Category Archives: Kilmarnock

Jewel in the Crown – Kilmarnock KA3 1AA

I stopped going to the Jewel 2 years ago however I’m told by reliable sources its plumbed new depths in terms of quality of food……..I’m not really surprised and at some time a good operator will come in to Kilmarnock and wipe the floor completely.

Under the Grill

Was Kilmarnock’s most popular curry house however when there isn’t any competition (up until recently..see the Shimla Tichfield St) they are stuck in a real timewarp and its the same old same old same old with too many chiefs and an unbelievable number of Indians. How they can support that many waiters unless they are working for two bob a week I wouldn’t know.
Scores an unlucky 4.

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Balbirs A77 – KA1 5PN

Well against my better instincts I returned to Balbirs purely because it was on the way home……………shouldn’t have bothered………two waiters that on the surface could have won Oscars for their performance in “Lets go through the motions but appear efficient”……..totally disinterested but trying to be professional. The food…greasy pakora followed a lamb on the bone dish or should I say bone on the lamb dish as the content of edible lamb wouldn’t have filled an egg cup. The war office had a passanda which was totally tasteless. When asked if we enjoyed the food and gave the waiter our opinion there was a stunning silence as though no one ever complains. He then told me that my dish was on the bone and the pasanda is a mild dish. On the bone yes I agree but a miniscule amount of edible meat… for the pasanda, does mild equal tasteless, I don’t think so. Over priced and over rated. They did knock off a drink and a coffee for the dismal experience.

Under the Grill

Really liked this before it was extended but it’s been bad experiences since it was and I haven’t gone for ages. I’m told it was leased out to someone and then it was back under the original owners control however if your name is above the door (Balbirs) expect to take the flak when you get it. The last time, shortly after it re-opened was amateur hour and I felt as though we had been ripped off considering the quality of the food and the very poor service. Scores a 3.

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Longhouse Restaurant 130 Titchfield St Kilmarnock KA1 1PH 01563 535130

Titchfield St Post Office?

Not the most salubrious of areas in Kilmarnock to site a restaurant, half a mile out of the town centre, in a sea of double yellow lines that will make parking an issue at most times of the day, however, inside and out the former pub and more recently One Thirty Restaurant has had the magic paint brush liberally applied although the layout is virtually unchanged.

The interior is a mish mash of styles with a monster triple mirror ball dominating the restaurant area that would have Louie Spence searching for his dancing pumps. All in all inside and out I wasn’t keen on the design… certainly isn’t Buzzworks standard.

Ate there last Thursday night for the second time and what struck me instantly on arrival was just how many women you can fit into a restaurant on a Thursday night? ……………how can I describe it?………. a plethora of hen nights or is it a gaggle, no doubt someone will mark my card.

The food is well above average by Kilmarnock standards and everything we had and anyone seated close to us had wide approval.

The service was excellent, not a word I get to use very often when describing service in Kilmarnock so hats off to the Buzzywuzzies for getting it right again.

I’m not sure that twelve quid for a lasagne or a fish supper on the A La Carte menu will wow all and sundry but £9.99 for two courses in the early bird menu is proving very popular albeit the choice I find rather limiting.

Longhouse scores a 7
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The Blair, Lochlibo Rd Ayrshire A736 KA13 7RR.

I’ve returned to the Blair twice since my initial post last June and it was so refreshing to find that they have maintained the exceptionally high level of service and quality in all aspects of their operation, in fact if anything they have improved if that was possible.

For anyone that intends to try the Blair I could thoroughly recommend the Lamb Tagine especially if your really hungry!

Well done to all the team there you deserve your status as number one in my top five scoring a maximum of 10!

The Blair on Urbanspoon

Frankie and Benny’s Queens Drive Kilmarnock

Having tried Frankie and Benny’s about 15 years ago in one of the very first F&B franchises in the UK it is interesting to see how the operation has developed or not as the case may be.

The décor which, even for a franchise I still admire the original attention to detail is impressive especially if you haven’t been before. (learn to speak Italian in the lavvy?)

The fayre is decidedly “Noo Joisey” That’s New Jersey to non Mafia types and it means that most things come covered in some kind of sauce although thankfully no blood and guts from machine gun fire. The menu is extensively Yankee Diner with ribs pizza pasta and steak featuring heavily.

Definitely a place for the younger set or groups with something to celebrate (and queue Cliff Richard.if you don’t get the joke just go and try it)

I cant say I love the food all be it its much better than Pizza Hut and a lot more fun. On refection it seems to make places like McDonalds seem like yesterdays place.

Rating on this occasion a 6.5 if you take all the elements including a very enthusiastic wee waitress into consideration!

Frankie and Benny's on Urbanspoon

Shimla Palace Titchfield 43 Street Kilmarnock KA1 1QS (opposite the old cinema)

Converted to an Indian restaurant about 3 years ago and until now has had a chequered history however it now seems to be getting established and overall the standard by Kilmarnock expectations is easily met.

They specialise in a large buffet which having tried 3 times now is far better and more varied than the boring Jewel in the Crown.
They do a 3 course business lunch for £3.95 plus a 5 courser buffet from 12 noon til 3 for £5.95!

The staff can’t do enough to help and nothing is too much bother. Not a showstopper but looking at a six with further progress on the horizon…….way to go Shimla!

Shimla Palace on Urbanspoon

Cochrane Inn, Gatehead by Kilmarnock KA2 0AP

One of the many Costley and Costley establishments throughout Ayrshire that time and time again provide a quality dining experience.

Converted from a village pub a number of years ago the Cochrane is a must book any day of the week however portion size can be a bit stingy, they cram the tables in and it takes the edge off things for me. Haven’t been for ages but scores a 7.

Cochrane Inn on Urbanspoon