The Loch Melfort Hotel offers residents, or anyone else simply looking for somewhere good to eat, with a contrasting choice of attractive dining options. The Asknish Bay Restaurant offers fine dining that has been awarded 2 Rosettes by the AA; while the Chartroom II Bistro offers a more informal ambiance with a distinctly (but not exclusively) seafood theme. You can read our hotel review for The Loch Melfort Hotel here.
The Asknish Bay Restaurant is large and extends out from the frontage of the hotel in a way that maximises the number of tables able to enjoy the absolutely magnificent sea views afforded by the hotel's sublime location. Chartroom II extends out from the south west corner of the hotel, close to the path from the car park to Arduaine Garden, and doubles as a cafe/bar as well as a bistro. It also offers large windows to ensure that you can make the most of the views while enjoying your food.
Lunch is served daily in the Chartroom II Bistro, and the menu is driven by the twin themes of seafood and local sourcing. Meanwhile coffee, tea and a range of refreshments are available either in the Chartroom II Bistro or the hotel lounge through the day, and hotel residents can order packed lunches. Children's meals are served in the Chartroom II Bistro from late afternoon until mid evening. The Chartroom II's supper menu again has a strong but not exclusive emphasis on seafood, and looks absolutely delicious. In winter the Chartroom II Bistro has limited opening hours, but its menu is available in the main hotel when it is closed.
Dinner for those wishing to dine in the Asknish Bay Restaurant starts with drinks and nibbles in the lounge. When we last visited there was a choice of two menus on offer. The four course table d'hôte menu offered a single starter, soup and a fixed main course, followed by a choice of desserts. The à la carte menu offered seven starters and six mains, the latter supplemented by seafood platters and a grill menu with six further choices. It is also possible to mix and match between menus.
We went for starters of "Tarbert crab tortellini" and "Carpaccio of yellow fin tuna"; and mains of "crispy pan-fried veal sweetbreads" and an "Argyll ribeye steak", separated by a powerful "celeriac and smoked garlic soup". The steak was absolutely superb and illustrated the strong theme of local sourcing that runs through the menus. Tarbert crabs feature alongside Seil oysters, Loch Melfort langoustines, west coast mussels, Minch monkfish, Airds Farm lamb, Scottish rabbit and a range of vegetables from West Barravullin Farm. For desserts we had a selection of home made ice creams; and peppered Scottish strawberries with white chocolate parfait and a strawberry jam doughnut.
Breakfast is served in the Asknish Bay Restaurant, and if anything the views you will have enjoyed the previous evening look even more glorious in morning light. Service when we stayed was outstanding, and a very nice touch was the way tables near the windows were cleared away and reset as soon as they were vacated to allow as many guests as possible to enjoy the best of the views. The cold first course is self served from a buffet, and includes a range of fruits, yoghurts and cereals. Hot second course choices include the usual elements of the Scottish fried breakfast, which arrive nicely prepared as ordered, as well as Loch Fyne kippers or poached smoked haddock. You can read our hotel review for The Loch Melfort Hotel here.