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Thursday, 29 October 2015

30 Second Beer Review - Radical Road By Stewart Brewing

I recently took advantage of a starter offer with online beer retailer, Favourly.com, who run a craft beer home delivery subscription service. Once signed up, members receive a box of random craft beers each month from a massive range of brewers from across the country. One of the great things about the Flavourly concept is that it's a great way to discover new beers and Brewers, in fact my starter box contained eight beers from five different breweries. Two of the beers came from Stewart's Brewing, and independent brewery that has been operating for just over ten years from their Edinburgh brew house. I'd tried one or two of their beers before but the Radical Road triple hopped IPA was a new one to me.
Radical Road Triple Hopped IPA (6.4% ABV) by Stewart Brewing.
  • Bought from Flavourly.com for £2.35
  • Pours with a large foamy head that laced the glass nicely
  • Dark amber colour that settles with a slight haziness
  • Low to mid carbonation making it very easy to drink
  • Lots going on in the nose with toasted malts and a sweet orange notes fighting for attention
I really liked this offering from Stewart's Brewing as it had all the flavours that float my boat. It had an initial sweetness that was quickly replaced with orange and apricot flavours before finishing with a bit finish. Three different hops are added to the kettle at five different stages of the boil. The beer is then hopped in the fermentation vessel before being dry hopped in the conditioning tank before bottling, but despite this heavy use of hops, I found Radical Road to be a very easy drinking session beer although I'm not sure how long the session would be with the beer packing 6.4% ABV.

 

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

5 Questions - Rock Rose Gin

Global sales of gin have rocketed in recent times with UK gin sales soaring by almost 20% over the last two years. City centre drinkers have been spoiled for choice as 'craft gin' fever takes a hold on trendy bars with independent distillers doing what they can to put their own twist on 'Mother's Ruin'.
When I attended the Ideal Home Show at the SECC back in May, there were a number of gin producers exhibiting, but one bottle really caught my eye on the day and that was the Rock Rose Gin produce by husband and wife team Martin & Claire Murray all the way up in Caithness. Their delicate gin is the result of a careful blend of local and traditional botanicals including Rhodiola Sea Buchthorn and Rowan Berries, all of which help create a distinctive gin that is then bottled in an eyecatching art nouveau ceramic bottle.
Rock Rose Gin is produced at the Dunnet Bay Distillery in small batches but that hasn't stopped them from smashing their own stretching sales targets with ease and picking up awards along the way.
Here's Rock Rose's story;
How did you get started?
I worked in the local supermarket at the age of 16 in the fruit and veg aisle. My lovely supervisors Jasmine and Martin taught me well, and it was a good introduction to the smells and flavours available locally and across the globe.
What’s the best piece of business advice you could give?
Trust your instinct and believe in yourself.
Where would you like to see your business in 5 years time?
I would like to have a distillery with a great reputation for spirits, and a happy, creative team working with us.
If you could match a gin with one of your own recipes, what would it be & why?
I love curries and I love gin, so I think I would distil a spicy gin with cardamom and have it with a hot version of butter chicken.
You can invite one person (living or dead) to your last meal – Who would it be and why? …and what’s on the menu?
Richard Feynman. He was so intelligent, with a wonderful way with words and his letter to his dead wife sealed it for me. The menu would consist of scallops, beef and cranachan with a wee gin to finish off.
I had been lucky enough to try a little sample of Rock Rose Gin when I visited their stand at The Ideal Home Show but to help me full appreciate the product, Martin very kindly sent me a beautifully presented Perfect Serve just before I went off on holiday but I only managed to crack it open over the weekend. Rock Rose Gin is one of the smoothest gins that I have tasted and I found that I could easily manage a double measure with the Fever Tree tonic mixer. That said, if you enjoy your gin that little bit stronger, Rock Rose Gin is also available in a Navy Strength version that you can buy directly from their website.
I would like to thank Martin and Claire for taking the time out to answer 5 Questions as well as wish them all the best for the future. The ever growing gin market is a ferocious place to do business but I'm sure that Rock Rose Gin will hold it's own as time rolls on. Rest assured, when I need to buy my next bottle, I'll definitely be looking out for Rock Rose Gin.
Keep up to date with Rock Rose Gin on Twitter and Facebook.

