The Albert Hotel is located in the centre of Kirkwall, on Mounthoolie Lane. The main food area of the hotel is the lounge bar, and having visited the Bothy Bar (also part of the hotel) for a drink, we decided to try the lounge bar for food.
We arrived at around 7pm on a Thursday evening, and were very lucky to get a table – although normally open all evening, on that particular evening they were hosting a large booking at 8pm and so did not take any more customers after us.
The lounge bar is comfortable, clean and in good condition, but somehow outdated even though nothing looks old. The decor reminded me very much of Scottish pubs as they were in the late 1980s/early 1990s when I was a child and we would go for a bar meal. It was a very comforting feeling and I instantly warmed to the place.
The service was attentive and very friendly, even though the young waitress was obviously a little flustered by the large party soon due to arrive. She made a mistake with my starter, bringing the wrong dish but this was quickly rectified and not a big problem.
To drink we had the same as we had had in the Bothy Bar, and in fact my dad’s pint of Raven Ale came from through there. I was happy with my Tennents and my mum with her ginger beer and lime.
To start I had smoked mackerel paté (once I got the right thing) which was absolutely delicious. I’ve never had it before, I loved it and will have it again. My dad had breaded Orkney cheese, and it was a rather stingy portion – although very nice there were not many pieces of cheese and they were very small. I didn’t try it as there wasn’t really enough to go round, but I thought the breaded coating looked a little hard.
For the main course I had scampi, which was good and I certainly enjoyed it, but I have had better. No complaints as such about this one, it just wasn’t the best. The breading was a little hard, but it wasn’t so bad as to make it unenjoyable – but having had melt-in-the-mouth scampi in the past, I can’t count this as one of the best.My mum had the Orkney lamb, which she had mixed feelings about. She thinks she liked it, but she’s not sure –she said it had a strange taste to it so we suspect it might have been seaweed fed lamb which Orkney is known for. My dad had Cajun chicken and was perfectly happy with it. We decided against pudding.
All in all, the lounge bar at the Albert Hotel provided us with a very nice meal. The bill came to around £47, which seemed to be the standard for a meal for the three of us, including drinks.