Chestnuts Hotel & Restaurant, Ayr.

Last night we visited the Chestnuts Hotel and Restaurant for our dinner. Once again we found it via Happy Cow.

My Dad (who is an omni) enjoyed a wonderful meal. He said it was very tasty and well cooked.

Us on the other hand…well, we were left quite disappointed.

The good….

It has a vegan menu. A totally separate vegan menu, printed on green paper to really drive it home! 😁

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I always think it’s fabulous when a place makes the effort to actually produce a vegan menu. However, this menu was very unimaginative.

We opted for the mushroom starter.

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The mushroom were not really cooked well – they were super chewy. The sauce tasted quite sweet, but overall felt like the chef had just poured some passata over semi raw mushrooms….and stuck a SINGLE slice of super thin (had there been a pattern on the plate you’d have seen it through the breed) wholemeal bread. Not a lot of effort or quantity for the price.

I had originally planned on having the vegetable fajitas for my main, but on enquiry I found out that they were literally just serving fried peppers and onions with a tortilla and salsa. I asked if we could have avocado or salad, but was told no….the regular fajitas comes with cheese (fajitas with cheese?), salsa  and sour cream, so naturally the vegan one can only come with salsa!

That logic makes no sense to me. If you’re making a vegan meal you have to substitute and make the meal entire. You can’t just miss things off the plate. The chef has missed a trick with that….avocado would be an easy ingredient to add, without a huge expense and it actually goes with the dish!!!

Anyway, I decided to go for the tempura. Sadly….I was left disappointed. I got big chunks of raw pepper, onion (literally a whole red onion chopped into 4), two slices of baby sweetcorn and one chopped up spring onion coated in a VERY thin layer of batter…and served with some chips and sweet chilli sauce. I ate it, because I’d been out all day and was staving. But to say it was bland and boring was an understatement. Again, for the price point I don’t feel it was good value for money.

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On a plus point. The wee mixed salad was phenomenal!!!

The atmosphere was nice and the drinks were lovely. Cannot complain about that.

Like I say, the omni dishes and Bette’s vegetarian dishes were good. But…the vegan menu needs some work!

Overall…for my experience, as a vegan eating off their vegan menu, I’d give this place 4 out of 10.

Brilliant gesture….but poorly executed. There are some easy changes that could be made to the menu to improve it. But, as it stands…it’s overpriced and under whelming.

Thanks for the effort though!

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