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Terrifyingly Tasty Cocktails from Caorunn Gin

With Halloween fast approaching the team at Caorunn have devised a selection of wickedly delicious Halloween inspired cocktails.
So whether you're a novice home-bartender or a seasoned pro they hope you'll agree that these ghoulishly good gin cocktails will add a splash of style to any Halloween party.

Halloween Juice Cocktail

Ingredients:
  • 50ml Caorunn Gin
  • 50ml Pumpkin Juice
  • 75ml Apple Juice
Method:
  1. Shake all ingredients over ice and serve.
Garnish: Apple slice (for Halloween heat in a pan).
Glass: Tumbler
Wild Forest Blackberry
Ingredients:
  • 50ml Caorunn Gin
  • 35ml Pressed Apple
  • 5ml Creme De Cassis
  • 15ml Lemon
  • 15ml Anise Infused Sugar Syrup
  • 4 Blackberries
  • To create the anise infused sugar syrup - bring 1 cup sugar, 1 cup water, 2 pcs star anise to a boil in a small saucepan. Reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Let cool completely. Pour through a sieve into a bowl; discard solids.
Method:
  1. Shake and strain with cubed Ice, then add crushed to the top.
Garnish: Lemon twist, blackberries and star anise.
Glass: Old fashioned.
Pumpkin Pie Martini
Ingredients:
  • 50ml Caorunn GIn
  • 25ml Pumpkin and Cinnamon Vanilla Syrup
  • 20ml Lemon Juice
Method:
  1. Pumpkin Syrup: Marinade cubed pumpkin in a container with Agave or sugar syrup, vanilla pods and a cinnamon stick. Muddle together to extract the water from the pumpkin, sieve and bottle.
  2. Add all ingredients to a Boston glass, shake and double strain.
Garnish: Vanilla pod.
Glass: Martini.
Vampire's Negroni Twist
Ingredients:
  • 25ml Caorunn Gin
  • 25ml Sweet Vermouth
  • 25ml Aperol
Method:
  1. Stir over ice.
Garnish: Orange twist.
Glass: Rocks.


Restaurant Review - Red Onion, West Campbell St, Glasgow

Just before we went off on holiday in September, I was lucky enough to win two tickets to see the smash west- end musical, Avenue Q at The Kings Theatre in Glasgow. The tickets were for a Wednesday evening so we needed to find somewhere handy for and inexpensive pre-theatre dinner before the muppets took to the stage.
We had tried to get into one of Glasgow's well known steakhouses who have a great steak and wine deal on a Wednesday night but when we tried to book for the time that suited us best, they couldn't take our booking because we wanted to eat 15 minutes before their deal started! Frustrated by this, I turned to booking site 5pm.co.uk knowing that I would have no problem in finding somewhere that would tick all of our boxes.
After a quick browse we decided to book dinner at Red Onion on West Campbell Street which is just a short walk from the theatre on Bath Street. Red Onion is a stylish restaurant situated right next to one of Glasgow's busiest shopping streets and offers high quality cooking at very reasonable prices. The restaurant is owned by chef John Quigley who has been working within the restaurant trade since the mid 80's as well as a spell as a touring chef to some of the biggest names in music including Tina Turner, Paul McCartney and Guns'n'Roses before opening the doors of of his own Glasgow restaurant over ten years ago. I have heard so many good things about both John and Red Onion but I have to confess that until now, I had never eaten there. Trust me, after our first visit we will definitely not be strangers.
The pre-theatre menu offers two courses for £13.95 or three courses for £16.95 but by booking through 5pm.co.uk we got a small glass of wine thrown in at the same price.
The menu has enough choice to suit most diners although myself and Nicola couldn't take our eyes of the bang-bang chicken salad with crispy noodles and spicy peanut dressing.
We both loved this light and fresh salad which was a great balance of texture and flavour. The spicy peanut sauce was fantastic and packed more than a little spice to the rich nutty dressing and took a relatively simple dish to an other level.
For her main, Nicola was swayed by the wild mushroom risotto with rocket, Spring onion and Parmesan shavings. There was now scrimping on footing size here as chef John served up a huge bowl of creamy risotto that was overloaded with mushrooms of all shapes and sizes. I'm not the biggest fan of mushrooms but I really enjoyed the earthiness of this dish. Nicola thoroughly enjoyed it too although she did admit that she still preferred the risotto that I cook at home. (I'll take praise like that any day of the week!)
I hate when you go for pre-theatre meals and the menu is loaded with lots of things that you'd rather have but there's and extra £5 charge! The only item on the Red Onion menu that had a surcharge was the steak frite that I ordered but in the grand scale of things, the extra £1.50 surcharge seemed fair.
What can I say, the steak was juicy and well cooked, the peppercorn sauce added a nice spicy inessential and acted as the perfect foil for my salty fries. I also liked the fact that there was a lightly dressed salad on the side - I'm really coming round to salad with my steak.
With time marching on we settled up the bill and made our way down Bath Street to see the show. We both agreed that we had received pretty good value for money and that based on the quality of food that we were served, we will need to get back soon to try out the a la carte menu.
You can keep up to date with Red Onion on Facebook and Twitter.

