Ubiquitous Chip is in equal measure a restaurant and a pub. You can order an elaborate meal or simply enjoy a drink on the sunny roof terrace.
This old cottage has been a restaurant since 1971, but more recently the place has become a pub as well, opening up a corner of the building to punters eager to have just a beer rather than a sit-down meal. The building is a bit of a maze, with bars sprouting up here and there. The restaurant and the newest part of the pub is on the first floor and there’s a smaller boozer on the ground floor.
The two bar areas have far more charisma than the restaurant and they are responsible for keeping things busy during the day. The ground floor pub, The Wee, looks old, with bricks painted white and a slanted ceiling. It has been recently restored to its old glories and has room for just 28 people.
The bar on the first floor is entirely new. Well, this is a relatively new concept as the tin ceiling was imported, the marble apparently comes from a mortuary and the wood is reclaimed seasonal timber. The nicest bit is the roof terrace. This small, cosy sun-trap allows you to catch some rays in complete privacy while sipping on a drink.
Ubiquitous Chip, of The Chip, is popular with those who are in their late thirties and above. This place is rather casual and refuses the glamour and attitude certain other venues in Ashton Lane promote.
The restaurant runs a different menu at lunch and dinner. You can order a set menu for £35 to £40 (two or three courses) and pick from the adventurous guinea fowl and pea sausage with beetroot and apple spaghetti, trio of duck with Cumberland sauce, free-range Perthshire pork fillet stuffed with prunes and haddies, Perthshire pigeon roasted in bacon with wild mushroom sauce, rich game sauce and pearl barley risotto and others.
Otherwise you can pick freely from the brasserie menu, which includes west coast squid and potatoes in a spicy tomato sauce, warm salad of pan-fried duck livers and strawberries with balsamic dressing, walnut dipped goat’s cheese fritter with aubergine, caviar and white wine and orange sauce, Orkney organic salmon marinated in honey, tamari and ginger with mashed potatoes and spinach sauce, and many other succulent dishes. For dinner, starters are from £3 to £6.25, mains are £7.65 to £17 and desserts are £5.
Depending on which bar you end up in, you are likely to either order wine (the first floor bar) or beer (The Wee Pub). In the first case, you can choose from a number of bottles priced at £12 to £15.70 (the restaurant stocks more bottles ranging up to £125) with glasses also available at £3 to £4 and they also sell some sparkling roses. If beer is more your thing, opt for a pint of Furstenberg, Riegeller or Addlestone. Cocktails are also available at the bar on the first floor.
The Last Word
The food is excellent and the drinks are uncomplicated. Simply decide what kind of atmosphere you want, and sit down and eat and drink till your heart’s content.