Discover the delicious Scottish food and drink that’s on the menu at the Kirkstyle Inn in Dunning
This feature refers to a visit made before the travel restrictions put in place to deal with the 2020 Covid-19 outbreak in the UK and around the world. Please take into account the advice from your local government and the government of your destination before planning travel and click here to see the current UK government advice regarding Covid-19
The Kirkstyle Inn is a little pub in the country that’s full of character, and it serves up a menu that showcases a range of excellent Scottish food and drink.
Mark and I had dinner in their cosy restaurant when we were invited to stay at the Kirkstyle Inn recently.
And whether you’re looking for a light meal, hearty pub classics, or something a bit more special, you’re sure to be satisfied by the food that heir talented kitchen staff create.
Read on to find out what delicious food and drink we enjoyed during our visit to the Kirkstyle Inn.
How to get to the Kirkstyle Inn
The Kirkstyle Inn is in Dunning, a village around 10 miles south-west of the Scottish city of Perth.
It’s very easy to reach by car, and the journey takes around an hour from either Edinburgh or Glasgow.
Although the village is easy to find, the mobile signal in the area can be patchy. So it’s a good idea to download directions before you set off to be on the safe side.
You’ll easily spot the Kirkstyle Inn right in the centre of Dunning. There are a few parking spaces outside the Inn, and further parking is available a few minutes’ walk away at the local tennis courts.
About the Kirkstyle Inn
The Kirkstyle Inn is a proper village pub dating back to the 18th century.
The pub you see today was built after the village of Dunning was burned down by the Highlanders in 1716.
Its exposed stone walls, low ceilings and cosy fireplaces are just what you’d hope to see in a traditional country inn like this.
The Kirkstyle Inn also provides boutique accommodation in a separate building across the courtyard.
Mark and I stayed in one of the four elegant rooms, and I loved the incredibly comfortable bed and the gorgeous slipper bath.
The Kirkstyle Inn has a cosy restaurant with a host of quirky vintage prints and curios dotted around the walls.
In the evening, the low lit restaurant has a cosy atmosphere, but the tables aren’t too tightly packed together. It feels intimate, but you don’t feel as if you’re eavesdropping on your neighbours’ conversation!
And there’s another smaller dining room upstairs, which is decorated in elegant shades of blue and white.
You can also eat by the open fire in the snug, but tables can’t be reserved in there.
When we visited, the restaurant was fully booked out and so was the dining room upstairs. But luckily for us, Mark and I had a table reserved for dinner in the main restaurant.
So after a drink in the snug, we moved through to our table to look over the menu.
Dinner at the Kirkstyle Inn
The menu at the Kirkstyle Inn features plenty of Scottish produce, and it changes to reflect the best of the season’s offerings. There are only a few choices in each section, but I often think it’s better for a restaurant to offer a few seriously good dishes rather than a long sprawling menu.
You’ll find light meals and hearty pub classics alongside some rather fancy options. There are always daily specials as well as some Kirkstyle favourites.
For his first course, Mark decided to go for the soup of the day, which was French Onion soup.
The soup was rich and full of flavour. It was one of the best French Onion soups that I’ve tasted, and I’m craving a bowl of it as I write this review!
The soup was topped with two very cheesey croutons, and a freshly baked baguette sat on the side of the dish.
The baguette was probably too big for a starter, this portion size felt more suitable for a light lunch. But the bread was really soft and tasty, and it was tempting to finish off the whole thing. Luckily Mark remembered that he still had two courses to go…
My choice was the scallops – they’re always hard to resist, and these were hand-dived scallops from the Highlands.
They were cooked perfectly, and served with pancetta, black pudding and coriander shoots. The addition of beetroot puree was an unusual choice, but it worked beautifully!
The other starters on the menu included grilled goat’s cheese with tomato risotto, and a salad of hot smoked salmon served with a soft boiled egg and caper tartar.
Mark had decided he wanted a lighter option for his main course, and eventually chose the Shetland salmon.
The salmon was cooked beautifully, and was served with Jersey Royal potatoes and broccoli. The plate was dressed with a wild garlic hollandaise, and altogether it was a very Spring-like dish.
Mark really enjoyed his salmon, but meanwhile I was tucking into my own main course.
Scottish beef has a justifiable reputation for excellence, and this Angus rump steak was amazing. It was packed full of flavour, topped with garlic butter and cooked perfectly medium-rare.
The steak sat alongside a pile of crispy string fries, and was served with an intensely flavoured red wine jus.
This was heaven on a plate, and it went really well with the glass of Malbec that I had ordered. Mark had gone for a glass of crisp Pinot Grigio to accompany with his salmon. The carefully selected wine list includes everything from red, white and rose wines, to Bollinger champagne and sticky dessert wines. There’s even an alcohol-free wine on the list!
On the night that we visited, the main courses on the menu also included a wild mushroom tagliatelle, and Gressingham duck served with sweet potato, chicory and a light ginger infused jus. There are also Kirkstyle favourites like proper fish and chips, and smoked haddock macaroni cheese.
You could also add some side dishes to your selection. And while the triple cooked chips with sea salt, malt vinegar, rosemary and truffle oil sounded very tempting, I really couldn’t have eaten any more!
In fact, we were both so full that we decided to share a cheese board rather than sampling the dessert menu. Luckily for us, we ended up staying on at the Kirkstyle Inn for Sunday lunch the next day, so we had a second chance to try out the puddings!
Coming soon: my review of Sunday Lunch at the Kirkstyle Inn
The cheese on offer was exceptionally good. It included Blue Murder, which is a soft and creamy blue cheese made in the Highlands, and a fantastic mature cheddar.
But my favourite was the thin sliver of the wonderfully named Minger cheese. This is a soft washed rind cheese which is also made in the Highlands. It was very ripe with a satisfying oozy consistency, and a really strong flavour.
I love really ripe washed rind cheese, and this one was absolutely delicious.
We finished off our meal with a coffee, and then took a glass of Glencadam whisky through to the snug to round off the evening.
This was the Kirkstyle Inn’s ‘malt of the month’ during our visit, and it was so good that when I got back home, I ordered a bottle for Mark’s birthday!
A Meal at the Kirkstyle Inn: Our verdict
Everything that we ate was absolutely delicious and cooked perfectly. The Kirkstyle Inn menu showcases the excellent produce that you’ll find in Scotland, and they clearly have some talented staff in the kitchen.
And the service was wonderful – exactly the warm, friendly service that you’d hope for in a country inn.
Mark and I both agreed that this was one of our all-time favourite meals. So that should give you an idea of just how good the food and service was at the Kirkstyle Inn.
It was so good, that I would go out of my way to visit the Inn again on a future trip to Scotland.
Whether you’re staying at the Kirkstyle Rooms or just passing through the area, I highly recommend a meal at the Kirkstyle Inn!
The Kirkstyle Inn and Rooms
Kirkstyle Square, Dunning, Perth PH2 0RR