The thing about doing reviews is that if you’re constantly positive or negative, and what you write starts to become ‘one-note’, then they lose their meaning.
If every restaurant review I did gushed about how amazing it was, then how would you be able to tell if a one restaurant is really better than the other?
So I’m glad to have found a local eatery that I can justifiably take issue with.
In this case it’s Braes on the Perth Rd in Dundee.
Braes Review: The Restaurant
Well, it’s not really a restaurant, it’s more of a pub that sells food, but suspiciously sticky floor aside, Braes is a pretty nice establishment. The chairs we sat on were very comfortable, the decor was nice enough and
the view of the Perth Rd and the old University buildings was pleasant.
My only complaint is that the people of ‘We Want Plates’ wouldn’t have been happy with the strange pots and pans the food, cutlery and condiments were served in.
Braes Review: The Drink
We both went for a pint of lemonade each and that’s what we got. It was chilled, a nice flavour and accompanied the meal fine. And hey, if you’re thinking “All lemonade tastes the same” then I’ll simply counter that all wine tastes the same to me too. Same with beer. So there.
Braes Review: The Food
Now here’s the thing…
Braes has an excellent menu; it’s filled with the sort of food that I adore. From the various sharing platters to the multitude of burgers (including a Mac & Cheese topped burger which sounds amazing), chicken dishes and bbq style treats, this is heaven for diner who loves what the Americans would call ‘comfort food’.
I chose to go with the fried Crawfish brioche roll as it’s not the sort of thing that you usually find on menus in Dundee, plus I didn’t want anything too heavy.
Mhairi went for the flat mushroom wrap, which was described as containing mozzarella, chedder and a rich marinara sauce.
We both ordered sweet potato fries with our dishes and we also shared some Mac & Cheese Bites as a side.
The food certainly sounded like it would be great, but the reality was that it was merely ok.
My roll flattered to deceive. The crawfish was nice but there was so little of it. From a top down view it looked good but as you can see, the crawfish only lined the very top of a rather dry brioche stuffed with salad. It’s the food equivalent of getting a pint of lemonade from the bar and it being filled up with so much ice that there’s barely a half a pint of fluid in the glass.
Meanwhile, Mhairi’s wrap – although well cooked – had no mozzarella in it and the marinara sauce was laced with chilli heat. Had she known it would be a spicy sauce, she wouldn’t have ordered it. To me, a ‘rich marinara sauce’ is a tomato based sauce with garlic, onions and herbs as standard. If it’s going to be spicy, specify that.
The Mac & Cheese Bites were tasty enough, but to be honest also had a bitter aftertaste of the oil used to fry them.
But on the plus side, the sweet potato fries were quality.
Braes Review: The Vegetarian Viewpoint
As stated above, Braes has an excellent menu, and it would be fair to say that vegetarians get a huge choice of dishes, with no less than 19 items to choose from.
Braes Review: The Price
All in, for two main courses with sweet potato fries, two pints of lemonade and some Mac & Cheese bites, we were just over £20. Not bad, but not exceptionally great either.
Braes Review: Final Thoughts
Compared to both Sol y Sombra and Cafe Montmartre, Braes falls short in the quality department, but then I suppose it’s horses for courses. It is first and foremost a pub.
Although I was underwhelmed with what we were served today, the amount of food on the menu that we like means we will go again, but I’d certainly hope for a better experience.