Refreshingly inventive and full of flavour at Darling’s

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After winning an award for their baking it seemed a natural progression to sample the rest of Darling’s menu, just part of The Guide’s service.

Darling’s Cafe at 134 High Street, Arbroath, is a social enterprise cafe run by ENABLE Scotland.

The interior is very smartly decorated and features a wall of colourful art for sale in aid of ENABLE Scotland which really lights the place up and adds a human touch.

Waiting staff could hardly be more helpful and nothing was too much trouble and they were always able to make a suggestion when it came to accompaniments.

The specials of the day sounded too good to pass up, the cream of mushroom soup and Spanish chicken wrap for me, while my companion opted for the Smokie pakoras followed by steak chilli.

Our starters arrived in a timely fashion and just as quickly disappeared again. The soup was light and flavoursome and the doorstep-sized chunk of bread was freshly baked and soft.

With the pakoras we were both very impressed by a light, fluffy but at the same time crispy batter and the delicate balance of spices and smoked fish complemented, rather than overwhelmed each other.

This alone would possibly have been sufficient for a light lunch, but in the name of thorough research we continued

My Spanish chicken wrap was stuffed with tender chunks of chicken and the paprika and jalapeno laced sauce gave it a really pleasant kick.

The chilli was a meaty concoction topped with cheese and hot salsa, which helpfully allowed you to regulate just how hot you liked your chilli.

We were also recommended to try the hand-cut chips by our waitress. When they arrived alongside our meals they were crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside.

In the name of completeness we rounded off our meal with some homebaking. My banoffee scone was a plate-sized monster of tastiness. It was perfectly moist, so much so that you could probably eschew the butter and jam.

According to my dinner companion his caramel slice was “too good” and very smooth and rich.

Darling’s Cafe’s varied menu caters for all occasions. The dishes, in particular the specials, are inventive, refreshing and overall exceedingly tasty.