6th May 2015 – 6pm
Field is an unassuming restaurant on West Nicolson Street. This place has been on my wish list for a while and I was excited to finally see what they had to offer. Field’s focus is, perhaps unsurprisingly, quality local, seasonal produce. Seating just over 20, this place was bustling, even though it was early evening and mid-week. Busy enough that they were having to turn away walk-ins. We arrived a little early but this was not a problem. Once seated, we were offered menus which were quite quirkily placed in picture frames. There were plenty of treats calling out from this concise menu, which had both pre-theatre and a la carte options. We plumped for the a la carte menu. So I ordered sweet and sour quail’s breast with quail cannelloni followed by smoked duck breast. My dining companion for the evening went for smoked salmon ravioli followed by roast rump of lamb. Before the starters arrived we were given a wild garlic bread roll each with some accompanying butter. I am a big garlic fan so I was delighted. The roll was warm and coated in sesame seeds. It was certainly a lovely preparation for the meal.
Once the starters arrive, we were immediately impressed by their presentation. They seemed to be beautiful works or art on the plate. The question was whether the taste would match up to the image. The quail was moist and lightly pink. The cannelloni was a pleasant surprise, somehow creamy but not at the same time. The plate was drizzled with an amazingly delicious and zingy sweet and sour topping which brought the dish together. It managed not to be sickly sweet but fresh and vibrant. On the other side of the table the ravioli was packed to the rafters with filling. The cucumber spaghetti, coated with a yuzu dressing meant that it was sharp enough to prevent the dish from becoming too heavy.
The mains continued the theme of wonderful presentation. The duck was perfectly cooked and all the accompaniments, including apple and onion, were a perfect fit. I’d never had apple in combination with duck before but it somehow worked. The onions were a lovely addition and had a subtly sweet note to them. My friend had been quite courageous when ordering the lamb as she is still building up exposure to rare and medium cooked meats. At the time of ordering she was told it usually is served medium rare but the waitress checked if that was ok or if she wanted it cooked a little more, which I think is a nice thing to do. However, she chose to try it as the chef intended and was glad she did. The rump of lamb was not too rare and the liver wasn’t pink in the slightest. She had concerns that she did not have a steak knife but it wasn’t needed anyway as the meat was tender. The ratatouille was tasty and the dish worked well. Both our plates were completely empty.
We had just enough room for dessert. Although I was tempted by the salted peanut butter choux bun, banana milkshake and Nutella ice cream dessert, I felt I might be overambitious if I went for that. However, there were enough great options and I couldn’t resist the sound of Bird’s custard panna cotta with rhubarb jelly, poached rhubarb and coconut and lemon cake. My dining partner went for the roast pineapple mille feuille, with muscovado and star anise cream and a coconut sorbet. Again, these were beautiful. The panna cotta had no horrid throw-backs to Bird’s custard and tasted smooth but was not overly firm. It was formed into a ball shape with the rhubarb jelly on top and coated with toasted coconut. The cake was warm, moist and incredibly light. I scoffed the lot. The pineapple mille feuille was also enjoyed and not a scrap was left on the plate.
The staff were lovely and enthusiastic and the food was amazing. The only negative was the smoke that filled the restaurant from the kitchen, which resulted in stinging eyes until the front door was opened. A bit difficult to overcome in such a small venue but was not enough to detract me from the delights of the meal. I have already recommended this place to several people and I will be heading back. Just make sure you book in advance as this place is popular – and quite rightly so.
Food – 10/10
Service – 9/10
Atmosphere – 8/10
Value – 9.5/10
Overall – 36.5/40
Cost – £60 for three courses for 2 plus one glass of wine