Chic, sadly roadside, restaurant by the port in Leith just outside Edinburgh. Supposedly the best restaurant in the Edinburgh area. Major drawback: cars and buses buzzing by every few minutes reminiscent of dining near an airport. Not good…actually very bad. No double-glazing in Scotland? Very sad. Noise and rumble died down after 9pm, but still rears its ugly head now and again.
Place is thumping on Tuesday. Not bad. Book well in advance.
– location: Appears nice, feels nice, but listening to the “drive-by” is unacceptable.
– character and atmosphere: Very swish.
– style and comfort: Modern, very comfortable.
– table and glassware: Excellent.
– other guests: Locals, business people, well-dressed. Old lady (my age) with young boy (20s) sitting next to us. Mom – son? Or toy boy? She is a Yank. We cannot hear him. He chucked back a rose bubble glass. Preparing for “work”? Oh our naughty little minds…they are having fun…bottom line!
– reception: Professional.
– floor staff (knowledge and presentation of food, attention to details and awareness of guests): Very friendly, professional and enthusiastic about chef’s creations.
– sommelier, maitre’d, chef, manager: Excellent Frog (French) fella named Louis. We were considering two 2004 Cotes de Nuit reds. He chose the village wine that was 2/3 less than the other bottle. Wow!!! A true professional and most excellent reason to chat even more than usual. We like people who choose the best QPR wine…and from his perspective same-same as the far more expensive drop. Sadly, and yet again, McDonald’s like, lickety-split service. Tasting menu under 3 hours? Seriously!? The whisky will wait.
– bread: Good.
– ingredients: Langoustine was top-shelf.
– presentation: Staff perfect
– creativity: Very
– taste: Exceptional.
– smell: Exceptional. . Prominent, but often softens with the taste. Good.
– execution: Perfect.
Snacks and amuse bouche defy explanation as all excellent on palate, nose, eyes, heart and soul. A few curry-influenced dishes very interesting. Beetroot macaroon with creme-fraiche, given we generally do not like either beetroot or creme-fraiche, was Oh My Yummy God (“OMYG”)!
Garlic velouté. OMYG. Garlic soup? Please. Stunning, albeit soft, garlic flavors mixed well with grapes. Really? Our Great Grandfather with with his daily raw garlic, grapes and red wine must be rolling over in his grave.
Langoustine. The pea puree with mimolette cheese (sorry for New Yorkers where this classic cheese apparently is banned) and white asparagus all blend together exceedingly well with a stunningly prepared langoustine. The mimolette was perfect while not being overbearing, which it can be….in its own special way.
Soufflé of emmenthal. Fluffy, soft flavors, emmenthal present but not dominant, too much egg white for us. Too much food…people in Scotland have big appetites!
Ceviche of halibut with mango and passion fruit. Excellent fish. Could be cut finer. Not excited by the fruit as really no need as the ceviche was outstanding…healthier with fruit?
Lobster mousse tortellini with butter chive sauce and cabbage. Luvly. Butter not overwhelming. Pasta very thin, perfect with mousse.
Chopped egg with asparagus and croutons. We thought very clever as egg like couscous. Hmmm…we often are amazed how some of these chefs come up with such ideas…after all, couscous is pretty darn yummy!
Aubergine with pea puree, red peppers and, well, OMYG. Outstanding. Exceptional.
Baby shrimp millefeuille with asparagus. Pleasant, light, very fluffy tart with seafood flavor and asparagus texture. Very good, but not exceptional.
Sea bass with enochi mushrooms. Very nicely prepared fish, but too much. Excellent.
Cannelloni with several different mushrooms. Very nicely cooked and, afterwards, we thought actually exceptional!
Palate cleanser all about lemon with oatmeal crunch. We really do not understand this dish. Our palates are so happy, why cleanse them!?
Soufflé with black currant sorbet. Impressive.
Cheese. Sadly, only two UK hard cheeses. Mostly Frog (French). Excellent cheese…we just were hoping for more UK Cheddar was excellent.
– selection: Very good. Too much Frog (French). C’mon, the English wines are really making an impression so let’s see more in UK restaurants…the Scottish surely cannot prefer the French to the English…hmmm…
– variety: Youth focus, but
– value: Reasonable
For our best (only) girlfriend birthday, we nearly finished a bottle of NV Ruinart Blanc de Blancs before dinner. Tuff life, we know, but someone has to do it!
* 2010 Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru, Les Referts, Domaine Francois Carillon. Nice, fresh nose, round, good minerality, a touch too much acidity in the finish. No worries-lah…yummy!
* 2004 Gevrey-Chambertin, Mes Cinq Terroirs, Domaine Denis Mortet. Shocked Sommelier suggested this not cheap, village wine 2/3 less than the price of the one we were considering. Wet, dirty forest, all round the palate, nice somewhat tannic finish. A winner!!! We love the mushrooms on the nose and palate…surprisingly and simply excellent as most people, including winemakers in Burgundy, might have thought a touch too old for a village wine. Perfect!
– type of cuisine: French, but modern playing with curry and other flavors.
– dress code: Smart casual.
Restaurant Martin Wishart👍👍👍👍👌
Chef Martin Wishart
Edinburgh, Midlothian EH6 6RA
GastroNaughties’ Restaurants in UK and Dublin