The Fishmarket

The Fishmarket

28th September 2018 12.30pm

www.thefishmarketnewhaven.co.uk

My parents were in Edinburgh visiting, so we decided to take a stroll in Newhaven on what turned out to be a sunny but breezy day, and try out The Fishmarket. Situated on Newhaven Harbour, The Fishmarket has only been open a few months. Offering both take away and restaurant dining, I would recommend booking in advance, as this place got busy.

Squid and chips - The Fishmarket

Squid and chips – The Fishmarket

We were seated by the window, with a lovely view of the harbour and the Forth, and had a look at the menu. I would imagine most people come here for fish and chips, but there are some other options. I chose the squid and a small portion of chips. My parents both opted for fish and chips, one choosing the medium size and the other the large (you can go as big as ‘whale’ sized). My mum couldn’t resist ordering some mushy peas on the side and I ordered a garlic mayonnaise.

Haddock, chips and mushy peas - The Fishmarket

Haddock, chips and mushy peas – The Fishmarket

My squid arrived and there was plenty of it, although possibly not enough to justify the price. It was accompanied by a Vietnamese dipping sauce. The squid was not rubbery and the coating was light. The dipping sauce had a sharp edge to it that I loved. This worked really well together. The chips were of a decent standard. I couldn’t really tell the difference in size between my parents’ portions of fish and chips, which was a little odd. They really enjoyed the fish though and agreed that the chips were nice. The mushy peas got a thumbs up.

We were too full for dessert but there were some good things on offer such as lemon posset and chocolate pots.

The Fishmarket was a nice lunch outing, in a lovely setting.

Food – 7/10
Service – 8/10
Atmosphere – 8/10
Value – 7.5/10

Overall 30.5/40

Would I eat here again? Probably.

£36 for 1 large haddock and chips, 1 medium haddock and chips, squid, small chips, mushy peas and a garlic mayo.

Sardines - Loch Fyne

Loch Fyne

3rd August 2018 1.30pm

www.lochfyneseafoodandgrill.co.uk/locations/edinburgh

I’ll be honest, we had been intending to try the Fishmarket at Newhaven but it was full, so we toddled along to Loch Fyne. It’s a light and airy venue with some lovely views. They offer a really reasonably priced lunch menu, which we decided to give a shot. We were advised that mussels were off the menu as they were not at their best at the moment (then why are they on the menu, I wonder?). Anyway, I opted for the sardines to start followed by the steak – with a supplement – for my main. My friends chose both the sardines and potted mackerel for their starters and both chose salmon fishcakes for their mains.

Sardines - Loch Fyne

Sardines – Loch Fyne

Potted Mackerel - Loch Fyne

Potted Mackerel – Loch Fyne

The starters were pretty decent. The chargrilled sardines were plentiful and had a really nice chilli and coriander dressing on top. I enjoyed the addition of Greek yoghurt to add to the fish. I’d never had sardines before but this was a good introduction. The potted mackerel was a little dull in comparison. It came with who generous sized pieces of toast but it all seemed a little mismatched. That said, my friend still enjoyed the dish enough.

Flat Iron Steak - Loch Fyne

Flat Iron Steak – Loch Fyne

Fries - Loch Fyne

Fries – Loch Fyne

The mains arrived but my steak came without its bearnaise sauce. I waited a little and then ended up asking a waiter if I’d misunderstood the menu. I had not. They had just forgotten it. As it was a flat iron steak, they recommended that it be cooked medium rather than the rare I would usually go for. It came perfectly cooked and was nice to eat. The watercress looked a little sad next to it though. My chips were also a bit hard and crunchy so weren’t the best. My two friends had both chosen then salmon fish cakes. Two fish cakes sat on top of wilted spinach with a creamy Provençal sauce. Whilst the both said they were nice, one of them discovered a massive (and I do mean massive) bone in her fish cake. It should have easily been spotted by the chef based on the size.

Salmon Fishcakes - Loch Fyne

Salmon Fishcakes – Loch Fyne

Two of us opted for dessert. I was tempted by the crème brulee and my friend chose the treacle taste. The crème brûlée was of a good standard. It was creamy with a lovely balance of vanilla. The shortbread alongside was a little superfluous though. My friend though the treacle tart was alright but wasn’t sure that it was orange but grapefruit that was presented with it.

