“ Address: 16 Fraser Street / Inverness / IV1 1DW / Scotland „
When I was making plans to meet up with my father in Inverness recently, I asked a colleague where she recommended we go for dinner. This colleague has been to Inverness frequently and her top recommendation was that we go to the Mustard Seed. We decided to give it a try.
We went on a Friday night and luckily had made reservations as the place was quite crowded and I'm not at all sure we could have gotten a table otherwise. We were shown through the main dining room which had a lovely open fire into a little side annexe with just a couple of other tables in it. This was ideal for us as we were able to sit and talk quietly.
The restaurant is nicely decorated with stonework and original building features - apparently it is housed in what used to be a church. The walls are painted an uplifting pale yellow and there are lovely pictures and decorations all over the place - it was a very nice and relaxed but modern atmosphere.
When we got our menus I was a little disappointed that there was only one starter and one main course available for vegetarians. Luckily both options were for things I quite liked - a nice salad with parmesan cheese to start and stuffed portobello mushrooms for the main. Both were very tasty indeed but a bit pricey at over £9.50 for the stuffed mushrooms. My father had venison and it was served in a huge portion on a mountain of mashed potatoes. He couldn't finish everything but he told me it was all very good. His main was £15.95 I noticed on the menu.
Service was friendly but a bit rushed and we felt pressured to eat quickly and go because it was clear there were other people waiting for a table and the wait staff was subtly hinting that we shouldn't hang about. Neither of us wanted dessert as we were absolutely stuffed but instead of a leisurely coffee and a chat we decided to pay up and go so that others could sit down and enjoy a meal.
I didn't see the final bill because my father covered it (yay!) but including wine I'm guessing it was around £65. That's a lot of money and the food was well worth it - we just would have liked to have felt less rushed. Probably it's best to go here during the week when it's likely to be less crowded and you'll have more time to enjoy. Still, I would definitely happily go back if I get invited again!
The Mustard Seed is located on Bank Street which is right next to the River Ness. It has always been given raving reviews by people who used to visit Inverness but I never thought of giving it a try. You do have to book well in advance to get a table in here.
For my brothers birthday his fiancee decided she was gong to book this restaurant as she had been before and none of us had ever been. The table was booked for four of us for 7pm on a Saturday night but she did book this a week in advance.
Once we arrived I noticed it was quite small inside and the table were quite close together. We were taken to our table by a waiter and we were sat on the ground floor but there is an upstairs and also seats on a balcony as well.
The waiter will take your coats and hang them up right next to the table. (so not far to grab them from if you've left something in your pockets). I also noticed there was a coal fire in the centre of the ground floor which made the restaurant nice and warm. It kind of reminded me of a converted church with the high ceilings and the thick stone walls.
The menu - I was really worried about their menu as I had seen a quick sample of it before we had headed out and I couldn't see anything that I thought i'd like. Once arriving at the restaurant it did take me a while to choose what I would eat but I am slightly fussy, but you are give a basket of bread and butter to keep you going until your meal and they top it up every time they pass your table. The bread was so fresh that we couldn't stop eating it!!
For my meal I chose;
Starter - Pork Fillet with half a baked peach and a honey sauce. This was absolutely beautiful. It was cold pork fillet with the baked peach underneath and just a little sauce drizzled over the top. It was a perfect sized portion and the pork was cooked perfectly. I don't usually like baked fruit but it worked so well with the pork and I have to admit I finished every bit on my plate.
The others had a seafood chowder and the soup of the day which was vegetable soup. They all really enjoyed their starters just as much as I did. The soup looked fantastic and homemade and I first thought I had made the wrong choice with my starter (until I tried my starter!) The seafood chowder was obviously full of seafood but it looked so fresh and smelt great.
The Main Course - Breast of Chicken marinated in lemon and cajun spices. It came with vegetables and potatoes. Again this course was cooked to perfection, it had a lovely taste but the flavours weren't too strong. We did opt to have a side plate of chips so I didn't eat much of the potatoes but it was definately one of the best dishes I've ever eaten.
The others had salmon and the two men had rump steak. Again they said the meal was irresistable and they ate everything on the plate. I'm not a fan of salmon or Steak but I would say the presentation of the meals on the plates was great.
The only thing I found with the meals was they were quite small and I didn't feel full after eating any of it. We then decided to have a dessert.
I had blueberry and white chocolate cheescake - I can honestly say I have never tried a cheesecake like it in my life. The base of the cheesecake melted in my mouth and the taste of the white chocolate with full blueberrys was mouth wateringly good. It was the best part of the whole meal and I would re-visit the restaurant just to have that again.
The men had apple crumble with ice cream. It looked great and just like a homemade crumble. And they really enjoyed the dessert saying it tasted absolutely perfect and they managed to eat the whole dish.
The prices actually reflect the quality of each courses. Unfortunately I'm not sure what the exact prices of each were but on average the prices are;
Starter - £5.25
Main Course - £12.95
Pudding - £4.50
The meal for four of us including a bottle of rose wine was £120 which for 3 courses for four people I thought it was worth it but it's not the amount I would usually spend.
One thing that was disappointing was on the menu it states that the minimum spend per person is £9.95. I don't know if it's just me but I did find this quite cheeky.
The staff - I found all the staff seemed very friendly but also extremely proffesional. The certainly know their job really well and it shows on how well the restaurant is run. There was one member of staff that was quite off-putting for one reason - we all found her quite pushy.
When my brothers partner decided she didn't want a dessert the waitress asked why she wasn't something. Then commented that she looked like the odd one out at the table as everyone else was eating a dessert. I think she was joking but it did upset my brothers partner a bit.
There is a vegetarian option but not a lot of options to choose from.
I wouldn't say that this is a good restaurant for wheelchair access, i'd say the doorway is quite narrow. Also the tables are very snuggly fitted that it would be pretty uncomfortable for someone sitting in a wheelchair. I unfortunately didn't notice if there was a wheelchair access toilet downstairs but for the main toilets you had to go upstairs.
Overall I would definately visit the restaurant again on a special occasion and I can see why it is so popular. The food is amazing and everything is fresh. I would recommend it to anyone visiting Inverness. Next time I would like to sit out on the balcony I think it would be great to have a view over the river.
For more information or the current menu go to;
The menu does change weekly so if you want to have a look to make sure there's something you like I'd advise you to visit the website.