We've been meaning to visit the Luss Smokehouse since it opened this summer but as ever we've never quite managed it until today, and still didn't manage it since the Smokehouse was shut up tight (failed to check the opening hours online so entirely our own fault!). We decided to cross the road to the Luss Seafood Bar instead, which we then discovered is closed for a refurb. There is a good reason for the refurb though which is to be able to serve hot food, exciting news so we will be back when it's up and running again. Undaunted, we headed for the Loch Lomond Arms Hotel for lunch.
We've been coming to the Loch Lomond Arms since it reopened in 2012 and it's been mostly hit but on occasions miss. Back in 2012, the food was stunning with a great (and excellent value) children's menu and it became the place to visit a couple of Sundays a month whilst the other halves were deployed. It never failed to be the highlight of the weekend with superb food and staff. At the back end of 2013 something changed and it wasn't the same so we stopped coming and the couple of times since then it's not been quite right, the food just wasn't as good as it had been. It was nothing worth complaining about but not worth the drive from Helensburgh.
Today was a sandwich day. I had a Ham, Pickle and Egg sandwich and J a Luss Smokehouse Smoked Salmon sandwich. When I say "I had", I mean I thoroughly enjoyed. It was a cracking (pun fully intended) sandwich with masses of melt in the mouth ham and soft, brilliantly coloured egg bound together with punchy, crunchy piccalilli on flavoursome Mhor bread. Accompanying the sandwich were two pots, one of potato salad and one of crisps. The crisps were fine; plain ready salted own brand crisps but I felt the sandwich deserved more. It was crying out for warm, homemade game chips sprinkled with sea salt - nothing else required. J was under whelmed and disappointed on the amount of filling front. If you're going to serve a sandwich that showcases a local product such as Luss Smokehouse smoked salmon then load the sandwich up, show it off. There was one, lonely slice of smoked salmon that didn't even reach the edge of the bread, which for £9 is pretty miserly. That said, the salmon was delicious on delicately flavoured dill cream cheese and cucumber slices - perhaps the plan was to leave us wanting more.
In summary, we’ll be back with the child. The full menu is interesting and varied and having got one sandwich spot on (we’ll gloss over the other sandwich’s short comings); it’s a safe bet that the rest of the food will be as good if not better.
A random pomegranate in the veg box prompted this dish along with the urge to beat the crap out of an inanimate object (been that sort of day).
2 tablespoons of Harrisa paste rubbed into 2 lamb gigot and set aside
Cooked and cooled seasoned Couscous for 2
2 large bunches of flat leaved parsley finely chopped
Handful of mint finely chopped
3 tomatoes roughly chopped
Seeds of 1/2 pomegranate
Juice of 1 lemon
Equal amount of olive oil to lemon juice
Cook the lamb on a very hot grill till just cooked, about 3-4 minutes to each side, depending upon how well you like your lamb done and rest.
Whilst the lamb is cooking add all the other ingredients to a bowl and mix thoroughly.
Taste, you might need more oil and salt.
Loved this supper, so quick to make and absolutely delicious, minimal washing up too which is always a bonus!
Tip - easiest way to get fiddly pomegranate seeds out is to cut the pomegranate in half, hold over the bowl cut side down and hit hard with a wooden spoon.