Hemma

Hemma

19th October 2016 12 noon

www.bodabar.com/hemma/

Situated in Holyrood, I visited here with a friend for lunch. Hemma has a Swedish slant but there is plenty of choice that will be familiar. It forms part of the Boda chain which owns several restaurants and bars in the Capital. After toying with the idea of trying a brunch option or a smorgasbord, I went for a croque Monsieur and my friend went for a veggie croque Madame.

Croque Monsieur - Hemma

Croque Monsieur – Hemma

Our lunches were presented to us on chunky wooden boards. The toasted sandwiches were humongous! They looked very impressive and sat alongside was a small pot of slaw and a lightly dressed salad. The bread is home made in Hemma and was really gorgeous. The ham had good flavour and the cheese was beautifully goooey. The side salad was actually very nice and was certainly not just a decorative element. The slaw was also of a good standard and light. On the other side of the table, my friend pretty much demolished her veggie version, which was without the meat and with added tomato on top. She couldn’t stop singing its praises from the first bite.

Veggie Croque Madame - Hemma

Veggie Croque Madame – Hemma

We enjoyed our visit and would happily revisit to try other items on the menu.

Food – 9/10
Service – 8/10
Atmosphere – 8/10
Value – 8/10

Overall – 33/40

Would I eat here again? Yup!

Cost £18 for a Croque Monsieur and Madame and two diet cokes.

Seasons

7th May 2016 7.30pm

www.seasonstasting.co.uk

I have been wanting to try this place since it opened on Broughton Street last year. A similar style of dining to Aizle (sorry to both restaurants if you are bored of this comparison!), a list of seasonal ingredients are made available and you get a dining experience based on some or all of those ingredients. Seasons has a Scandinavian slant to its food and offers a 5 or 7 course tasting menu- which were different menus from what we saw being brought out to some of the other tables –  with or without paired drinks (and the pairings can be straight  forward  wine or a mix of wine, beer and cocktails). We opted for the 7 course option but without the drinks. Before I continue, I need to apologise if I get any of the components in the dishes incorrect. They are often so intricate and made up of many parts I may have not recalled correctly or extensively but hopefully enough to give you a good idea!

So our voyage into the unknown began. We started off with celeriac and wild garlic velouté. I love a good velouté and this one was up there with the best. It had a lovely creamy texture and the wild garlic added a satisfying intensity of flavour. It came it a cute little cup which we sipped from. A good start.

Celeriac and wild garlic veloute - Seasons

Celeriac and wild garlic veloute – Seasons

Next came a salmon tartare. This came with pickled cucumber, a cloudberry sorbet, capers, a rhubarb coulis, meringue, dill and a toasted piece of thin bread. This was an utterly delicious dish. The tartare was full of zing, with the salmon fresh and vibrant, complemented by the capers. The sorbet added a fun element and the toast and meringue brought some texture with the crunch. The meringue was tiny and delicate but packed in so much flavour.

Salmon Tartare - Seasons

Salmon Tartare – Seasons

Then we were presented with a wild boar terrine. This had a wild garlic layer in the middle and was accompanied by an apple boar puree, radish, purple carrot and parsnip. I’d not tried boar before and found it enjoyable. This dish was lovely although I would have preferred a little more seasoning on the meat. The colours on the plate made it a visual delight.

Wild Boar Terrine - Seasons

Wild Boar Terrine – Seasons

Next up was a nettle soup. This soup had a drizzle of basil oil, croutons and delicately placed viola flowers. Now, I’ve never had nettle soup and to be honest I’m not sure I would again. It was a decent enough soup and was well made but I am not sure the flavour worked for me. The basil oil was tasty though. The croutons were underneath the top of the soup so lost a bit of texture as a result but still had good flavour.

Nettle Soup - Seasons

Nettle Soup – Seasons

Onwards to another fish dish – hake. The fish sat on a Scandinavian salad of lentils. The dish came with cauliflower puree, spring beauty,  purple purslane and crispy seaweed. This was another winner of a dish. The fish was cooked perfectly and all the accompaniments enhanced the flavours. I was particularly impressed with the lentil concoction. I don’t think I have ever tasted lentils as good.

Hake - Seasons

Hake – Seasons

Next up was venison loin after a little bit of a wait. This came with Wye Valley asparagus, purple potato croquettes, wild mushrooms and a red wine jus. The venison was cooked medium rare. The asparagus had the most astounding flavour. Neither of us where sure about the potato croquettes but they certainly added a visual element.

Venison - Seasons

Venison – Seasons

We then had a pre-dessert of cranberry sorbet with a chocolate crumb and a brandy snap. This was lovely as it wasn’t overly sweet, with the sharpness of the cranberry balancing out the sweeter elements. Not quite a palate cleanser but a lovely course (and we both loved the dish it was served in too).

Cranberry Sorbet - Seasons

Cranberry Sorbet – Seasons

Finally our last course was an apple rose, which was an apple pastry with apricot, cardamom ice cream topped with an apple crisp, plus cinnamon gel and apple jellies. This was beautifully presented and was a wonderful way to end the meal. The pastry was so light and crispy on the outside but softer where it sat with the apple. Just delicious.

Apple Rose - Seasons

Apple Rose – Seasons

Overall we really enjoyed our visit to Seasons. The food is interesting and is worth checking out.

Food – 8.5/10
Service – 8.5/10
Atmosphere – 9/10
Value – 9/10

Overall 35/40

Would I eat here again? Most definitely.

Cost £120 for two 7 course tasting menus plus one glass of wine.