27th January 2017 6pm
Nestled just off the foot of Dundas Street, New Chapter is a modern restaurant that still manages to have a homely feel with the aroma of lilies, perched on the bar, permeating the air. We were warmly welcomed and were offered a choice of tables. We picked one by the window and got settled. Offering modern Scottish cuisine, both of us could have eaten pretty much everything on the menu but at the same time, I made up my mind quite quickly. I picked the skirt steak tartare followed by stone bass. My dining companion picked the Parmesan soup followed by a fillet of hake. We were also introduced to our waiter for the evening, a 16 year old French work experience student wanting to practice English. He was very good and we wouldn’t have known he was in this position as he provided great service. We were given some bread with both some butter and a herby citrus dip, all of which was lovely.
The starters came out quickly and we were both impressed by the presentation. My tartare had lots of attention to detail, with capers, cornichons and other pickles adorning the meat, with a surprise beetroot crisp which packed in so much flavour. Alongside all this was a full quails egg, sliced in half. This was unusual as it’s usually just the yolk on a tartare. The tartare itself was zingy and creamy. I enjoyed it a great deal. The Parmesan soup on the other side of the table was not too overpowering and had a really tasty flavour. The additional mushrooms and artichoke gave it a bit of variety.
We both had fish for our main course and I have to say I was enraptured with every mouthful of mine. The fish was cooked perfectly. The gnocchi was generous and the lemony flavour with the beurre blanc was absolutely divine. The sea kale was lovely too. I almost inhaled the dish. On the other side of the table, the hake was ok, with the squid ink pasta and sea vegetables being enjoyed. It was a shame that the mussels didn’t all open fully. The shellfish broth it sat in was good though and she scooped it all up with her spoon.
The portion sizes were a suitable amount to leave space for dessert. I knew instantly that I was going to try the warm chocolate mousse with chocolate orange ice cream. My friend stuck just to having ice cream. My dessert was never going to be a looker but they managed to still make it enticing enough to want to dive in. The mousse was scrumptious, with bits of cake, honeycomb and meringue in it too. The ice cream was a delicately small scoop but had beautiful flavour. A really satisfying dessert. My friend chose three small scoops of ice cream, picking raspberry, pistachio and crème brûlée flavours. It had honeycomb and caramel sauce on top. She though the flavours were great and the only negative she could say was that she would have called the raspberry one a raspberry ripple instead!
We really enjoyed our dinner here and I, in particular, was suitably impressed. The atmosphere and service were great and is well worth a visit
Food – 9/10
Service – 9/10
Atmosphere – 8/10
Value – 9/10
Overall – 35/40
Would I eat here again? In a heart beat
Cost £64 for two three course meals plus one large glass of wine.