Restaurant Review: Balgove Steak Barn

This steak barn, located near St Andrews, is the perfect place for meat enthusiasts

To say we’ve been looking forward to our visit to The Balgove Larder Steak Barn would be an understatement. As keen carnivores and devotees of farm-to-food produce, this was going to be a foodie paradise for us!

Although it feels like it’s situated in the middle of the countryside, Balgove is in fact located just at the edge of St Andrews on the A91 in the direction of Leuchars. Sitting on the grounds of Strathtyrum Farm estate, Balgove Larder comprises a steak barn, flower shed, Pizza Box, farm shop, butchery and cafe with plenty of car parking. Throughout the year they run a series of events including Christmas wreath-making and butchery classes, Oktoberfest and festive market nights.

The steak barn is located to the right of the farm shop and is described as: “A former sawmill which clings to its rustic past with walls of potato boxes and rough-hewn communal tables made of windblown beech from the estate; all cut and made on the farm by our resident joiner.”. It has certainly been transformed into one of the most unique dining experiences that we’ve ever had the pleasure of visiting.

Sitting on a bench at one of the long communal wood tables, we perused the menu which features plenty of fresh, local produce including succulent meat cuts supplied directly from on the on-site butchery. Highlights from the starter menu included the Sticky Roasted Chicken Wings, East Neuk Mussels, Vegetable Pakora and Pulled Balgove Lamb Shoulder. The host mentioned some specials for the night, but I couldn’t think past the lamb shoulder!. So we opted for the locally-sourced lamb shoulder to share, but we could have easily had one each, not because it was small in size, it was anything but, but because it was so heavenly. Served with salad leaves on a Sourdough toast with minted slaw, the meat was simply melt-in-the-mouth delicious.

There was an extensive choice of main course options including a good selection of steak cuts, a Portobello mushroom burger, 12-hour confit pork belly, roasted celeriac steak and a cajun spiced salmon kebab. The steaks are served with twice-fried chips and salad leaves, with an option to upgrade to Truffle and Parmesan chips. With an open kitchen, we watched transfixed as a parade of tempting dishes came out with one, in particular, catching our eye. Both my wife and I looked at each other and said those magical words, “Onion Rings!” We share a mutual love of onion rings and these were monster, beer-battered, onion rings using St Andrews Brew Co Beer Batter.

We ordered the 8oz Fillet Steak and a 10oz Rump Steak, both cuts from their own grass-fed cattle using their in-house butchery, hung for 28 days, and cooked on a massive wood-fired barbecue. This really is farm-to-table produce. Words cannot give justice to how good these steaks are, but simply put, “They were the very best steaks we have ever had”. The onion rings lived up to the aforementioned hype with a fabulous crunch to them and the chips were spot on too.

There was mention of a dessert menu but we didn’t have room for even a waiver-thin mint and although we did see huge slices of cake whizzing past, we just couldn’t!

This is truly a very special place for foodies and one that has to be applauded and appreciated. Everything is just right, from their service to a love of delivering sustainable and the best locally-sourced Scottish fare. We would not hesitate in going back again and again to The Balgove Larder’s Steak Barn.

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