Creme Brulee - Loch Fyne

Creme Brulee – Loch Fyne

Treacle Tart - Loch Fyne

Treacle Tart – Loch Fyne

Whilst the flavours were decent overall, somehow we left not overly impressed. The tables were sticky due to tired varnish and bits and pieces failed to deliver.

Food – 7/10
Service – 7/10
Atmosphere- 7/10
Value – 9/10

Overall – 30/40

Would I eat here again? At a push

Cost around £45 for two three course set lunches and one two course set lunch.

Hawksmoor

Hawksmoor

9th July 2018 8.30pm

https://thehawksmoor.com/locations/edinburgh/

Hawksmoor opened in the newly renovated Edinburgh Grand complex to much excitement across the city. We went along to Hawksmoor’s soft launch to see what they had to offer. Set in a grand former bank, the venue is certainly impressive. We had put in for the random draw for tables in the soft launch and ended up with a table at 8.30, which meant it was a little quieter but also that most specials had sold out and they also had no bone marrow related items left.

Langoustine scampi - Hawksmoor

Langoustine scampi – Hawksmoor

The menu looked good but I couldn’t decide on which starter to pick, so I asked the server which to pick between the langoustine scampi and the potted beef and bacon (which is unlike me to do). She said both were great but believed the langoustine scampi edged it. I took her advice and she kindly said she’d also order the other one for us to try, on the house. At the time I was impressed at this generosity but it appears they offered something free to other diners, a hook for a return visit no doubt. I also ordered a rib-eye steak with a side of dripping fries. My dining companion went for the old spot belly ribs followed by the rib-eye and triple cooked chips. We got a side of spinach with lemon and garlic to share too.

The starters looked a little uneven in size with the langoustines being relatively small and the potted beef and bacon, coming with two Yorkshire puddings, which were massive in size. Let’s start with the langoustine scampi. There were about six pieces served with a tartare sauce. These were light and tasty. The langoustines were cooked well and the tartare sauce was of good consistency. The potted beef and bacon came not only with the Yorkshire puddings but a big boat of gravy to pour over the top. This was all tasty but way too large for a starter for one. It would work better as a sharing starter. That being said, I would never want to share my Yorkshire puddings! The pork across the table was gorgeous and the accompanying salad was refreshing.

Rib-eye steak - Hawksmoor

Rib-eye steak – Hawksmoor

We both had the same cut of steak and I have to say they looked a bit lack lustre, appearing rather dry than succulent. I even got a comment on Instagram saying how poor it looked. However, whilst it wasn’t a stunner, the flavour was spot on. The steak was perhaps a touch more well done than the rare I had asked for but only a smidgen. It was still juicy and full of flavour. I picked a béarnaise sauce which was tasty and the fries finished it off nicely. The triple cooked chips on the other side of the table were also pretty decent. The spinach wasn’t too bad either. However, we couldn’t finish the steaks as we were scuppered by that additional starter.

There was no way we could fit in dessert but we were given a couple of the salted caramel rolos free to take home and try. I had mine the next day and they were pretty delicious. The oozy caramel was on the generous side, which in larger numbers would make for a fun dessert.

The service in Hawksmoor was excellent. The brand will hold the place up, as well as having an beautiful venue, but I’m not sure it offers the best steak in Edinburgh.

Food – 7.5/10
Service – 9/10
Atmosphere – 7.5/10
Value – 7/10

Overall – 31/40

Would I eat here again? Maybe if there was a deal on.

Cost £47 full price cost closer to £100.

Smoked Iberian Black Pig - Black Pig and Oyster

Black Pig and Oyster

3rd May 2018 6.15pm

http://blackpigandoysteredinburgh.com/

Last October we had a booking with Black Pig and Oyster. We turned up for it only to be in darkness and subsequently found out it was closed (we even got a ‘how was your visit?’ email the day after). So, 6 months later, the same owners have re-opened the restaurant so we decided to give it another try.

There is no doubting that this is a lovely venue, having a light, bright part which is great for daytime dining, and a cosy vaulted part which suits a more romantic evening type affair. My friend enjoyed the Spanish slant to the music being played, having lived in Spain for a while. Our friendly waiting staff took drinks orders whilst we drooled over the menu. They have a really good value lunch menu but as we were there for dinner, so had a much larger selection to choose from. I chose the ‘steak tartare our way’ followed by the smoked Iberian black pig for my main. My friend chose the ‘posh fish supper’ for her starter and the butchers grill for her main.

