Sometimes you just go out for a meal but, very occasionally, you go out with the expectation of an eating experience. Tonight we are having dinner at the Mission Bell, near St Margaret’s Hope on the Orkney island of South Ronaldsay. You have to book in advance, you have to agree the menu in advance… because this is no ordinary restaurant. It is a salt-free, slow food kitchen which embraces a number of Orcadian & international cuisines including Japanese Washoku.
Owners Patrick & Keiko make us very welcome. The Missing Bell is unlicensed – so we have brought a half decent bottle of Chablis with us. Our first course is Tataki, lightly seared pieces of fresh tuna dressed with garlic flakes, spring onions, samphire and a ponzu sauce. Served with leeks and miso. The whole dish is beautifully presented, the tuna is cooked perfectly….it is a stunning start!
Our second course is Teriyaki Beef. Medium rare slices of Aberdeen Angus beef fillet served on a bed of courgette ribbons with rice, shiitake mushrooms, asparagus, orange and a teriyaki sauce. Again the dish is presented like a piece of art – the beef is tender and it tastes sensational.
Patrick & Keiko are great hosts throughout the evening and Patrick will tell you everything you want to know about their cooking philosophy. When dessert arrives it is a green tea mousse sitting on a black sesame seed sponge, chocolate cake, fresh strawberries, pomegranate and mint. A delightful end to a truly fabulous meal.