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Restaurant review: The Royal Oak, Castle Terrace, Cullen

The Royal Oak, Cullen
The Royal Oak, Cullen

 

Location

Spectacularly set in the beautiful Aberdeenshire coastal village of Cullen, famous for its creamy fish soup Cullen Skink and a towering Victorian viaduct that frames a picture-postcard bay.

First impressions

Memorable. A we drove under one of the viaduct’s eight great arches, we spied waves back-lit by the late-afternoon sun.

Service

We arrived without a booking on a busy evening and, despite the restaurant being packed, waiting staff Rachel Donaldson and Faye Glennie found us a comfortable table for two, then served us swiftly and with smiles.

Menu

Serving light lunches and evening meals, The Royal Oak’s menu features locally caught fish and shellfish, as well as Aberdeenshire beef, and free-range pork, lamb and venison from the owners’ own holding. Vegan and vegetarian options, as well as gluten-free and dairy-free choices, are also available.

Taste

No one should come to Cullen without trying the skink and the Royal Oak is the perfect place to do it. This reviewer’s guest went for chicken fajitas, with sour cream, salsa and floury tortillas. She rated the chicken as tender and tasty, the salsa with the right kick, and the tortillas scrumptious. I chose a juicy sirloin, served with grilled tomato, homemade battered onion rings, and baby potatoes. The steak was packed with flavour and tender, while the onion rings were large and crispy. A shared sticky toffee pudding (GF available) with cream rounded off a feast.

Ambience

Traditional yet stylish, fun and friendly. The place was buzzing.

Price

Good value. With soft drinks our meal came to £57.20 – more than reasonable for the quality, portion size, and super service.

P.S. Cullen is home to the Cullen Skink World Championships. We recommend trying this fabulous fish soup while you’re in the area.