In February, the Fine Food and Dining Society held their opening dinner at the Old Course. This was my first FF&D event, and I relished the chance to attend as I usually gorge from time to time on mozzarella and basil, thus making me the ultimate critic. The fact that it was only now in my fourth year that I decided to attend a FF&D event was deeply distressing to me considering how much I love the culinary arts. In fact I practice them daily, routinely giving them to Bad Ronald (the cat in my back yard) to see if he approves. Thus, with camera in hand I made the journey over to the Old Course with high expectations for the gourmet food to come. I was greeted by a host of lovely committee members who seemed just as excited for the night as I was. The dinner itself was in the conservatory of the Old Course which, while not a chavvy convention center for elderly birthdays and anniversaries, was not the Downton Abbey experience I was expecting. One martini and a bit of wandering led me to a table where I thought I heard some fabulous conversation about MRS degrees, but in fact it was just some witty political remark. I knew this was the table I had to sit at and to my surprise, for the rest of the night the conversation flowed as well as the wine.
There was no stated theme for the night, but all of the dishes had Scottish origins and flavors. My first course was cullen skink topped with a poached egg, which despite the horribly unappetizing made up Scottish name, was very lovely. I loved the creamy texture after popping the egg and spreading around the soup; however, the broth itself was a little bland and left me wanting more. I didn’t have much time to dwell on this because the Old Course’s highly professional staff operate like a NASCAR pit crew, sweeping in, whisking everything away in unison, and quickly replacing all the utensils I kept dropping on the floor. The next course, a slice of lamb roast, was infinitely better than the soup. It was well cooked and juicy, almost as good as at home on one of those great hangover days where you just end up sitting on the couch, watching reruns of How I Met Your Mother. The jus was the highlight; I distinctly remember trying to wipe up every bit after I had cleaned my plate. The lamb was the pinnacle of the night and would be just cause enough for me to return again. Lastly, the dessert was whisky & pineapple covered in whisky sauce with a bit of cake on the side, a true Scottish dessert. I thought myself lucky as the woman beside me was gluten intolerant and unusually, her dessert was much better, a mixture of fruits and honeycomb that was almost too sweet.
All in all, it was a great meal with wonderful guests, and I would definitely attend again. The price of the meal for members was only £19, a steal for most, but I wish there had been a free glass of wine thrown in there as well. But, if you just think of this as a few missed nights at Dervish, both your bowels and your tastebuds will give thanks.