I saw a few raised eyebrows when I told people I was going for a Christmas Dinner in August, but I wasn’t going crazy.
Papamacs in Johnstone, who I’ve written about before, were running a Christmas Dinner night in August so they could get some photos of their Christmas dishes. They invited people to come along to a dress up in their Christmas togs and enjoy the food complete with Christmas decorations and seasonal tunes. Demand was so high that they had to put on a second night!
It’s such a welcoming restaurant. The staff are lovely and it’s such a relaxing venue, especially with the Christmas decorations up. The menu was incredible.
For starters, Emma went for Cherry Vine Tomato and Basil Oil Soup with bread and butter. I had the Herb Wrapped Chicken liver pate with onion marmalade, toasted brioche and cider reduction.
I have to apologise for the photos. Not only are they not very good quality, but they’re incomplete. I couldn’t wait to eat the pate, so half of it is missing.
Simply put, it was the most delicious, creamy pate I’ve ever had. (I actually heard my dad swear for the first time on Christmas Eve when he was trying to make pate in a pressure cooker. It went wrong, exploded and he spend the night before Christmas scraping pate off the kitchen ceiling.) Emma’s soup was also exquisite. Those little drops of oil contained so much flavour, it was like a kind of sorcery.
Our mains were the Pancetta Laced West Coast Landed Salmon with pea puree, arbroath smokie crisp, sweetcorn dust, béarnaise sauce for me, and Oven Roasted Pumpkin Pie with butternut squash risotto, soused chestnuts , cumin dressing, parmesan tuille for my better half.
Now, I’m going to sound more like an idiot than normal when I tell you that I didn’t realise until the next day exactly what I’d been served. I mean, I knew what I was eating, but it wasn’t until I showed someone a photo the next day that they pointed out I was eating a Christmas tree…
This is a lovely choice for those who like their dinners smokey and rich. The yellow dust is sweetcorn and the green rolls are made from Arbroath smokies. Inventive and tasty! Also very filling.
Emma’s Pumpkin Pie was incredible, and that’s coming from me who doesn’t normally indulge in vegetarian food. The risotto you can spot was perfect and we were glad to see the return of the parmesan crisp. I could eat them all day. I did spy someone order the Borders Daube of Grass fed Beef with roasted shallots, Stornoway bon bons, celeriac cremeux, red wine jus at another table. It looked phenomenal.
After a much needed rest, we got on with our desserts. For me, Iced Christmas Pudding Pave with brandy sauce syrup while Emma ordered the Lemon and Passion fruit Delice with mango parfait & cardamom crushed shortbread.
The delice was creamy, zingy and citrusy. Beautiful. The Christmas pudding is exactly what I’d expect of chef Scott Keenan. Imaginative, inventive and an absolute delight. The cake had all the Christmas spices, the icing was soft, sweet, creamy and the syrup was caramel brandy sauce perfection. Wonderful!
The wine – a South African Chenin Blanc – was smooth and refreshing. There was, as normal, a great atmosphere in the restaurant and you leave immediately looking forward to the next time you go back.
Papamacs have a number of Christmas nights in the run up to the big day, plus there are a limited number of spaces for those who want to go there on Christmas Day. You won’t regret it!