Bruce’s menu a real victory

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Anyone in Scotland of school age onwards knows what Bannockburn is remembered for, but, for me, it will be cheesecake now.

The town isn’t one I’m intimately knowledgeable about, except for the famous battle in 1314 led by and won, of course, by Robert the Bruce and his brothers.

I had only visited Bannockburn a couple of times previous to last week, or passed through it on my way somewhere else.

However, I can see myself taking a trip back to get more white chocolate cheesecake from Bruce’s Bistro in the King Robert Hotel.

There’s absolutely no evidence that cheesecake was around in the 14th century, but if it was (very unlikely) and was as good as Bruce’s Bistro’s, then it would have made a fitting dessert for the Scottish victors at the celebration party after the battle.

I love cheesecake for a sweet and order it in every restaurant I visit that has it on the menu, but the Bruce’s was a real bonus.

It’s presented superbly on top of a mixture of strawberry and passion fruit coulis, and the striking white contrasts perfectly with the rich colours underneath.

It certainly wasn’t a battle finishing it, and I could have eaten another portion easily, even after two courses.

My starter of black pudding salad in a lovely vinaigrette with a poached egg is also something I have no problem in recommending.

The black pudding was cooked perfectly and was soft and tasty, complemented nicely by the poached egg, which wasn’t too runny or hard, and the palatable sauce which really brought the dish together.

For a main, I chose the roast beef with roast potatoes, vegetables and a giant Yorkshire pudding.

The beef was tender in a nice gravy and the vegetables were done as they should be – not too soft and not too hard. Simple stuff.

My daughter Louisa is a fussy eater though, like most seven-year-olds I believe, but she gave all three of her courses a good try, making me very happy. The fact she didn’t turn her nose up at any of them speaks volumes.

Despite having one of the better kids’ menus I’ve seen, she chose the soup of the day, Scotch broth, followed by homemade lasagne and a trio of ice cream.

She’s trying to get into the spirit of reviewing food with me now and, as you’d expect from a kid, was brutally honest in her findings.

She loved the soup and bread, but didn’t like the lasagne too much, because it contained peppers. I thought they added to the flavour of the dish and liked it, but this was her dinner and she was giving the opinion on it – “Okay?”, she said with a determined look.

I can’t imagine Bannockburn will build a visitor centre for cheesecake on the strength of this review, so I’ll just have to pay homage to it with another visit to Bruce’s, which I’m perfectly happy to do.