Since my office move across town from the River Ness in January, I’ve missed the opportunity to pop into town to do errands and check out the lunch offerings from around the High Street. There’s a couple of restaurants/cafes a good 20 minutes walk away by the retail parks, but there is another option – right on my UHI Campus office doorstep, a 5 minute hop skip and a jump away, which is the training restaurant within Inverness College!
The Shieling (gaelic for hut) serves 2 and 3 course meals for the public for two lunchtimes (Tuesday & Wednesday) and one early evening (Thursday) service per week. Table service is provided by UHI’s Hospitality students and the cooking is crafted by their Professional Cookery students.
We arrived at the start of the lunchtime service to get an early meal. The restaurant is located on the ground floor of the college and there’s room for about 30 covers. The restaurant is fully licenced so you can enjoy a glass of wine, wee dram or Colonsay Brewery beer or lager if you so wished! As we (Mr B and I) were heading back to our respective offices afterwards, we made do each with a glass of orange San Pellegrino. When we saw down, the table was well prepared with a jug of ice cold water, curls of butter and purple napkins to fit in well with the corporate UHI colours. Also, not pictured, is a screen showing what was going on in the kitchen in real time, so you could see the cookery students preparing meals. There were no Gordon Ramsey style chef meltdowns in sight – it looked a very calm, well organised kitchen!
Onto our choices and the menu lists three options for starter, main and dessert. Two courses are just £5.50 and you can pay an extra £1 for a third course. It’s definitely the best value lunch menu in Inverness!
I enjoyed a bowl of Cognac infused french onion soup with a gruyere crouton.
Mr B ordered a Beef tomato and mozzarella salad with a balsamic dressing
Despite both being tempted by the rump steak, we both chose to have the Poached Chicken Duxelle with a mushroom filling, white wine cream reduction, brocolli and new potatoes
We were both tempted by dessert. To my surprise Mr B denied himself a cheeseboard in favour of a Chocolate Mousse!
I was very happy with my slab of Croissant Bread and Butter Pudding – though it may have of contributed to an afternoon of sleepiness at my desk later on!
Everything was so tasty, with attention to detail in the garnishes and the hosts were attentive without rushing us through our meal. We were served just within an hour which could be shorter if a two course meal was chosen. Very highly recommended by Mess in the Ness!
Advanced Booking is essential. Call 01463 273000 to book.
I recieved no incentive for this review and all opinions are my own.