Swift, friendly and above all tasty, the Corn Exchange in Arbroath makes for an ideal venue for a quick catch up over your lunch hour.
There are some who might joke that we at the Herald are more familiar with the Market Place pub’s drinks list than their food menu but we beg to differ.
We have a list of favourites as long as our arm, but we were persuaded by the lovely manager Carly to try something new.
Our first choice was a plate of the spicy coated king prawns with a sweet chilli dip. With a light and crispy batter and succulent flesh the plate emptied rapidly!
They have very recently started serving Arbroath smokies with a side of crunchy chips and either garden or mushy peas, and having recently missed out on a smokie tasting opportunity we jumped at the chance.
The white flesh was tender and parted easily from the instantly recognisable browned skin. The flavour was mouth-wateringly rich but not overpowering and although we may incur the wrath of purists, went very nicely with the accompanying fresh tartare.
My companion opted for the original gourmet chicken burger which came with bacon, cheese and pepper sauce, along with crisp onion rings and chips.
Each element of the towering monstrosity was perfectly balanced; the chicken was juicy, the bacon was full of flavour, the spicy sauce sparked the taste buds but did not overwhelm them and the seeded bun, an often overlooked aspect, was absolutely spot on.
In a nod to nutrition we rounded the meal off with a bowl of tropical fresh fruit and organic Greek style yoghurt with honey.
In all honesty, when we ordered it we expected to have a few polite spoonfuls to satisfy the taste buds, but the apple, banana, pineapple and melon were so fresh and the yoghurt so moreish that we polished off the whole bowl.
The extensive menu covers a range of cuisines at reasonable and often heavily discounted prices and is large enough that it would take a fair few visits to work through.
Together with the excellent service and the lively atmosphere The Corn Exchange makes for the best kind of safe bet when it comes to choosing somewhere to eat.