“London fine dining at Carnoustie prices,” was how one of my fellow diners described a meal at Maxibell.
I would prefer to simply describe it as Angus fine dining at its best.
Opened last September by Ali and Anki Khorramshahi, this establishment in aptly named Park Avenue, Carnoustie, has very quickly developed a reputation for wonderful food and drink at excellent prices.
Locally-sourced produce cooked from scratch is a byword at Maxibells which is French-themed in both the restaurant and adjoining tapas bar, and so an invitation to dine for myself and my other half was gracefully accepted.
My wife doesn’t usually go for a starter, but on this occasion opted for the roast vegetable parcel in a crispy pancake with sweet chilli salsa which she proclaimed as “delicious, and light as a feather.”
As a keen seafood fan, I chose the grilled mussels with garlic, herb and Pernod butter. Shelled and served within individual compartments on a special platter they were exquisite - the flavours subtle and yet satisfying and an excellent prequel to the main event.
Beef bourgignon is one of my wife’s signature dishes, learned from a relative who spent many years in France, so it’s no surprise that she opted to try Maxibell’s own special recipe, accompanied by vegetables and mash while my attention was drawn to the Angus fillet steak with mushroom sauce, potatoes and vegetables.
They arrived on groaning platters - the helpings are huge - and were an absolute work of art. However, we were there to sample the food and that we did with gusto.
The beef bourgignon was as tender as it looked - I was allowed a forkful - while the steak pretty much sliced itself merely by showing it the knife and the taste lived up to the promise by melting in the mouth. Put simply, it’s been years since either of us has enjoyed a restaurant meal as much as we did at Maxibell.
The head chef and a couple of key staff have followed Ali and Anki from London and it shows, however, they are also local employers who insist on using locally-sourced ingredients cooked from scratch, not to mention an extensive stock of craft beers from Angus breweries.
Get yourself along and be assured of a dining treat in excellent surroundings but I’d advise you to book - on the evening we were there almost all of the tables were carrying reserved tickets.
Complaints? Just one - neither of us had any room left for dessert!