During our recent trip to Aviemore, P and I had been hoping to visit a long-time favourite, The Old Bridge Inn, for dinner. Sadly, by the time we got around to trying to book a table they were already full. After a minor moment of panic, we decided that we could probably fit in a Sunday lunch the following day and booked it right away.
I am so, so, so glad that we did. Their lunch menu is small but neat and there’s plenty on there to please anyone – from simple meals like homemade soup, to burgers and fish and chips. However, I had my heart set firmly on a proper Sunday roast, so for me, there really was only one item of any interest on that menu: Roast sirloin of beef cooked sous vide, new potatoes, Yorkshire pudding and red wine gravy. Um, yes, please?
I’ve never had beef cooked sous vide before, but, thanks to a nerdy foodie friend I’ve heard all about it. This friend built himself a sous vide set up using old, broken kitchen equipment (I seem to recall it involved parts salvaged from both a slow cooker and a bread maker) and made sous vide steak one of his last meat-based meals before becoming vegetarian. Honestly, I’m still slightly bitter he didn’t invite me over.
Basically, though, it’s all about cooking the meat low and slow. This way you can achieve the silken tenderness of slow cooked meat, whilst still maintaining the flavour of slightly pink steak. I was 100% up for trying it at The Bridge, where the food is always good. What I hadn’t bargained on were the enormous portion sizes.
We were each served three huge slices of beef, a massive Yorkshire pudding and a good helping of roasted new potatoes, carrots and tenderstem broccoli – not to mention the red wine gravy. Ah, that gravy. As a Yorkshire lass, the gravy and the Yorkshire pudding would have been enough by themselves to keep me happy. Then again, I wasn’t about to give up the rest. The steak was as tender and flavourful as this particular cooking technique promises and I can’t help wondering what that old friend of mine did with his sous vide set up…
Anyway, somehow after all of that I thought I might just about have space for dessert. I’d noticed the menu offered a dolce de leche cake and I was awfully curious about it. It came served with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream and the cake itself was rich and sweet. It was quite similar to a light version of sticky toffee pudding and wasn’t too heavy to follow the main.
As usual, The Old Bridge Inn lived up to my expectations. It’s still by far my favourite place to eat in Aviemore. Next time we’ll be more careful and we’ll book in advance for dinner, but it’s good to know that the Sunday lunch also presents such an excellent option.