Newest Review: ... back and we decided to exit the place through the fire door next to our table, which had been in constant use all night by the waiting st... more
Traditional Country Pub
The Snow Goose (Inverness)
Member Name: suz1584
The Snow Goose (Inverness)
Advantages: Great Menu
Disadvantages: Over-Priced and bad meal
The Snow Goose is part of the chain, Vintage Inns. It has also been known as a traditional country pub. The Snow Goose is located in Inverness next to the retail park. It has been there ever since I can remember and has always been a popular place to eat.
I used to work near this restaurant and often went in here for a meal. It was always difficult to get a table. Since then they have extended a bit which has created a few more tables.
When you arrive you walk from the back of the restaurant at the Car Park round the garden to get to the entrance. In the summer it is nice to sit in the garden to have your meal, It is a really lovely garden and the only thing that is a let down is the noise from the busy road right next to restaurant.
If you decide to sit inside you walk through the main door, which to me always looked like a country house front door. If you're lucky enough to arrive when it's quiet you go to the bar which is right in front of you. You pick up a wooden spoon with a number on it and take a seat wherever you choose.
The dining tables and seats are all different, you will notice that none of them match, but for me I think it gives the place more charm. There is also a couple of open fires in the place and in the winter I always try to get a seat right next to one of them.
The menu is only changed twice a year. There's a winter menu and a summer menu. To be honest most of the dishes are the same on both menus with slight changes. There is about ten starters to choose from which includes a sharing plate so you can have a little bit of everything to share.
The mains - Again there is a lot to choose from. There is grills, salads, pub classics like gammon steak with eggs and there's also fish. I think there is something everyone will enjoy.
Dessert - There is 10 puddings. To be honest I think there's about 7 out of 10 I like and I find it hard to decide what to order. If you don't like sweet desserts there is also a chesse platter to have instead.
Once you have decided what you want to order you need to return to the bar to place your order. I never know how I feel about this, sometimes I feel it's a bit of a pain having to stand at the bar to order and wait in a queue, but other times I think it's a good idea instead of having a waiter come to your table when you still haven't decided what you want to order. You don't have to pay straight away the staff at the bar will keep a "tab open".
The meals are quite quick once you have ordered. You don't have long to wait between each course as soon as you've finished your starters the plate is taken away and about 5 minutes later your main course is taken out to you. If you need drinks you will also have to go up to the bar each time so don't expect to go in and waited on all night because you will be waiting forever, unfortunately this isn't made clear so with your first visit you can be sitting at the table for ages without realising what you have to do.
There is no music in the restaurant but it's such a nice atmosphere especially when it's busy. It does make you feel at home. The place is always very clean and the tables are never left dirty for long. (I've never been to the toilets to be able to comment on these). The staff usually seem friendly enough but the can have their bad days.
Another downfall about the restaurant is it is very dark and on a summers day you do feel like you have just walked out of the cinema as your eyes need to adjust to the bright day again.
My most recent visit was completely different to what I have just written so I would like to comment about this visit as well to give you the general and my most recent experience.
I went in here about 2 weeks ago with my partner. We had been shopping and decided to pop in about 8pm before heading home.
The first thing I noticed about the restaurant was how empty it was. There was only a few tables taken but I thought it could just be because it was a week night and it was a bit later than i'd normally go for dinner. Since then I have spoken to a few people who have been there and it's always very quiet.
We got our drinks and had a look through the menu. I will give you a bit of feedback from each meal we both chose;
Breaded Mushrooms which were described as - crisp flat mushrooms with a smoked garlic dip. When the dish arrived I was a bit shocked by the presentation of it. It came with a side salad which actually covered most of the plate with a small amount of mushrooms. I assumed the flat mushrooms were going to be big but they were really small. The other thing I didn't like was they were made in a deep fat fryer as they were dripping in fat which really put my off. The smoked garlic sauce was really nice and reminded me of hellmans garlic mayonnaise.
James (my partner) had - Grilled Chicken and Chorizo Skewers - Served with cos lettuce, smoked paprika mayonnaise and lime. Again we were quite shocked by this dish. In fact I whispered to James that I thought they must have left half in the kitchen. He received 2 skewers which were actually cocktail sticks with 2 bits of grilled chicked and one bit chorizo. There was one large leaf of lettuce which covered the plate and the mayonnaise tasted extremely spicy that it made me choke when I tasted it.
Once finished I kind of felt like we should of just gone to Burger King for a main course! lol! But we stayed and thought that maybe it would get better.
In between the two courses I was a bit uncomfortable.
The atmosphere was no longer as nice as it used to be and the staff stormed around the restaurant looking angry. At one point I heard two members of staff complaining about a customer who had not been happy with the meal and she decided to go and confront the customer before he left. Then 5 minutes later the supervisor came over to another member of staff clearing a table to let them know their shifts and they were bad mouthing another member of staff. By this point I couldn't wait to leave the restaurant but thought I would just ignore it and enjoy the rest of my meal.
The main courses - we both chose the same dish;
Hunters Chicken - Double chicken breast served with smoked cheddar and sweet cure bacon with BBQ sauce, seasoned chips and steamed seasonal greens.
My opinion - again I wasn't impressed. The presentation was actually really good but the way the waitress dropped it on the table half the chips fell onto the table. The chicken looked great but unfortunately once I cut it I noticed it was completely black underneath so I had to slice of the bottom to be able to eat it. The meal came with salad instead of vegetables as described but I actually rathered this. The chips were really good and tasted perfect with just enough seasoning which tasted slightly spicy. The BBQ sauce was also nice but there was a bit too much for me.
After the main course we decided we'd skip pudding and head home instead. The prices;
Breaded Mushrooms - £3.95
Grilled Chicken and Chorizo Skewers - £4.25
Hunters Chicken - £8.50 per dish
The website is http://www.vintageinn.co.uk/thesnowgooseinverness/ if you would like more information about the restaurant or you would like to have a look at the menus.
They do cater for vegetarians and there is a couple of things to choose from. There is also wheelchair access even though the path to the restaurant is stones and would be quite difficult to get a wheelchair along here.
Overall - I usually have a good meal here and I have always looked forward to going here. I have been put off for a while as I don't think the prices were suitable enough for the food we received, I think it was over-priced for the meal we received.
I will say that the one night I have been here and had a bad meal is not going to put me off re-visiting the restaurant and I do hope that in the future I will enjoy the meals more than I did this time round.
I do feel they are trying too hard to make the restaurant more up to date than traditional. With the small portions compared to what they were previously like and een the presentation on the over-sized plates didn't make it the traditional pub feeling it used to be and maybe this is why it's not as busy as it used to be.
Summary: They need to get back to how they were before