Review - Morblas Restaurant @ Hilton Glasgow, William St, Glasgow

Myself and Nicola recently celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary and to help us celebrate, the good people at Hilton Glasgow invited us to an overnight hotel stay with dinner at their in-house restaurant, Morblas Seafood & Grill. I had previously written 5 Questions posts on Hilton Glasgow's Executive Chef Derek Donaldson and Morblas Sous Chef Graham Gardner but hadn't had the chance to eat there yet so was more than happy to take Hilton Glasgow up on their very kind offer.
Hilton Glasgow is located just off of the M8 motorway and a short distance from Glasgow Central train station and a ten minutes walk the busy shopping areas of Buchanan Street and Sauchiehall Street. We had planned to head out for a few pre-dinner drinks but had to make a quick change to our original plan because after checking in and making our way up to our room, we were surprised and delighted to find a chilled bottle of Prosecco and some chocolate coated strawberries waiting for us. In all fairness, there was no real reason for us to venture outside as our King Hilton room was comfortable, spacious, well decorated and kitted out with a 42" flatscreen TV, mini bar and docking station for our portable music devices. Our 11th floor room also gave us great panoramic views over the city skyline as we quaffed our bubbles.
As the afternoon slowly turned into early evening, we changed for dinner and headed downstairs for pre-dinner drink at hotel bar, Connich. Sometimes hotel bars take the easy road when it comes to the brands that they stock but we were both impressed by the range of choice on offer at the bar, especially when it came to luxury branded spirits with Nicola getting a taste of Bevedere Unfiltered vodka whilst I relaxed with a glass of Flor de Caña, a wonderful rum from Nicaragua. Both of these drinks cost no more than we would have paid for similar quality drinks elsewhere in town. In fact, I thought that the bar prices in general were competitive, especially when you consider the fact that this is a five star hotel.
Soon it was time for dinner so we made our way around to the entrance of Morblas to be met by an impressive wall of champagne that hides the main seating area of the restaurant and also acts as a nice sound barrier to the noise from the not too far away foyer.
The wine list offered plenty of choice and in the end we settled on a bottle of Los Romeros Sauvignon Blanc from Chile. This was a very easy to drink wine with a nice zingy freshness that worked particularly well with each of our starters.
As we glanced over the menu we were served some freshly baked white and wholemeal bread along with a tray of flavoured butters including a wonderful sundried tomato butter and a salty olive butter. In fact, the butter was so good, we had to ask for more!
Normally when scallops are on the menu, Nicola has an easy decision for starter but in recent months she has been swayed by Cullen Skink, the traditional Scottish fish soup, and that's what she decided on tonight. The Morblas Cullen Skink was rich and creamy and packed with delicate pieces of cooked fish whilst additional texture was brought to the dish by the fried leek birds nest, complete with a crispy soft boiled quail egg.
As Nicola hadn't ordered the scallops, it meant that I was able to try one of the restaurants signature dishes - seared scallops, roasted sweetcorn, baby spinach and braised ham hough. Three sweet, succulent scallops sat a on a bed of wilted spinach and charred baby corn and sweetcorn kernels, and a crispy baton of salty ham hough. It was a great balance of flavour, although if you're not the biggest sweetcorn fan then maybe this isn't the dish for you. I thought that the sweetcorn dominated the dish and perhaps took the shine away from the scallops. Fortunately, I love sweetcorn and I thought that the balance of sweet and salty, soft and crunchy worked really well.
Morblas is well regarded as a good place to get a quality steak but when Nicola spotted the lamb dish on the menu she, stopped looking! This was a fantastic demonstration of cooking and I have to admit to being a little jealous when the smoked lamb shoulder and herb crusted loin arrived. The perfectly cook lamb was joined on the plate by a light pearl barley risotto and buttered tenderstem broccoli and the most intense jus. We've never had smoked lamb before but will definitely be looking out for it in future.
As I said earlier, Morblas specialises on steaks so "when in Rome", and all that, I ordered the 10oz grass fed American sirloin which was served with chunky hand cut chips and a fresh green salad. I also ordered a side of cauliflower cheese that tasted great but wasn't really needed because both of our mains were more than sufficient to fill us up. The steak was cooked medium, just how I like it and had a wonderful smoky flavour from the grill. Until fairly recently, I didn't often order steak when we are out but have eaten quite a few in the last year - the sirloin at Morblas was one of the better pieces of beef that I've had in a long time.
As the night rolled on and we came to the end of our main courses, we knew that we had no room for dessert, which is a pity as I had my eye on the dark chocolate & hazelnut Mille Feuille but common sense won over greed and we retired to the seating area outside of the restaurant where we ordered some coffee. When our waiter brought the coffee to our table he also had a tray of petit four with a message of congratulations from the chef.
So after our prosecco, wine, pre-dinner drinks and a full meal, it was time to head back to the room feeling a little tired and suitable stuffed.
We both had a fantastic stay at Hilton Glasgow and wouldn't hesitate to recommend the accommodation and the restaurant to friends and family. Glasgow has no shortage of quality restaurants and I would certainly put Morblas into that category and bearing in mind that it is only a short walk from Charing Cross or Glasgow Central, it's not too far off the beaten track.
I would like to thank Hilton Glasgow for their very kind gift as well as thank the staff on shift during our visit for their hospitality. I would also like to add that although we were guests of Hilton Glasgow and Morblas restaurant, the review above is our honest opinion of our visit.
Keep up to date with the team at Hilton Glasgow on Facebook and Twitter.

