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  • Writer's pictureSarah

Chidakasha - a piece of vegetarian dining heaven on the Isle of Skye

A single storey old white building with a red roof
This historic Blackhouse is now home to Chidakasha

We're on a mission to eat our way around Skye! Usually seafood features heavily on the menus on Skye, unsurprisingly as the quality is exceptional, but this time we had a vegetarian guest and wanted to make this meal all about him rather than about the omnivores. So we chose to dine at Chidakasha, also on the north of the Isle from our base at our holiday home, Beachcomber Cottage in Stein.

A man seated reading a book called the World of Tea
I think that I've found *the* perfect book for his birthday!

This is a really interesting concept, a vegetarian meal with each course matched with a tea rather than a wine pairing. Given the horrendous potholes in the single track road leading to Chidakasha, a 100% alcohol free driver and alert passengers is no bad thing! (The state of the road is not within the control of the tea house, you just have to drive very carefully).

Chidakasha is open on a seasonal basis, so it's worth checking the website for updates, and then only on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, but there are 2 sittings on each of those evenings at 6p.m. and 8.15p.m. It's a small venue, with only 15-16 covers. It's situated in a historic Blackhouse, with a distinctive red roof, and decorated very prettily inside. The proprietor lives next door, and grows and forages for food from her own garden and nearby.

The menu gives a choice of starter. Both are accompanied by sourdough bread and delicious home made butter with Skye sea salt. Nothing was too much trouble, and my gluten-free friend was made a lentil bread instead, pretty much instantly.

Butternut squash, tamarind and coconut soup garnished with an edible flower
Butternut squash, tamarind and coconut soup

Two of us opted for the South Indian butternut squash soup with tamarind and coconut. This was delicious, delicate, yet hearty. To be honest, a dish half this size would have been plenty, it was a very generous portion.

Croft kale sprout with roasted new potatoes in a bowl
Croft kale sprout with roasted new potatoes

The other two enjoyed Croft kale sprout with roasted new potato, butterbean hummus, mizuma tapenade and roasted hemp seed. This was declared delicious.

A plate with two bowls of food and sides on the plate
The hearty main course

We all had the same main, as per the set menu. This was a baked courgette with an aubergine and chickpea stew, accompanied by pickled fennel, spiced quinoa and Armenian onion bread, which was again garnished with an edible flower. We each loved different elements of this course, for me, the pickled fennel was the perfect contrast to the onion bread.

Chocolate ganache with ice cream on top
The chocolate genache
Slice of tart with poached pears to the side
The raw cashew tart with pears
A dessert served in a china tea cup
Baked yogurt

There were a choice of 3 desserts; chocolate ganache with mint and thyme ice cream, raw cashew pear and potted strawberry tart with lemon verbena sorbet, or baked yogurt with cardamom, roasted grapes and damson puree. I have to say, that was the star of the desserts for me, and the accompanying tea couldn't have been prettier.

A man standing pouring tea
Rose tea to go with the baked yogurt dessert

The menu currently costs £51.95 per head with the standard tea pairing, or £72.50 with the rare tea pairing.

Chidakasha means the 'abode of peace' found within us, and after all that yummy subtlety spiced food and tea, we certainly felt content!

Afterwards we drove to Neist Point in the hope of catching the sunset there, but the clouds thwarted us. Never mind, it's a great reason to re-visit this charming tea house.



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