Pink Pig - Black Pig and Oyster

Pink Pig – Black Pig and Oyster

Our starters looked appetising. My tartare was nestled under a small stack of toasted bread with a salsa sorbet on top. I do prefer a tartare with an egg on top. Alas, this was not to be but the salsa really made up for it by adding a freshness to the dish, cutting through the weight of the meat. I was really quite pleased with the overall result. Across from me, there was a generous portion as part of the fish supper. Served in a pot, it included battered versions of sea bass, oysters, squid and king prawns. The batter was light and had some beautiful seasoning in it which brought it all to life. Thumbs up for the first course.

Onto the mains, my meat was presented very simply, with a large number of slices of the pork sat on a tomato and red onion relish and had a few dots of their homemade aoli alongside on the plate. This came with a side of rustic, hand-cut chips, which were nice but I was a bit disappointed as the dish was advertised as coming with fries. My fries obsession will have to wait for another day. The meat itself was some of the most exquisite I had ever tasted. It was juicy and tender, also with bags of flavour. I’m salivating just writing about that (there’s a mental image you didn’t want to have!). This dish comes with a relatively hefty price tag (£26) but based on the quality of the meat, I think it’s justified. Across from me, my friend was tucking into her butchers grill. Not normally one to go for a meat heavy option, she really enjoyed the meat on offer. In included some of the Iberian black pig, picanha stead, chorizo, black pudding (battered) and haggis skewers. This also came with BBQ sauce and aioli as well as some properly advertised hand-cut chips. Whilst still expensive (£25), it probably represented better value for money.

Smoked Iberian Black Pig - Black Pig and Oyster

Smoked Iberian Black Pig – Black Pig and Oyster

My friend sacrificed most of her chips so she could have dessert, as she had eyed up the mojito panna cotta. I joined her in this course and ordered the ‘not so messy Eton mess’. Mine was accurate in its description, as a refined plate of food arrived in front of me. Consisting of charred Italian, baked and dehydrated meringue, with small cubes of Chambord jelly, whipped clotted cream, summer berries and a raspberry gel. This all worked wonderfully together but my favourite element was the charred Italian meringue. Across from me, the panna cotta had a suitable wobble and genuinely did taste like mojito. You can’t get much better than that.

Butcher’s Grill - Black Pig and Oyster

Butcher’s Grill – Black Pig and Oyster

It’s certainly worth heading to Black Pig and Oyster, even if it’s for a special occasion, as the food was delicious and the service excellent.

Food – 9/10
Service – 9/10
Atmosphere – 8/10
Value – 7.5/10

Overall – 33.5/40

Would I eat here again? Yes. That meat was something special.

£102 for two starters, mains and desserts plus one large and one small glass of wine and a cocktail

Mussels with white wine, cream and shallots - Cadiz

Cadiz

7th June 2017 7pm

www.cadizedinburgh.co.uk

Four of us had purchased two Itison vouchers for Cadiz. The deal included a cocktail, a four course meal and tea/coffee for two. On arrival, our special menus were waiting for us on the table. The menu was shorter than the normal menu at Cadiz but there was still plenty of showcasing of their normal dishes within it. I was a bit disappointed to see that all the cocktails were ‘twists’ and had some kind of wine in them, so was going to opt for a soft drink but our server was very accommodating and said it was not a problem to adapt one of the cocktails so there was no wine in it. I appreciated this gesture. So three of us had the mojito and one went for the bloody mary. We automatically would be receiving a fish and shellfish soup amuse bouche but we were able to choose our other courses. I went for asparagus with a poached egg to start, followed by mussels in a white wine, fresh cream and shallot sauce. My friends went for a calamari and padron peppers for their starters and then mussels in a white wine, chorizo and chilli sauce and the arroz for their mains.

Seafood and Fish Soup - Cadiz

Seafood and Fish Soup – Cadiz

The amuse bouche came out and was a generous size considering the course. We were also given a plate of crispy croutons with aioli to share between two. The soup itself was rich brown in colour and hidden in its depths was a plethora of seafood. The croutons were as crispy as advertised and the aioli was beautiful, with a delightful richness of garlic. Thumbs up all round.

