“ Address: Riverside Dr / Dundee / Dundee City / United Kingdom „
===I wanted to===
Last week we'd had a bit of an incident where our next door neighbour who is usually obnoxiously noisy during the day decided to begin this obnoxiousness at four in the morning in the form of blaring an episode of the Flintstones through the wall of our bedroom. As much as we enjoy The Flintstones, Allan had decided rather than putting up with it, he'd go next door and tell him to put it up his... well... you get the idea. Since he didn't answer, he spent the next half hour typing up a very blunt letter to be posted through his door advising him that the police would be called next time it happened. This all meant we were out of bed, awake till about 5am before attempting to try to sleep again having a knock on effect of total zombification the next day. Since we'd had such a terrible evening, Allan decided he would treat us both to a meal in a restaurant of my choosing. Since I hadn't been in a while I decided to take us down to the Discovery Quay which I discovered when we got there had been half rebranded as Table Table which is owned by the Whitbread chain. The brand began around 2006 though wasn't named till about 2008.
The Discovery Quay (since the sign is still up, right above the Table Table sign) is situated in Dundee City Centre in the same area as the famous Antarctic exploration ship The Discovery and the exhibit centre Discovery Point. As such it sits right on the silvery River Tay meaning if you sit on the left hand side of the restaurant (entering from the front doors) you'll get a fantastic view out across the water to the rolling hills of Tayport and beyond. It's also directly across from the train station and it has plenty parking. The nearest bus stop is about a ten minute walk away so it's not terrible for getting to. Parking before 6pm is a pay and display deal. I seem to recall when I was there before that if you have to pay for parking they can take it off your bill, but as we got there bang on 6pm this time, I didn't have to worry as the parking was free. If you do need to pay it's £1.70 for two hours and the place is equipped with the up to date machines that can take all kinds of payments. You can also enter from the back end of the place which is right next to (and in fact attached to) a premier inn. Apparently this is quite common for Table Table restaurants. If you need somewhere to stay, there you have it! The restaurant is open between 6:30 and 10:30am for breakfast (11am at the weekends) and then opens from 12 noon till 11pm weeknights and 10:30pm on weekends.
If you want to sat nav your way to the place the address is as follows:
If you want to give them a ring to book a table then the number is 01382 203240, you can also have a browse of their menus or book over the internet on their website http://www.tabletable.co.uk/tabletable/our-pubs/dundee/discovery-quay.html
I have to say I was quite impressed. I've been in the place a few times since I was a child and it's slowly morphed from a tired looking family pub/restaurant to a really comfy, sophisticated place full of luxuriously comfortable furniture, rich chocolate colours and a lovely contrast of wood and stone throughout the place. The bar is absolutely lovely and the large fireplace that we were sat next to was gorgeous. This isn't to say that the place is no longer child friendly. There were (as is my luck) at least five screaming kids dotted around the restaurant. The place used to be very much geared towards kids with Charlie Chalk (remember him?) colouring activities handed out and a big kids play area. It has been toned down a little with the play area disappearing but they still have a kids menu. Sadly I saw no sign of Charlie Chalk kicking about.
There were a couple of menus available. The main menu gives a good range of meaty dishes and vegetarian dishes and for once I surprised my self by going for an entirely vegetarian meal (which I felt really dirty about once I realised afterwards). There are also special menus that do offers such as meals for £4 but you need to ask for them as far as I could tell. There is a fully stocked bar in the place so you'll be able to have a drink though the alcohol is a little bit pricey at around £3.50 for a bottle of beer. If you are sticking to soft drinks, however, you are laughing. They have a "refillable" option that costs £2.50. If you choose this option you'll get a pint of your desired soft drink any time you ask for a refill without adding any more to the bill. That's fantastic if you ask me, but then I am one of those types who will drink their drink before the meal comes and then have another drink with each course, so that saved us a lot of money.
===Start your engines===
For starters we went for a platter of dipping breads to share between us. This platter gives you three long thin strips of different kinds of breads and two options to dip it in; Garlic butter or Olive oil and balsamic vinegar. The portion size was just right for the two of us to share; I ripped each piece of bread in half so we could each sample the different kinds. The garlic butter was delicious and not overpowering, the oil and vinegar was also a really nice contrast and brought the flavours of the seeds in the bread out. We recently had "dough sticks and dipping sauce" at another restaurant that I wasn't very impressed with. I get the feeling that this is what the other place was aiming for. It even looked really pretty, served on a wooden chopping board with two ramekins with the dips in them. It got a full thumbs up from the two of us.
