Review; Braidwoods

Restaurant Exterior.

Not many Michelin star restaurants can offer a traditional rural setting than that of Braidwoods located just outside the Ayrshire town of Dalry. A remote cottage at the end of a country road is not usually where you would find a fine dining establishment but at Braidwoods it adds to the charm. A Christmas present from family gave us the perfect chance to try a restaurant which had been long on our radar. For the last twenty years husband and wife team, Keith and Nicola Braidwood have built up quite a reputation at their eponymous restaurant, and were awarded with the much coveted michelin star in the year 2000.

Dining room.

A leisurely drive from Glasgow had us at Braidwoods in under an hour. At first glance, the restaurant you could easily mistake it for a countryside cottage. The dining room was very cosy and finished to a high standard. It is split into two rooms and each has around about six covers. Service was to be provided by just two waitresses who would work all the tables between the two rooms. The dinner menu consists of three courses for £45, with each course having four choices, being hungry (or greedy) we opted for the extra course of parmesan tart or soup, totalling at £49.

Well cooked light and crispy pastry, filled with seasoned bacon and mushrooms, a good flavoursome warm combination and start to the meal.

Lightly grilled hand dived Western Ross Scallops
Large juicy meaty scallops, the sweetness from the tomatoes created a well seasoned colaboration. 

Roast Quail breast with Confit of leg on black pudding.

The rich soft meat of the quail was well cooked, along with the deep flavours of the blacking pudding, the meats juxtaposed the sharpness from the orange and pinenut salad                    

White and Brown bread.

Served warm with salted butter, we received two baskets.

Light warm tart of Parmesan.

This beautifully presented dish was served warm, the tart was crisp and cooked well without a soggy bottom, just the way it should be. The cheese flavour was not over powering, with the red pepper adding shuttle sweet and sharp tones throughout.

Cream soup of new season celery.

A creamy smooth soup, served at perfect temperature with a good consistency and seasoning, close to perfection for a basic dish.

Roast Loin of Highland Roe Deer.

Rich Venison cooked to medium/rare perfection, with a light hint of mushroom in the sauce. The cabbage added texture to the dish and was sautéed nicely. 

Beset End of Ayrshire Lamb with Confit of Neck Fillet.

The lamb was also cooked and seasoned well, where the juicy meat was accompanied by a rosemary jus, a rich and full of bodied addition. The carrots and spinach added a good level of crunch and texture.

Iced carmelised pecan nut parfait.

Sharp sweet raspberries overlay the soft delightful dessert, the nuts through the parfait added crunch and texture. The subtle tones of the vanilla cut through the sharp raspberries perfectly.

Dark valhorna chocolate truffle cake.

A dark rich smooth chocolate dish, with simple presentation and a boozy ice-cream. The alcohol was not too strong and cut through the richness, a great combination especially  for chocolate lovers.

Coffee and handmade Petit fours.

Intricate tasting menus with ten plus courses are not always what the diner desires, sometimes it is the standard hearty courses, like the four at Braidwood’s which hit all the high notes. No gimmicks or overly elaborate presentation, just food cooked close to perfection in an honest way. We struggled to find any fault with the meal, the two main courses being our favourites of night, as the meat was cooked just the way we like it. Even though it was only two young waitresses who were working the whole dining room, they attended to everyone's needs in good time. They proved to be pleasant and very knowledgeable about the food, they done a commendable job with it being busy on our visit.

So is Braidwoods worth its Michelin star? For us, yes it certainly is. The location and setting compliments the food perfectly and really do add to the overall experience. A brief chat with the owner Nicola Braidwood at the end of the meal was enjoyable and her love for all things food was very clear. Don’t be put off by the remote location as its well worth the journey, and at £49 for four courses of top quality produce, it’s a relative bargain compared to some of its other one star competitors. A Scottish gem, serving local produce, in an idealist location. 


Food 8/10
Service 7/10
Decor 8/10
Toilets 7/10
Value for money 8/10

Overall 38/50- A Solid one star restaurant.

Square Meal