Published: 28/05/2013 09:00 - Updated: 28/05/2013 10:43

Mosset Tavern, Forres

Written byKatrina Ashford

Published: May 2013

Long before Martin was my husband, he used to take me to the Mosset Tavern in Forres on a regular basis. Somehow, the pleasures of leisurely lunches got lost the fog of raising a family and we forgot about what had once been our favourite place to go.

So, the other weekend, I decided it was time for a trip down memory lane and we headed through to Forres, just the two of us.

Situated beside the Mosset burn and pond, the tavern is nicely located near the centre of Forres. There are tables outside for sunny days – when they arrive.

The entrance to the tavern is bright and welcoming and inside, it's nicely decorated with groups of tables and comfy seating. Of course, we hadn't booked and we were told by the very pleasant waitress that we were welcome to wait in the public bar if we wished until a table in the main bar/dining area became available. Or, as a number of people were doing already, we could eat in the bar, which we decided to do.

With lots of windows looking out to the pond and burn and white walls, our clean, bright surroundings were perfectly acceptable – much better than some of the public bars I've been in!

We were able to choose from two menus as the day one is available until 5.45pm. With light lunch options such as filled baguettes or baked potatoes along with more substantial dishes like "guid old mince and tatties" or char-grilled gammon steak, this menu has something for everyone.

We decided to eat from the main menu, and there were specials available too, so lots of choice.

Some dishes can be selected as a small portion, which is an excellent idea, in case you're not too hungry, or you want to make sure you've got room for pudding – something I should have learned!

I did find my much-complained about vegetarian option of goat's cheese offered in one of the starters, but that was its only mention and there were other choices to save the day.

Soup of the day was tomato (£3.65), which Martin chose and I almost did too, before opting for the seafood three ways starter (£5.95).

So seafood three ways? A lovely plateful of food came, consisting of a battered langoustine, a rolled up, filled piece of smoked salmon and some prawn cocktail, all accompanied by a small portion of salad and garnished with dill. My langoustine was gorgeous, the batter wonderfully crisp. The smoked salmon had been rolled round a piece of cream cheese, which had itself been enhanced by pieces of spring onion, offering a mix of textures as it was eaten. I found the prawns in my cocktail to be a little on the wet side, they must have been frozen ones, and they made the Marie rose sauce just a bit too runny. However, everything else was perfect, including the salad, which was very flavoursome.

Martin was delighted with his soup, which had obviously been home made, and was very tomatoey. It came with two slices of a lovely soft brown bread, which he informed me was delicious. He told me that he'd have given me a bit, but it was too good to share. Nice to see that romance hasn't died after all these years!

After we'd finished our starters, one of the waiting staff came through and asked if we'd like to move to the other room as a table had become available, but we were perfectly happy where we were so decided to stay. The busy bar is obviously very popular with the locals, which is always a good sign, and the people on the table beside us had come from Balloch, so it wasn't just us who thought the trip to Forres was worthwhile.

The Mosset offers a roast of the day (£10.25) with all the trimmings, with roast beef and Yorkshire pudding being the special the afternoon we dined. Martin's a bit of a traditionalist and loves a good roast, which he only gets on special occasions at home these days, so his choice was made as soon as he saw it on the menu.

A generous serving arrived, complete with a huge Yorkshire pudding, accompanied by a rich gravy, roast potatoes and vegetables. Hubby's only complaint was regarding the Yorkshire pudding; it was over-fired and a bit chewy, probably through having been pre-cooked and reheated. That aside, he was a happy, and very full, man.

I'd decided to be good and chosen the balsamic vegetable bake (£6.25) with feta cheese and Parmesan potatoes. Served in an individual pot, the peppers, aubergines and other veg were cooked in a rich tomato-based sauce. The sweet balsamic vegetables were complemented by the saltiness of the feta cheese, with the potato topping adding a different texture while taking the edge off the salt/balsamic combination. I couldn't finish it all as it was a very generous serving, but it was very nice and good so see some imagination being put into a vegetarian dish.

Unfortunately we were both absolutely stuffed and couldn't consider a dessert. I'll be getting kicked out of the pudding eater's club, but I'm sorry, folks, there was no way I could force it down. So next time we go to the Mosset, I'll be having a small portion of something for my main, because there's no way I'm missing out on the possibility of icky sticky toffee pudding. Or maybe the triple layer chocolate fudge cake. Or how about the baked caramel apple pie? You see my dilemma!

We loved our trip down memory lane and I'll be dragging hubby back very soon!

Quality of food: 8
Menu choice: 8
Surroundings: 7
Service: 9
Value for money: 9
Total: 41/50

Summary: Good, hearty pub grub. Excellent value for money. Make sure you book a table in advance!

Mosset Tavern
Gordon Street
Forres IV36 1DL
Tel: 01309 672981

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