Sunday, December 28, 2008


Oban, Eeusk, Shellfish

The ferry from Craignure, Mull to Oban has bilinual signs--Gealic and English.

After lamenting the lack of shellfish and fresh fish meals available to tourists and locals on the west coast of Scotland, I was so, so happy to find Eeusk, in Oban, which served this extraordinary seafood meal. The ingredients were incredibly fresh, and the meat beautifully cooked--and not drowned in cream, which is so often the case with fish in the west (why, why, why do you people do this?). It was nice, too, that the wine tasted good, that the music was smart and the room stylish. While I don't actually need any of these things to enjoy a great meal, it does indicate to me that perhaps a more sophisticated palate is arriving in Scotland.

Ten years ago, when I was first in Oban, we couldn't find a meal quite like this. About six years ago, we went to the original Eeusk, which had just opened, and was much smaller and seemed a far more daring venture. I'm so pleased that it is thriving now.

I spoke to the owner, Alan McLeod, to congratulate him on all his success. He was a Scot and therefore outwardly modest. The next day I raved about the meal to a local shopkeeper. "Oh. Yes. Alan. Quite successful. We see him driving around in his Bentley." So much information contained in that little exchange. Do we not deserve to be rewarded for doing something well? Should we not strive? Should cultures never change? Something always is lost when people and places change, but this isn't always terrible. Why shouldn't local or travelers to the West Coast of Scotland--where the shellfish comes from in the first place--not enjoy a first rate meal? Why should I have to go to Spain to eat Scottish oysters?

it's alan MACLEOD!!!!
Hi. I changed the spelling. However, since your comment was all in caps, I wasn't sure if the "C" was a big "C" and the "A" a little "A." I poked around on the web, and found an entirely different spelling for Mr. McLeod, which I've adopted. But if this is still incorrect, I'm sure you'll let me know. (And if you live in Oban, I'm jealous you are so close to such wonderful food).
not only am i from oban, i used to work for the man!!!! he is god.
That's good to hear. Eeusk is a class act, by any standard, and it's great to hear that it is also a good place to work--it shows in the care of the place and the food. Hope I get back soon!
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