Ee-usk, Oban (Scotland)

When last seen eating in Scotland we were on Skye, at the Claymore in Broadford. I now pick up the story on the next day when we drove south to Tarbert to take the ferry to Islay. We’d left the day’s plans open. I was not sure of how much time to budget for the drive but decided to err on the side of caution—arriving an hour or more early for the ferry being a much better option than cutting it too fine and missing it. We weren’t sure where we’d stop for lunch. We’d hoped that that if the weather held up we’d be able to explore Glen Coe a little bit and figured we’d find somewhere to eat in the vicinity—maybe at the Lochleven Seafood Cafe. As it happened, the day was grey and wet and there was no question of stopping for a ramble. And it was too early for lunch. And so we kept going and stopped in Oban instead to eat. I’ve already posted a bit about the opportunistic visit to the distillery that resulted from this stop; here now is a quick account of our lunch at the wonderfully named Ee-usk*.

Of course, in Gaelic Ee-usk prosaically means fish (thankfully, it doesn’t mean “red lobster”) but there was nothing prosaic about our lunch. We didn’t have reservations, by the way, but had no trouble getting seated even though they were busy (it’s a large place, spread over two levels). The restaurant is situated right on the water on Oban’s North Pier. It is bright, with large windows rather than walls, affording a good view of the bay. While some construction alongside marred the view a bit, it was still quite a lovely setting.

And the food was very good indeed. As we’d been doing on Skye, we’d planned to zoom in on the seafood; as it turns out it would have been hard to do otherwise at Ee-usk: with the exception of a couple of steak options, all the mains involved fish or shellfish and only one starter did not (they come by their name honestly). Since we’d had a big (and excellent) breakfast at our b&b that morning we restricted ourselves to one course each. The missus got the Ee-usk fish selection: a trio of halibut, sea bass and, I want to say, haddock, baked and served with parsley sauce, two potato croquettes and sauteed greens; I got the seafood platter; the boys split an order of battered haddock and chips—which I unaccountably failed to photograph (this iteration notable for the chips which were more or less cubed). All were excellent. The shellfish were all local and I believe the fish were too, with the exception of the sea bass.

Pictures follow. Scroll down for comments on service and value and to see what’s coming next.

Service was much more polished than we’d encountered on Skye but was no less friendly. The meal was not cheap. We paid about £60 before tip, but for the quality of the seafood—and the generous portions—it seemed good value. In the unlikely event that I’m near Oban again I’d happily eat again at Ee-usk. Many thanks to Billy A. for the recommendation.

Coming up next on the food front, another dim sum meal in London and maybe some seafood on Islay. That’ll be next week. Tomorrow I’ll actually have another whisky review—it’s been a while since I had two in a week but I’d better get the ones I’ve written up posted before the apocalypse hits.

*The restaurant’s name is also styled EE-USK and Ee-Usk—all three versions can be found on their website!

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