Ups: Welcoming, great surroundings, tasty food Downs: Pork overcooked.
The Piersland House Hotel in Troon is a grand building. Set close to the beach and with neatly manicured gardens, it creates an admirable impression upon arrival. Unfortunately, on the night we attended, we were accompanied by a force 9 gale, leaving us with little time to appreciate the outside aesthetics.
A slightly mazy route to the dining room was navigated with only a couple of wrong turns. The service was warm, unlike the dining room which had a bit of a chill about it. (We’d been warned on arrived that there was a problem with hot water but that an engineer was on his way out.)
The menu is practically identical to The Canny Man in Lugton, a lovely pub restaurant. The smell of the restaurant is the same. One of the starters is smoked poached haddock. That’s the smell of both restaurants.
We ordered glasses of Pinot Grigio, La Delfina (250ml, £6.50) and Syrah Rosé, Baron d’Arignac (250ml, £6.00).
Forty minutes after arrival, our starters were served. Crispy chicken fillets with an orange, bamboo shoot and water chestnut salad and sweet chilli sauce (£4.95) and Fanned sweet melon with vanilla syrup topped with raspberry sorbet (£4.95). The Chicken was sublime. The batter was light, crisp and not at all greasy. The accompanying salad was interesting but not mind-blowing, given the unusual combination. The melon came with a fruit salad, and was delicious and refreshing.
There wasn’t a great wait until the main course arrived. Grilled fillet of salmon with a white wine and chive cream (£10.95) for Emma and Char-grilled pork loin steak served with Stornoway black pudding and red wine jus (£9.95) for me.
The pork dish was disappointing. Both loin fillets were overcooked and tough. I had a fair workout cutting up my meal. Similarly, the black pudding was overcooked and did not resemble the photo from the Piersland’s website. Emma pointed out that this menu – like The Canny Man’s – has a habit of serving two different sorts of potatoes with each main. I had mash served with chips, whereas the Salmon had mash and boiled potatoes.
Emma enjoyed the salmon. It was cooked well, with a rich sauce and perfect vegetables.
Dessert was sticky toffee pudding with butterscotch sauce and freshly whipped cream (£4.95) and strawberry cheesecake served with cream and coulis (£4.95). The cheesecake was a little lacking. It presented like a strawberry mousse in both taste and texture.
The sticky toffee pudding was a triumph. Not too dense, sweet and bursting with sticky joy. I’d happily have three courses of that if I were to return.