When we spent the weekend in Skye recently top of our list was checking out some first class seafood. There’s no shortage of places to choose from, especially in Portree. While we were waiting for our sea eagle boat trip (if you’re ever in Portree go on this trip!) we eyed up the restaurants around the harbour and decided to check out a small one with a nice specials board outside advertising locally caught shellfish called Sea Breezes.
Once we got back from our awesome boat trip (seriously, go on that trip if you’re anywhere near Skye) we checked out the restaurant on Tripadvisor which suggested that we should book beforehand. Seeing as it was a Saturday night we followed the advice and gave them a quick call a couple of hours before we wandered down to the harbour again.
Once we arrived and seated we felt pretty lucky that we thought to check online and book a table as all evening there was a never-ending procession of people being turned away at the door without a table reserved. We felt even luckier once we read the menu and heard the specials.
The menu was rammed full of local seafood landed on the pier a few steps outside the front door of the restaurant. For the starters Angela went for the Manhattan chowder from the specials while I decided now was as good a time as any to finally try oysters. The chowder was brilliantly done. Smoky fish and sweet shellfish cooked in a wonderful tomato broth. My oysters arrived with a large chunk of lemon beside the shells and a lack of tabasco. I briefly thought about tackling them in the usual way by chucking the whole thing down my throat in one go but then I decided that discretion was the better part of valour and opted to just pick them out with a fork. Unadventurous possibly, but it was my first time.
Anyway I squeezed the lemon over the half shells and gently plucked the first juicy oyster from its home. Despite all the horror stories I’ve heard about oysters the sensation wasn’t unpleasant, slimy or in any way horrible. On the contrary the plump little crustacean was sweet, moist and had a very clean, pure flavour which was greatly enhanced by the mix of salty brine and lemon juice that it was floating in. You can consider me an oyster convert.
Next up was a massive plate of langoustines for my fiance and a couple of sea bass fillets on crushed new potatoes with olives and dried tomatoes. The langoustines were huge and perfectly cooked. Juicy, sweet and completely delicious dunked in the vat of garlic butter in the middle of the plate. Meanwhile my sea bass was also on the right side of delicious. The crushed tatties with olives and tomatoes added some much-needed depth to the plate while the simply pan-fried sea bass with a wee drizzle of balsamic on top was perfectly cooked with golden crispy skin.
At this point Angela decided to quit while she was ahead but I wanted to see if they could keep up the standards through dessert. The menu listed a sticky date pudding with butterscotch sauce which frankly sounded pretty awesome so I had to give it a go. Unfortunately for you, dear readers, when it arrived it looked and tasted so good that we finished it before I remembered to take a picture. I’m not sure why that always happens with puddings!
Frankly I can’t really say enough good things about this wee restaurant on the harbour. It’s everything I want in a harbour-side seafood restaurant. Excellent local produce, cooked brilliantly, not too expensive and friendly staff who know the dishes (our waitress met my questions with well-practiced answers and lots of enthusiasm – especially for the pudding). It’s no wonder the place is rammed full of customers and riding high on the review web sites.