Allan isn't generally allowed to eat fish in the house due to my oversensitive nose and aversion to fish so he tends to go for the fish any time we go out. This time was no different and he went for the Fish and Chips (£7.69). His huge fish arrived admittedly looking delicious. It was covered in perfectly cooked batter with a wedge of lemon and a decent portion of chips to accompany it. It certainly looked hand battered as the menu proclaimed. He had chosen garden peas instead of mushy peas and there was also a little ramekin of tartar sauce. Both the chips and the batter looked lovely and fluffy when they were cut open and Allan thoroughly enjoyed his dish, finishing every last bite and feeling a little stuffed for it.
===Something decidedly meatless===
Rather than going for a more expensive steak, I was (for reasons completely unknown to me) craving pasta so I went with the vegetable and chilli linguini with garlic bread and parmesan shavings (£7.59). The garlic bread was perfectly cooked. Nice and crispy at the edges with a fluffy centre that oozed with just the right amount of garlic butter when you bit into it. Delicious! The linguine was also very nice. It had a very mild chilli sauce throughout it and was topped with rocket and parmesan that really complemented the mild flavours of the pasta. The only thing I found I didn't like was the size of the chunks of aubergine that were mixed through the dish as they were a little large. If they were smaller the dish would have been perfect. As it stands though, I still really enjoyed it. I ended up having to leave a little of it uneaten as it was really filling, so I definitely got my moneys worth portion wise.
===CHEEEEEEEEEEEEEESECAKE (and a sundae)===
My weaknesses when I am in a restaurant are steak and cheesecake. Having passed up the chance for a steak, I really couldn't resist going for the raspberry cheesecake (£4.20) for desert. It comes with the option of pouring cream, ice cream or clotted cream. I opted for pouring cream. The cheesecake was beautiful. To be fair, it's really hard to eff up a cheesecake, but I have known places do it. Thankfully this place was not one of them. It was perfectly balanced between the sweetness of the cheese and the base and the slight tang of the fruit. The pouring cream just made it that touch more luxuriant. Very nice indeed and a decent size for the price!
Allan decided to go for a chocolate sundae (£3.99) and it looked delicious with all its chocolate, ice cream and sauce layers. He enjoyed the lot of it, I had to turn down the chance to taste some due to being so full but he assured me it was very tasty.
When we entered we were approached straight away and were seated as soon as the waiter checked where the free seats were on his chart. He introduced us to the waitress who would be "looking after" us and left us in her hands. She seemed very cheery and polite. Before we even looked at the menu she told us that there were a couple of dishes that were currently unavailable and apologised for it and then took our drink orders. Every single course arrived promptly with a smile and we were asked once if everything was ok during the main meal and at the end of every course she checked if we needed refills. It starts to get on my nerves if they ask every five minutes while you are eating if everything is ok so I was glad that she got it just right. Even when she brought the card machine to the table so we could pay, she told me to push the red button at the bottom first to get to the payment screen. I noticed that the screen I was navigating past was the gratuities screen so I was impressed that she hadn't done the awkward thing of telling you to enter a gratuity if you'd like. As we left, all the staff that had dealt with us that evening said goodbye with a smile and a wave. The service really was perfect all night so no moans from either of us!
I'm quite picky when it comes to toilets. Apparently I've been like that since I was a little boy. I just don't see the need for anywhere to have gross toilets, especially if they are serving food. Thankfully the toilets in this place are spotless. The only slight downside was that the lock on the only cubicle door was broken meaning you'd have to hold it shut, but the layout of the place meant it was easy to do. The rest of the toilet was clean, fresh, bright and modern with everything in working order. It's all on a level so there shouldn't be any issues for disabled customers and there are another set of toilets near the front of the restaurant so there shouldn't be any issues with the place getting too busy either. I can forgive the broken lock so no points lost here!
All together for a starter, two mains, two deserts and two refillable glasses (of which we had three each) we came in at £31. I was really impressed with the quality of the food for the price we paid for it so I'll be more than happy to go back there based on price alone!
The place is lovely with big cosy chairs and luxurious décor making it a really comfortable place to have a meal. If it's a nice day outside, the views over the Tay are stunning. The food while fairly simple was very well done, fairly priced and served by staff who know how to look after their customers. The toilets were clean and modern to boot. We had a really lovely evening and I came out of the place remembering that I've never had a bad meal in the place. I'd definitely recommend it with a full five stars from me!