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Halloween-themed tour of historic Wellpark Brewery

Ghost of Hugh Tennent will lead frighteningly fun event

Join Tennent's Lager for a ghostly edition of one of Glasgow's most loved tours, guided by no other than special guest...the ghost of Hugh Tennent! See how Hugh's "mad man's dream" came into fruition from the man himself.

Ghostly Hugh will lead you through the history of the Tennent's Brewery from his own family history to the present day. Unlock the mysteries of the iconic venue, and listen in as the eerie myths and legends of Scotland's oldest running brewery – which Hugh helped make famous – come to life.

Guests joining us for Saturday night tours will have the opportunity to participate in the Action for Children Glasswalk provided by HeadStrong. If you would like to perform this amazing, scary feat and support Action for Children's services across Scotland this will cost an additional £10 payable to Just Giving:

(https://www.justgiving.com/AFCGlasswalk)

100% of the donation will go to Action for Children. Further information about the charity and the Glasswalk can be found below the tour description.

The tour will return to the safe haven of the Tennent's Visitor Centre for a complimentary pint of Tennent's, followed by an exclusive tasting by Hugh of our Tennent's Export Products.

Nibbles and Hallowe'en games will be included in the per person price, so don't miss out on the Hallowe'en event of the year!

To book, please go online to: http://www.tennentstrainingacademy.co.uk/course/1300

Date: October 30th and 31st, 2015

Time: 21.00-22.45

Length: 1 hour 45 minutes

Cost: £20 per person (including VAT)

Venue: Tennent’s Visitor Centre

 

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Grazie Italia! Sarti supports Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus Scotland

