There’s a lot to be said for the Callendar Arms.
In the past months, I’ve heard people saying how different it looks inside, and how much better equipped it now is to make a successful transition from pub to restaurant.
But during my visit last week, I was unable to give my views on the transformation because I’d never been in before.
Certainly the look and feel inside is welcoming. It’s spacious and tastefully decorated with dark wood, a fire and stylish tartan chairs.
There’s a choice of where to dine, but wherever you sit, I doubt you’d ever feel squashed or cramped while enjoying your dinner.
And enjoy it you will, at least in my opinion.
The menu is a breath of fresh air.
Laid out in clear sections, there’s a few surprises, and, put together, it offers a refreshing choice that you can spend quite a while deliberating over.
I started with the chicken tempura with dipping sauces.
It was one of those reluctant starters really; I didn’t want to ruin my appetite before my pork and crackling, but decided to order something for “review” purposes.
The chicken was delicious. It was juicy and succulent, with light batter and two accompanying sauces.
I found it hard to keep my hands off it.
My friend had the soup, which she said was tasty, clearly homemade, and served with a warm roll.
My slow-cooked pork belly and crackling, served with creamy mash and greens, was a generous plateful and mouth-wateringly good.
I have a lot of time for pork, and the thought of it being “super slow-cooked” for 12 hours built the anticipation.
As you would expect, the meat fell apart beautifully, was tasty, tender and super satisfying.
The crispy crackling was great, and a knife with a bit more teeth would have made it easier to handle.
My companion had the Scillian pizza which was topped with chorizo picante, peppers, mozzarella and tomato sauce.
The way it was presented was impressive, making it look like a healthy option, and its smaller-than-expected size didn’t take anything away from the quality.
The desserts are really worth expanding your waistline for.
My mini chocolate fondue was a little delight, with warm dark dipping chocolate service with large pieces of fresh fruit, mini donuts, and teeny-tiny marshmallows.
The Callendar Arms, Callendar Road, Falkirk, (01324) 625027