Our starters all looked great as they were brought to the table. My asparagus was coated with a hollandaise sauce. The poached egg oozed golden loveliness as I cut into it. A simple, yet effective, dish. Two friends had chosen the calamari, which would have been my backup choice. This was served with a lemon, neatly wrapped in muslin and tied off with a ribbon. The calamari had a sprinkling of sea salt and chilli on top and had a luscious smoked paprika aioli for the calamari to be dipped into. They were not chewy and the batter was of excellent quality. Across from me, another friend was busing herself with eating the padron peppers. This was a large portion, with about 8 peppers in total. These again were sprinkled with sea salt and went down a treat.

The generous sizing continued when our mains arrived. Three of us had mussels with one or other of the sauces. These were in very large bowls and were served with a side of fries. We all thought the mussels were excellent. Mine were plump and juicy. The sauces were also exceptional, although I think the white wine, cream and shallot sauce I chose was the winner (as the other two tasted the sauce too). It provided a good base to dunk the fries in. The mussels were also available as a starter but served with crusty bread rather than fries. The last of our group had the arroz, which is an arborio rice dish, served with king prawns and clams. This was a homely yet pretty dish and whilst rice was the main component of the plate of food, there was plenty of seafood mixed through it too. Overall, I think my only complaint was that there was no finger bowl or finger wipes after the mussels, so your hands were left a bit sticky (particularly if you are like us and use a mussel shell for your cutlery).

We had to wait a little bit until the staff came to tell us about dessert. We had the option of a crème brulee or a white chocolate and vanilla cheesecake. Three of us went for the brulee, with a lone friend picking the cheesecake. What surprised me on delivery of the brulees was that they were on fire. In an unusual method, instead of blow torching the sugar in the kitchen, it was happening in front of our eyes at the table. We were advised to wait for it to go out and then wait for another minute to ensure the crack of the surface when diving in with your spoon. Whilst it unnerved me a little, having a flame in front of me, once it went out and duly waited, the crack came, along with a gloriously delicious custard. Simplicity at its finest. There were a couple of chocolate cake type balls served on the side of the brulee. These were a bit dry, which was a shame. The cheesecake was also good. This came with a raspberry coulis and raspberries placed on top. This was a solid effort, although my friend was unable to finish it. After, teas and coffees were sipped before we left for the evening.

We really enjoyed our meal at Cadiz. Generally the staff were very attentive and seemed to predict our every need, with the wait for dessert being the only, very minor, blip. If you like seafood, this is worth a visit.

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

Overall – 34/40

Would I eat here again? Yes.

Cost – The deal cost £98 for the two vouchers plus a further £15 for a couple more cocktails. The full price would have been closer to £153 for the four of us.

Kilted Lobster

19th May 2016 6.15pm

www.kiltedlobster.com

Kilted Lobster is a cute little place on St Stephen Street in Stockbridge, The décor and menu embraces the sea theme but there are plenty of non-seafood options for those in your party not up for it. We were seated by the window and handed some menus. Whilst we were perusing I noticed a note on the table about social enterprise, explaining that the restaurant closes to the public on a Tuesday in order to take referrals from charities of those who are facing food poverty or isolation issues. I knew then I had made right decision to support this place.

Kilted Lobster

Kilted Lobster

Whilst deciding on our menu choices, we were presented with a trio of canapés. The haggis bon bon was delicious and melted in the mouth. The spicy salmon on a herb bellini was tasty and the delicious mushroom velouté in tiny glasses was intense in flavour. There was a nice choice on the menu and whilst the lobster option was tempting we went for other choices; pigeon breast followed by wild halibut for me and Alba skink followed by Shetland salmon for my dining companion for the evening.

Canapes - Kilted Lobster

Canapes – Kilted Lobster

When the starters arrived the most noticeable thing was the difference in size between the two dishes, with the pigeon appearing far smaller than the soup. However, my pigeon breast had beautiful gamey flavour. The pumpkin worked well, particularly in combination with the chorizo crumb. The at the bottom of the pile of pigeon was a piece of what tasted like fruit cake. It was an unusual choice but the fruitiness worked. I was very jealous of the Alba skink seafood chowder on the other side of the table. It was well put together and my friend loved it, although opted not to eat the bread to avoid filling up. She said she could have eaten a vat of the chowder though.

