2016 was my second year in the blogging arena. Somehow I managed to eat at fewer restaurants than in 2015 (68 versus 78 last year) I think mainly due to revisiting some favourites, but the blog has had over 20% more hits and 15% more visitors, so I think things are still going well.
This year the best experience comes as no surprise – Kitchin. The tasting menu is excellent value for money, the food is exciting and so tasty. The man himself is often in the kitchen too, which cannot be said for all chefs at Michelin starred restaurants.
Special nods should also be given to Dishoom, Bon Vivant, Reekie’s Smokehouse, Atelier, Norn, Rollo and Seasons who all made it into my highest scoring reviews this year. You can read more about all my highest scoring reviews, which I call my ’35 club’ here.
There are always so many contenders in this category so, as I did last year, I’ve picked on the basis of food that I am still thinking about now.
Sea bass at Bistro Provence. This was a superb dish. Although it is almost a year ago, I still think about how good it was. Hopefully, when my hectic dining schedule allows, I will get to go back there.
Meltmongers – Big Cheese Toastie. Meltmongers has taken Edinburgh by storm and this cheese toastie was simply excellent. Who knew cheese toasties could be this good?!
BBQ Beans at Reekie’s Smokehouse. Simple food but the flavour is amazing. I have been back for more of these and still love them.
Mun Tod at Ting Thai Caravan. Ting Thai Caravan often has queues outside and its communal dining isn’t to everyone’s taste but these sweet potato crispies were phenomenal. Again, I have been back to eat these again (and also had a lovely sea bass dish on that visit).
Classic queso fundido at Topolobamba. Cheesy goodness and nachos. What more do I need to say?
Foundry 39’s Tomato and Parmesan Dough Balls. I knew I was in love with this as soon as I saw a photo on social media but once I tried it I was hooked (for the photo, see below in the Favourite Photographs section).
Venison at Bon Vivant. Bon Vivant did many things well on our visit but the flavour in this venison was something special.
Sea trout at Atelier. I loved the food at Atelier but there was something special about this sea trout. I think it was the pairing with wasabi that took it to another level.
Keema Per Eduu at Dishoom. I have yet to have anything other than brunch at Dishoom but it was such a fantastic experience. This was a special dish and hearty at that. Although the nann rolls are also excellent.
Sweetbread at Kitchin. I had these a few years ago at Kitchin and coming back with my blogging head on, I was still blown away. The taste was exquisite.
As I’ve said before, I am not a great photographer but I am always pleased when my trusty iPhone delivers me a good photo. Here are some of my favourites from the year:
Ceviche of Sea Bass – Tapa
Tomatoes, chanterelles, broad beans and leeks – Edinburgh Food Studio
Olives – Serrano Manchego
Tomato and Parmesan Dough Balls – Foundry 39
Toulouse Sausage at Spoon
Sriracha Eggs Benny at Thomas J Walls
Sea Bass at Hotel Du Vin
Sea Bass at Kitchin
Conclusion: Sea bass photographs well.
The Coming Year
Well although I have managed to go to plenty of restaurants since starting this blog, the Edinburgh dining scene changes its face frequently and there are new places that have opened that I need to try along with some more established places I have yet to get to. I already have several bookings for 2017 so I cannot wait to get started. Finally, I’d like to thank those of you who have taken the time to read my blog and I hope at least some of you have found it useful.
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Here’s hoping you all have a wonderful 2017!