It is six months since Forgans in St Andrews threw open its doors and I would have bet money that I would be in the first batch of eager diners trying it out, alas this was not the case.
In that six months I have recommended Forgans to countless friends, despite having never eaten there myself. As a sibling of Mitchell’s I felt sure that Forgans would not disappoint, and sure enough friends have come back singing its praises.
After yet again recommending an establishment I had never set foot it I thought it might be about time to make the trip and try it out for myself. And so last Saturday we dropped the wee one off at granny and grandpa’s with a bundle of animated adventures and we headed off FINALLY to Forgans.
So was it worth the wait? In a word YES!
Originally this restaurant was to be called the St Andrews Bothy. That was until some research revealed that the building was on the site of an old ‘Cleek Factory’ owned by Robert Forgan, a name known to many for making the best golf clubs money can buy. Judging by the cluster of people waiting to get into the already full restaurant, the success of Mr Forgan has rubbed off.
Lets kick off with what I think is one of the most impressive features of Forgans – the interior decor. In my humble opinion Forgans manages to pull off cool dining to perfection. The large dining space with its high ceilings and open kitchen have an urban warehouse feel yet they have also managed to achieve a warm and inviting atmosphere – not an easy combo to accomplish.
Forgans have taken quirky to a new level and you will find interesting design detail in every nook and cranny – from the coo’s head to the truly amazing light shades. One of the most interesting and appealing features are the bothy’s. These are eating areas slightly off-set from the main restaurant area giving you a feeling of privacy, whilst still being part of the hubbub. The beautifully styled bothy’s seat parties of between 8 and 12 and are perfect for an occasion.
Now for the food! The menu is pretty extensive and reasonably priced but if you are looking after the coffers you will be pleased to find a special lunchtime menu which is only £12.95 for two courses, stonking value for money. I was both surprised and delighted to see that scallops had made it onto the lunch deal menu and promptly opted for this as my starter. B who is in training for the next Italian adventure chose an antipasti board of meats, olives, bread, balsamic and olive oil – beautifully presented.
The generous portion negated the need to play that old favourite – hunt the scallop – and they were cooked to perfection. Served on a rocket and red onion salad, topped with shavings of parmesan and drizzled with a fantastic pesto dressing; It was sublime and a great start to the meal.
For the main event I opted for noodles balanced on top of stir fried vegetables. This may sound a little dull but the flavour was anything but – it packed a punch. Although lovely but there was an odd addition to this dish, sliced potato. It is not something I have encountered in a stir fry before (thought it was all about the crunch) and whilst not unpleasant it is not something I will be adding to my stir fries in the future. Maybe it was just Forgans exercising their love of the unusual.
A nice hearty macaroni cheese with a nice big wedge of bread was the order of the day for my companion and it didn’t seem to hit the sides – a thumbs up from the B man. Forgans work with local producers which means that their provenance is great and it makes all the difference when it comes to flavour – well done guys.
Although we were out and about as a twosome last weekend I have to mention how amazing Forgans is for families. The environment and menu appeals to adults but boy have they gone out of their way to ensure that the kids have a good time as well. There is of course a great children’s menu, but that is common place. What is not common place in cool urban style restaurants is the range of daytime events (gatherings) on offer. Family crafting, kids cartoons, face painting, board games, Sunday story time, kiddies (and adult) book group. A fiesta of fantastic events for the smaller members of the family. The gatherings continue on into the night for adults, with special events such as wine club, flight night, host your roast and the now famous ceilidh’s.
And a final word about the service – brilliant. Like its older sister Mitchell’s Deli, they seem to have found the most helpful, motivated and friendly staff around. how do they do that? Where do they come from?
This glowing review for Forgans is so well deserved (and no they are not paying me). The food is great and the interior is fantastic but it is their innovative and inclusive strategy which really excites me. They have a fresh approach to pretty much everything and it shows that you can sometimes be all things to all people. Who knew?