Our mains both looked lovely but I thought mine in particular was stunning. The halibut sat beautifully on the plate surrounded by a vivid yellow saffron and mussel velouté with celeriac, wilted greens  and samphire. The fish was cooked to perfection and the accompaniments were perfect match. I found the mussels a little cool in comparison to the rest of the dish but it wasn’t really an issue. The salmon on the other side of the table was lovely. The accompanying brown crab risotto was deemed a masterpiece. She found the shallot puree too sweet but that means I probably would have loved it.

We gave desserts a go but had to squeeze them in. I went for the chocolate and cherry terrine and my friend opted for the toffee apple pannacotta. They looked appetising on arrival. The cherry jellies  on my plate were perfect. I loved them and would have been happy just having these as dessert. The terrine was very intense but good, although the chocolate was too hard to eat using a spoon and I had to resort to my fingers (oh what hardship!!). The pannacotta was enjoyed. The texture was slightly different due to the apple but tasted good. She also gave the thumbs up to the additional shortbread.

Kilted Lobster is a lovely little place and worthwhile checking out.

Food – 8/10
Service – 9/10
Atmosphere – 8.5/10
Value – 8.5/10

Overall – 34/40

Would I eat here again? Most definitely

Cost £68 for 2 x three courses and 1 glass of wine.

The Kilted Lobster Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Michael’s Steak and Seafood Bar

8th December 2015 6pm

http://michaelsteak.co.uk/

Michael's Steak and Seafood Bar

Michael’s Steak and Seafood Bar

In the former site of Bar Rioja and Iggs (and possibly the Mussel and Steak bar for a brief amount of time) Michael Neave has opened a new restaurant. I already love Michael Neave’s Kitchen and Whisky Bar (I must do a visit for a blog post at some point) so when I heard he was behind this place I had to give it a whirl.

The restaurant is beautifully decorated in blues and light wood and also has a fancy glass feature in the floor. There are also lovely booths to section off parts of the dining space, so the dining experience is spacious yet cosy. Lovely staff got us started with drinks – although we were not offered tap water. I went with still water whilst my friend went for wine. As you would expect, the menu covers steak and seafood. However, I reckon there is less seafood on there than would be expected. Not that it mattered as there was still some choice. I wanted to try both meat and seafood elements, so went for highland venison carpaccio followed by a kilo of mussels and a side of fries. My friend chose smoked haddock and saffron potato terrine and a beef and oyster pie.

Firstly, the starters. My venison had great flavour and the meat was incredibly soft. A light seasoning on the meat made the most of the taste. The accompanying potato and radish salad, whilst full of chive, missed a bit of seasoning but was pleasant. The drizzle of balsamic glaze was the only thing that gave the dish a bit of sparkle. Other side of the table the terrine was enjoyed and the smokiness came through well.

We had a little wait for our mains. I was given a side bowl with hot water and a lemon for my mussels, which was good to see but there was a long wait after that before the food actually appeared. Mussels good (apologies for the duff photo but I am just proving I had them!). The mussels were plentiful and juicy. The sauce I had chosen for them a shallot, white wine and garlic cream. Unusually, this lacked acidity of something such as lemon but strangely this was still yummy. The side of fries was a good call as they were gorgeous, crispy and had good flavour. On the other side of table the pie looked fab. It was hot with plenty of meat. The carrots were also good. However, my friend felt the mash a bit too cold in comparison with the pie , which took the shone off the dish.

We plumped for desserts. I went for a chocolate mousse with raspberry sorbet. My dining companion chose vanilla panna cotta with a berry soup and shortbread. The mousse was very rich but the sorbet and fruit helped cut through it, which resulted in a deliciously moreish dish. The two miniscule blobs of coulis seems superfluous though. The panna cotta was lacking wobble but other than, tasted good. The fruit soup and shortbread also were of a good standard.

I found that they were a bit slow to take our dessert order and clear our plates afterwards but overall it was a nice enough experience. I did find the restaurant lacked the buzz found in Michael Neave’s Kitchen and there was nothing good enough to wow me to go out of my way to come back, but everything was decent enough.

Food – 8/10
Service – 7/10
Atmosphere – 7/10
Value – 7/10

Overall – 29/40

Cost £63 for 2 x 3 courses, bottle still water and a glass of red wine

Michael's Steak and Seafood Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato