The Lowland at Lynnhurst in Johnstone dinner review
Suzanne Oswald heads to The Lowland, the newly revamped restaurant within the Lynnhurst Hotel in Johnstone and leaves with plenty to write home about.
After a year of setbacks for the hospitality industry, it’s encouraging to see well-laid plans finally come to fruition and that’s exactly the case for Lynnhurst Hotel in Johnstone.
After months of planning and significant investment, the luxury hotel and wedding venue recently launched their new restaurant, dubbed ‘The Lowland’, with an enticing new menu to boot, and we were delighted to be invited along to test it out.
Situated in the heart of Johnstone, barely a ten-minute drive from Paisley town centre, the stately manor is set within beautiful landscaped gardens – pleasing to the eye and perfectly Instagrammable in the right weather.
Unfortunately, the stunning outdoor terrace was not an option on this dreich October night.
On our first visit to the hotel, we’re given a friendly welcome before being guided to our seats. The restaurant itself has undergone an impressive refurbishment and is instantly warm and relaxing.
With plush leather booths, tartan carpets and dimmed lighting, The Lowland is cosy yet stylish.
According to a recent statement, their aim is to focus on ‘quality, choice and amazing value’, and from a first glance at the à la carte menu, it seems they’re ticking all the boxes.
There’s a plethora of tempting options – for both starter and main course – encompassing Scottish classics, Mediterranean gourmet flourishes, light bites, salads and more.
To start, I opt for the Arran Whisky Cheddar Tart while my partner Gianluca delves into the Rosemary Roast Vegetable Bruschetta – a nice twist on the Italian classic.
Beautifully presented with curly fresh leaves of salad, the tart is crisp and moreish; a hot layer of sharp melted cheese hides a bed of sweet caramelised onions – a combination I’ll never tire of.
Gianluca’s bruschetta goes down just as well with generous helpings of roasted, juicy vegetables drizzled in a sweet balsamic glaze on top of a lightly toasted slice of ciabatta.
When it comes to the main course, the decision-making gets tougher. There’s a couple of recommended dishes highlighted – the four-cheese macaroni and the chargrilled cajun chicken are stand-outs – while there’s also plenty to choose from the grill.
On this occasion, I can’t see past the battered haddock, a popular choice judging by the many plates flying out across the room.
The double chocolate brownie is warm, gooey and wonderfully light, which as dessert lovers will understand, is a magic combination
A generous portion, it’s exactly how I imagined – the tender, flaky fish is coated in a thin, crisp batter while the triple-cooked chips, salty and fluffy, are up there with some of the best I’ve had in a while.
Of course, there was still a lingering thought in the back of my mind about that mac and cheese, so at the risk of being totally gluttonous, we ordered a small portion as a side and what a decision that was. This was decadent stuff, a warming, hearty plate of cheesy goodness.
If you go for the main course, there’s options to add toppings like chicken, chilli and vegetarian haggis, but we’ll maybe save that for next time.
As a resident vegetarian, Gianluca has a couple of options available to him, but the vegan burger comes out on top in the end, packed with fresh salad, cheese, spicy mayo and a thick patty courtesy of Beyond Meat.
If its rapid disappearance from the plate is anything to go by, it’s another triumph.
Full but not yet defeated, we are tempted by the waiting staff to dive into round three. The double chocolate brownie is highly recommended and it’s easy to see why – it’s warm, gooey and wonderfully light, which as dessert lovers will understand, is a magic combination.
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There’s more to The Lynnhurst than its opulent hotel suites, beautiful gardens or wedding parties and our evening in The Lowland is testament to that.
Offering familiar yet refined plates in stylish surroundings and at affordable prices, it’s a great location suited for dining at any time of day.
The Lowland at Lynnhurst, Park Road, Johnstone, PA5 8LS, 01505 324331, visit their website here.