I love visiting Bridge of Allan, this small town has something magical that makes me feel very homely. Especially in the summer when I like sitting outside small cafes and shop in local boutiques. Unfortunately, this time I did not get to enjoy the atmosphere of Bridge of Allan as cold and drizzly weather forced us to run from the car park straight to the restaurant. Although there is nothing more welcoming than when you walk into the place and there is smooth calming music playing and a positive energetic face welcomes you with a big smile.
The Fifty Five Bar & Grill is located in the heart of Bridge of Allan at the iconic Royal Hotel, which has been recently transformed with a massive multi million pound investment. The reinvigorated hotel continues to reflect the essence of the original Victorian building with added alluring modern twists and glamour.
The Fifty Five Bar & Grill plays the centre stage and dominates the ground floor offering customers a relaxing informal atmosphere in the bar area and a sophisticated dining space.
With massive picture windows onto the bustling streetscape of the town, the ambience evolves throughout the day, as the sun comes down, The Fifty Five transforms into a vibrant and lively place. Every Friday & Saturday the house DJ creates a fantastic entertainment experience and on sunnier days the expansive outdoor terrace is the perfect place to dine al fresco.
You can tell they really like gin at The Fifty Five. The bar features over 50 different varieties, but they offer also an extensive list of wine & Champagnes as well as an eclectic array of both innovative cocktails and refined interpretations of the classics. We could not resist and try a couple of their signature cocktails.
The Royal Hotel is an unrivalled venue for meetings, conferences and private hire. Weddings or conferences can be held in the fabulous and elegant ballroom or for the smaller more intimate events you can use one of two suites, where the elegant period features and generous proportions have been married with striking bespoke chandeliers, designer fabrics & floor coverings and specially commissioned artwork. All these complemented with a fantastic service and sublime dining options.
From the moment you walk in, the striking modern bespoke chandeliers draw your attention and soft tones combined with naturally inspired materials give you a feel of thoughtful luxury. High-end modern style has been effortlessly blended with the Victorian style of the building to marry the past with the future.
The Fifty Five Bar & Grill menu combines inventive techniques and the best quality ingredients with classic favourites. Whether you are looking for a lazy lunch, or an enchanting dinner you’ll be spoilt for choice with seasonal handcrafted dishes, using fresh, locally sourced ingredients that are perfectly presented.
One thing that really stands out at the Royal is the service. The staff is absolutely fantastic and you can easily develop a personal connection with them.
We started our meal with Chef’s Royal Favourites (For 2)
Halloumi Fries, Chipotle Chicken, Salt & pepper squid, mixed breads and dips
When a big wooden board landed on our table I finally realised why this dish is called ‘Chef’s Royal Favourites’ All the tastiest appetisers on the menu combined in one dish to share. Sharing is caring as they say and we often share our dishes to taste more flavours.
The bread had really nice smokey flavours that you can either dip in the paprika flavoured humus or the balsamic bottomed olive oil. The salt and pepper squid had delicate sweet chilli flavours and a crispy batter. Chipotle chicken was succulent and tender with lovely crunchy batter on the outside and the crispy coated halloumi fries were to die for!
After a great start, we were ready for the main course. I opted for Pan-seared venison steak with root vegetable rosti, cumin roast vegetable and Damson gin jus. Andy’s choice was the Chicken Bacon Brie with grilled sweet potato, autumn roots red currant & black pepper sauce.
Pan seared venison steak with root vegetable rosti, cumin roast vegetable and damson gin jus
Venison steak was honestly one of the best dishes I’ve tried recently. There was nothing not to like about this dish. Beautifully cooked tender venison paired with seasonal roasted vegetables was an absolute joy to eat. A fantastic combination of intense flavours that were tantalising my taste buds. I particularly liked damson gin jus which added distinctive contrast to the dish.
Chicken Bacon Brie with grilled sweet potato, autumn roots red currant & black pepper sauce
Side dish: Chargrilled Sweet Potato
When it comes to desserts, cheesecake is my ultimate favourite so I opted for White Chocolate & Orange Cheesecake Marmalade Ice Cream with Whisky Orange Gel
White Chocolate & Orange Cheesecake Marmalade Ice Cream with Whisky Orange Gel
The cheesecake had a Lovely light crunchy base and light creamy texture which was just melting in my mouth and I loved the little whisky jelly cubes that were added to the cheesecake.
The dish also had splashes of passionfruit puree and orange & whisky puree which added to the overall flavour and finally decorated with fresh raspberries to add sharpness.
Sticky Toffee Pudding – Caramelised Banana, Salted Toffee Sauce Vanilla Ice Cream
This delicious dessert is possibly one of the best sticky toffee puddings i’ve eaten. The sponge was very light and mixing it with the banana, toffee and ice cream on one spoonful really satisfied the taste buds.
Whether you are looking for meeting space, chill out spot, intimate dining or somewhere to go for a drink with your friends, The Fifty Five Bar & Grill is the ultimate choice in this lovely town. Featuring designer chic & glamour throughout the hotel, The Royal brings a new energy to Bridge of Allan and sets a new benchmark of modernity for a stylish clientele. The food lives up to the highest of standards and the young, energetic head chef Colin is definitely one to watch as his passion and eagerness to learn impressed us immensely.
The Royal Hotel
55 Henderson St,
Bridge of Allan,
Stirlingshire FK9 4HG
T: 01786 832 284