Try the Ness Walk supper club in Inverness

A trip to the Highlands is always filled with great food stops if I have something to see there.

Recently my colleague Karla and I were in the area for the Highlands and Islands Food and Drink Awards where 15 winners were announced at the Kingsmills Hotel on Culcabock Road.

The night before, we were lucky enough to get a table at the venue’s sister hotel, the popular Ness Walk Supper Club.

Launched in November just before the coronavirus pandemic, this particular event just a few weeks ago was the first since the Covid-19 outbreak.

Ness Walk in Inverness. Image: Ness Walk

Ness Walk Supper Club

Taking a seat in the dining room of the five-star hotel, Torrish, we rocked out on Thursday evening to the entrance. After crossing the electric fence, we were greeted by two members of staff before we even entered the reception area. It was a very nice way to start the evening and immediately impressed us, making us feel at home.

I left my jacket with one of the team members and we were then ushered into the dining room which was packed with people. It seemed like everyone had gone out especially for the return of the supper club.

Some of the night’s guests. Image: Ness Walk.

Ness Walk, which sits idyllically on the banks of the River Ness, had pulled out all the stops and even had the Tomatin distillery on hand to showcase new expressions in addition to the experience.

Four courses, two glasses of wine, an arrival glass of fizz and three whiskeys sounded almost too good for £50 each.

As we were seated, two glasses of fizz appeared on our table. I believe every good night starts with a glass of bubbly, so we toasted and joined the 40 or so other diners doing the same.

The food

The night started with one of the team members walking to the center of the room, catching everyone’s attention. He guided us through the evening and the welcome drink, painting a picture of what was to come.

Rolls were then served and the soft butter, sprinkled with sea salt, spread effortlessly over the wholemeal roll.

One of the team members kicks off the evening with an introduction to the supper club. Image: Ness Walk.

Our amuse-bouche – a velouté of smoked tomatoes and paprika – was served with the bubbles. Topped with micro-herbs, the crispy good garlic-filled crisp amidst the light velouté oozed as I dug in my fork and knife.

It was delicious and a great way to start as we began to peruse the menu.

The amuse-bouche was a soup of smoked tomatoes and paprika. Image: Ness Walk.

The first wine, a 2019 Quinta de Chocapalha Arinto white from Portugal, was then introduced before seared Orkney scallops were served.

The wine was light on the palate and very fruity which meant it complemented the squid ink risotto, organic sundried tomato and chorizo ​​and chilli mousse. It was truly a delight and the scallop was huge which we both enjoyed.

Scallop starter presented in superb tableware. Image: Ness Walk.

Next, we welcomed the second wine, a 2017 Quinta de Chocapalha Tinto red, also from Portugal, to our table with more prominent orchard fruit flavors.

It was a wonderful accompaniment to roast duck breast from Gressingham served with cherries dipped in port, mashed smoked beets, braised endives, port glaze and candied orange. The duck was cooked to perfection which was exactly what I like. However, I wasn’t as convinced by the chicory as it was by its earthy flavor and the way it was cooked didn’t appeal to me as much. It’s not something I usually have, so I focused on duck and cherries more instead.

The duck dish was cooked to perfection. Image: Ness Walk.

Scott Adamson, Brand Ambassador for Tomatin Distillery, then told us about the new limited-edition series that showcases the influence of Portuguese wines on the brand’s award-winning single malt.

Three expressions were presented. The first was the tawny barrel-matured port edition. It sailed on notes of spicy plum, cherry and dark chocolate. The second was a moscatel edition which had flavors of marmalade, orange blossom and there was also a Terry’s Chocolate Orange shade. The third, a Madeira edition that had been aged in Madeira wine barrels, was very smooth and almost smelled like white chocolate pralines. All were at 46% ABV.

Portuguese expressions from the Tomatin distillery. Image: Ness Walk.

Dessert, a vanilla and jasmine cream pie, went well with everything, although the Madeira was my favorite of the night.

Served with a crumb of roasted almonds, Muscat gel and orange blossom sorbet, this dessert was Karla’s favorite dish of the evening. She’s not one to usually order something sweet, but said the sweetness was cut by the torte sorbet that balanced it all out.

Vanilla and jasmine tartlet. Image: Ness Walk.

A dark chocolate and port truffle and an orange and whiskey pâté de fruits were served right at the end, and I thoroughly enjoyed tasting them slowly with my trio of drams.

The verdict

It’s great to see the return of the supper club and I couldn’t believe how brilliant the price of the meal was. At £50 I think it’s a bargain, especially considering the intimate and friendly service, and all the booze involved.

I would have gladly paid more for the experience and I think the quality of the food itself just goes to show the expertise of Executive Chef Craig Douglas and his kitchen team.

Torrish’s framework. Image: Ness Walk.

I’m already looking at the calendar of events for the next supper club – which I’m told should be announced soon – and hope to see this event return to many’s calendars as a monthly must-see.

A special mention goes to the crockery and presentation of each course as each was beautifully plated on gorgeous plates.


Information

Address: Ness Walk Hotel, 12 Ness Walk, Inverness IV3 5SQ

Such. : 01463 215215

W: www.nesswalk.com

Price: £100 (£50 per person with two glasses of wine, a welcome glass of champagne and three whiskeys)

Scoring:

  • Food: 4/5
  • Performance: 5/5
  • Environment: 5/5

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[Trying out Ness Walk’s supper club in Inverness]

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