From the moment you arrive at The Unicorn Brasserie, there is just a feeling that it’s going to be an enjoyable visit.
The trip over the water is certainly worth the short journey when you discover this eye-catching building, nestling in the historic heart of Kincardine.
Dating back to the 17th century, it has been tastefully restored to make the most of the space and provide a fitting backdrop to the fabulous food.
Step inside the bar area and you are shown to comfy seating, brought the menu to peruse and invited to order a drink which gives a relaxing start to your meal.
The dinner menu isn’t large – six starters, a similar number of mains and three sharing platters.
But I always consider that a sign everything is fresh and prepared to order, rather than dishes part-cooked and ‘tinged’ in the microwave when required which many establishments are guilty of. However, I was still trying to decide what to have right up until the order was taken.
Once your food is ready to serve, the waitress comes and carries your drinks through to the table, a simple but nice touch which earns the Unicorn another tick of approval.
A starter of two kinds of salmon – smoked and poached – was elegantly presented with salad leaves, some pink grapefruit and a zingy saffron shallot dressing.
The glazed goats cheese with red onion and reduced balsamic salad also got top marks.
Although I liked the sound of the oriental sea bream with sautéed potatoes, served on a bed of greens, sizzled chilli, spring onion and soy sauce, which I was assured was a perfect dish, I decided after a fishy starter to settle for the chicken.
But this was no ordinary chicken dish – a breast stuffed with pepper and mozzarella and wrapped in pancetta was wonderfully tasty and moist. It came with roast potatoes, salad and a little pot of incredibly delicious spiced coleslaw.
Diners at a neighbouring table were relishing their steaks, which were obviously so good that they even asked the waitress for the secret of how they were cooked.
I always claim that I don’t usually eat desserts – although my family would disagree as I often ‘help’ them finish their’s – but the moment I looked at the menu my attention was caught by the Unicorn’s offering of warm banana bread. This light as a feather loaf was topped with creamy honeycomb crunch ice cream and toffee sauce, and it definitely lived up to my expectations.
Our meal was finished off with fresh ground coffee served with homemade tablet which you could either choose to have at your table or back through in the bar area.
Family run, The Unicorn is a hidden gem which, as well as the brasserie, has the upstairs red room which you can use for special occasions or to enjoy a more intimate dining experience at weekends.
The Unicorn Brasserie, 15 Excise Street, Kincardine, FK10 4LN. Call 01259 739129 or visit www.theunicorn.co.uk for more information and to book.