class of its own, and I’m almost tempted to suggest you pay a visit so you can see for yourself. But don’t order anything. Just…don’t.