One of the most appealing aspects of local Angus produce is its versatility. It’s not all about creating traditionally Scottish dishes. If you are a fan of international cuisine but still want to ensure what you are eating has minimal air miles then Angus is the place to be. Local restaurants offer a fantastic range of dishes from around the world, using ingredients found on their doorstep.
Authentic Mexican cuisine
When Martha Doyle opened her Mexican restaurant, El Tajin, in 2017, it was her mission to provide an authentic Mexican menu, using fresh, local produce where possible. Martha has taken the best ingredients Angus has to offer to create outstanding dishes from her home country, including Stuffed Avocado with Arbroath Crab, Gorditas with Angus Pork, and Crispy Goose Tacos, using home-smoked goose reared at Sillyflatt Farm, near Montrose.
Martha has developed an especially close working relationship with Lunan Bay Farm, using the locally-reared goat meat in dishes such as Empanadas, and Steamed Cumin and Chilli Goat. If you have never tried goat meat before, you should really pay El Tajin a visit – it’s delicious! Add in some ingredients sourced directly from Mexico such as cactus and poblano chillies, the legendary tequila trolley, and the authentic décor and atmosphere and this really is a little piece of Mexico in the heart of Montrose.
Experience a taste of Greece
Andrew McDonald used his Greek-Cypriot roots to open Andreou’s, a Greek bistro, in what was formerly the lounge area of the Fisherman’s Tavern in Arbroath. I’m a regular visitor there, and have been impressed with new ideas that Andrew constantly brings to this restaurant, which will immediately invoke memories of summer holidays in Greek tavernas, complete with Mythos beer.
The menu has just been refreshed and is now tapas/meze style including Mediterranean favourites such as Lamb Kleftico, Chicken Slouvaki and Calamari. If you have room for dessert you have to try the Baklava – it’s to die for! Andreou’s also caters very well for vegan diners.
There are special themed menus throughout the year. February was Spanish Tapas month, and I enjoyed an amazing meal there with my ‘Tapas Girls’ dining companions including all the must-have tapas dishes – Albondigas (meatballs), Chorizo in Red Wine, Gambas Al Pil Pil (chilli and garlic prawns), and of course lots of Patatas Bravas. And of course I made sure I had room for dessert as Churros is a personal favourite.
Flavours from around the world
WeeCook Kitchen started off life at Broughty Golf Club, but just over a year ago moved to Barry Downs Caravan Park, near Carnoustie. Owner Hayley Wilkes is a passionate advocate of local produce and of supporting young people into the hospitality industry, always employing apprentices in her kitchen. WeeCook Kitchen has a lovely cosy atmosphere and a great menu, including award-winning pies (the chicken bhuna is my favourite!).
Special menus throughout the year provide the international element. The best Thai meal I have every had was at WeeCook, and in the recent tapas menu, the Padron Peppers were the tastiest I’ve had outside of Barcelona. International flavours always feature in the menu – in the recent British Pie Week Specials, the pies included Thai Green Chicken Curry, Chicken Fajita and Mozzerella and Saag Chilli Paneer. Delicious!
I love eating out in Angus and it’s reassuring to know that there is a wide choice of international menus to suit all tastes, using produce from the local area. I’ve just given some examples here – there are many others to try and new restaurants opening all the time such as Grill 21 in Arbroath serving Mediterranean cuisine, and Chillies in Carnoustie if you fancy a curry. Get out and explore the foodie world on your doorstep.
Blog piece courtesy of (c) Taste Tay.