What was meant to be a trip out for coffee and perhaps lunch in Aberdeen turned into a visit to the seaside village of Broughty Ferry! Yes, I’m aware that this was quite a reach, even for me. Broughty Ferry is nowhere near Aberdeen, in fact, it’s only 4 miles from Dundee City so we almost travelled to a whole other city… for lunch.
When neither of you knows where to stop for food and both are incredibly indecisive and/or passive, you continue to drive, and drive… and well, I suppose that seemed far enough. Worryingly, neither of us were familiar with Broughty Ferry restaurants, so it was quite the risk for the amount of effort made.
I have no regrets, thankfully. No, we didn’t expect to travel so far, it just happened but we all know that’s how some of the best things turn out.
Once we arrived and parked up, it took a last-minute Google search from the car before I came across some pictures of Forgan’s, which looked nothing like anything I had been expecting to find in Broughty Ferry and more like the type of eatery that I would expect to see in bigger cities such as Edinburgh or Glasgow, so I was very excited to find out more of what’s to offer in the area since I last visited.
Given the current pandemic situation, we were very aware that there may be nothing available at the time and that we may not get a seat. You can’t just turn up as you might have done in the past, the majority of restaurants like you to have a reservation but we took our chances and enquired before arriving. Luckily, they could seat a table for 2 in one of the booths. This was perfect, we weren’t in direct contact with anyone else, it was more secluded but we did still have a view over the bar and restaurant area.
If you are concerned about the current pandemic status and of eating out and being around people, I would highly, highly recommend booking a table at and visiting Forgan’s Broughty Ferry. There were no ifs or buts, we all had to sanitise our hands prior to entering the restaurant and masks were mandatory (I did not see examples during our visit but I’m sure there are exceptions where necessary) when not at the table and in terms of service, the staff were very diligent in not getting too close or leaning over and I think you would be very comfortable in your visit.
The overall feeling of Forgans was that of an elevated Scottish rustic charm, which is fitting as they pride themselves on serving great Scottish produce in a relaxed atmosphere. I love the entrance which lies behind these great wooden doors onto a cobbled walkway, leading past a wall of flowers and then into the restaurant. The restaurant itself had lots of lovely wood features with soft colours, soft lighting and a mix of modern and traditional touches in the glasswork. It was warming and automatically put you at ease.
Another thing that I want to mention is the availability of the ‘Bothies’ which are like wee snugs within the restaurant, free of charge to use but they are for bigger parties so if you are looking for a little more privacy or perhaps a set menu for your group, definitely look into these! They are incredibly beautiful and I wish I could have taken some pictures to show you.
Ah, now Forgan’s Broughty Ferry menu. I didn’t know what to expect when we arrived but it left me very impressed.
It is a family-friendly restaurant, so there is a menu for children and I think the food sounds great for kids, you have your standard burger and chips or macaroni but I don’t know if it’s a fancier version of the classics. Smaller portions of the adults perhaps?
We visited on a Sunday so I am almost envious to now see a Sunday brunch menu but we weren’t aware of this at the time.
There is a full vegan/vegetarian menu! A full menu and that thrills me because although I eat meat, I often prefer to order vegetarian options so the more variety and easier this can be done, the better. It is not simply 2/3 options from the main menu. I’m not saying it is as big as the main menu but you do have 4/5 options for each course. We were not offered this menu and I did just presume there would be some alternative options on the main menu, so perhaps you will have to state that you want this specifically.
What we did receive was the main menu, which can I say, is a great menu! I think I would eat (almost) everything on it. When it came to the starters especially, if I could, I would have taken one of each!
Many of the options are a somewhat upmarket take on many items you may see on other menus but it creates a new level of excitement and intrigue. From the Crispy Fried Chicken Fillet with ‘Peanut Satay Sauce, Papaya & Tomato Salad, Crispy Shallots, Lime & Thai Basil’ to the Jalapeno Mac and Cheese Croquettes with chipotle mayo, there is something that makes you see the food in a new light.
After some deliberation, we opted for the Crispy Squid with Garlic Aioli, Lemon & Paprika. These aren’t promoted as sharing starters but it was enough for two, especially when ordering mains as these are quite large meals.
The squid was really, really nice. It was a meaty squid in the sense that you didn’t feel you were just biting into the batter with a little chew in the middle as is often the case. It very much held its own. There was not a huge amount of it but I think that it would have been a good portion size as a starter for one (as intended) and was just enough to share without feeling hard done by. The sauce was creamy and had lots of that garlic, lemon and paprika flavouring. You could taste each one but none overpowering. It was really delicious and I would highly recommend ordering.
For main, my friend ordered the Buttermilk Fried Chicken Burger with ‘Honey Mustard Dressing, Shredded Iceberg, Lettuce, Pickles, Skinny Fries & Spicy Slaw’. This was crispy but moist, sometimes you find that the chicken can become quite dry if the coating is too thick but this was not the case. The honey mustard was sweet and not your average burger sauce, it usually arrives as more of an accompaniment but it tasted good, it wasn’t overly mustardy although it could have done with more sauce as it could only really be tasted on one end of the burger.
I ordered the Forgan’s Steak Cheeseburger with ‘Seeded Barnetts Brioche Bun, Burger Sauce, Burger Cheese, Tomato, Iceberg Lettuce & Gherkin with Skinny Fries & Spicy Slaw’. Now, this is a hearty dish. It comes with two steakburger patties which were lovely and dense but juicy. The cheese was soft and melted on the bun and over the burgers, the sauce nice and mild while the gherkins were crunchy and salty. It was a great taste together and added different textures to the bite.
For me, it was too much and I would have been more than happy with just one burger but I can appreciate that if you had a bigger appetite, this is great value for money and I would be very happy with what was received. I gave one of the burgers to my friend as it would have been wasted on me.
The chips for both were skinny fries although the menu does offer other options. They were crispy but soft and there were plenty of them. A really good portion size.
Unfortunately, the spicy slaw was, too much. We both like spice but it left an unpleasant aftertaste which felt unnecessary and I would have been happier with normal coleslaw. Sometimes you don’t need to go overboard on every detail and less is more.
Overall, the food was fantastic. The starter cost £6.95 while both mains came in at a cost of £12.95 each which we felt was worthy of the quality of food received and the pleasant atmosphere and service all around.
I would love to visit again if, in the area, I saw quite a few groups of people ordering cocktails which sound fantastic and a bunch of nibbles to share and I think it’s a great place to do that. If I get the opportunity, I would definitely like to have that experience and only wish that we had something similar nearby!
Make sure to check out the opening hours before visiting as they are currently closed on Mondays and Tuesdays and open from 10 am every other day.
Forgan’s do also have a second restaurant just a little further down the coast, so you may also want to check out Forgan’s St Andrews on your travels.
Forgan’s Broughty Ferry
234 Brook Street
Dundee DD5 2AH
Tel : 01382 735 870