Italian restaurant group Sarti is asking customers to add £1 to every check throughout the month of October to celebrate Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus Scotland’s 50th anniversary and raise vital funds to support the charity’s specialist services.
The restaurant will be asking customers to donate after dining at any of its three Glasgow locations, with donations going directly to Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus Scotland (SBH Scotland), formerly known as the Scottish Spina Bifida Association. Donations will help to provide critical support services across Scotland such as their national helpline, health check clinics, one-to-one support, social groups, advice and training.
Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus Scotland was formed in 1965 by group of parents who each had children with spina bifida (a fault in the spinal column in which one or more veterbrae fail to form properly, leaving a gap or split and causing problems with the nervous system) and/or hydrocephalus (a condition where increased pressure on the brain can cause social, emotional, cognitive and behavioural difficulties). Now 50 years later, the charity remain family-orientated and support over 3,500 children, young people and adults in Scotland.
Along with SBH Scotland’s 50th anniversary, the month of October coincides with World Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus Day on the 25th of the month, where all Sarti restaurants will also be donating 5% of the takings for the day.
As a part of the fundraising, Sarti will also be selling £5 raffle tickets in all restaurants until 31 October with an array of top-quality prizes including meals for two, overnight stays, hampers, cookery books and beauty vouchers.
Patricia Diamond, financial director at Sarti, said: “Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus Scotland is such an empowering charity and so needed because it is the only charity of its kind in Scotland. As we consider ourselves a family, we felt a connection to SBH Scotland and the family services they offer.
“October is always a busy month at our venues and we’re hoping our customers – both regular and new – will support our fundraising activity and help us raise a lot of money for a worthy cause.”
The event marks the start of SBH Scotland’s yearlong campaign ‘With a little help from our friends’, a full year of anniversary-themed fundraising events with the aim of raising money to help support the charity. Past years have had similar month-long campaigns and the charity are hoping that supporters can come up with a number of innovative ways to raise funds all year long in their very special 50th year.
Deborah Roe, Director of Fundraising at Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus Scotland, said: “The partnership with Sarti is a fantastic way to begin our 50th year, and a great way to kick start our year-long fundraising appeal ‘With A Little Help From Our Friends’. We’re very grateful to the team at Sarti for their huge generosity, they are a great inspiration to our other supporters.
“Since the charity formed in 1965, there have been so many advancements in the care and treatment of spina bifida and hydrocephalus; yet, both conditions remain life-long complex disabilities for which there is no known cure. Donations like this are essential to keep our charity running; funding the services we offer up and down the country, and for that, we want to say grazie!”
If you’ve been inspired by Sarti Restaurants and would like to support SBH Scotland’s 50th Appeal please call 03455 211 600, email fundraising@sbhscotland.org.uk or visit www.sbhscotland.org.uk/fifty

 

We Hae Meat - Steak Slice Challenge

When you grow up in the West of Scotland, the lorne sausage is no stranger, often served in a crispy roll or on a sandwich on a Sunday morning as the perfect hangover cure.
The lorne sausage, is a bit of a local celebrity but the good people at Ayrshire farmers & butcher We Hae Meat believe that the lorne sausage is more than just a breakfast item and could perhaps be used as in other ways.
In the quest to change people's perceptions, 'We Hae Meat' sent me a block of their steak slice sausage in the hope that I could come up with a recipe that might elevate the lorne sausage from breakfast staple to something more.
I have used sausage in a few past recipes in the past so set about tranforming the steak slice into lorne meatballs for my Sausage, Red Onion and Mustard Pasta dish.
Ingredients
  • 3 square sausage, cut and shaped into 18 meatballs
  • 2 red onions, thinly sliced
  • 100ml soured cream
  • 25g Grana Padano cheers, grated
  • 1tbsp wholegrain mustard
  • 150g dried pasta - I used tri-color fusilli
  • Small handful of rocket leaves
Method


  1. Heat a little oil in a pan and fry the onions until the begin to soften. Remove from the pan and set aside until needed.
  2. In the same pan, add the sausage meatballs and fry until cooked through.
  3. Cook the pasta until al denté then drain through a colander, keeping a little of the cooking liquor in the pot.
  4. Add the onions, sausage meatballs, mustard and soured cream into the pot and stir until the pasta is coated with the creamy mustard sauce.

To serve, divide the rocket leaves between two bowls and spoon in the creamy meatball pasta, grating a little more Grana Padano over the top to finish.

The end result of my 'Steak Slice Challenge' was tasty however, the square sausage still tasted very much like square sausage. In fact, by taking part in the challenge I am now even more certain that the square sausage will always be a breakfast ingredient.
Thanks again to 'We Hae Meat' for asking me to be involved, I'm just sorry that I couldn't be convinced to think any differently of my square sausage.
Keep up to date with 'We Hae Meat' on Twitter or swing by their website for more recipe ideas.

 

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Product Review - Satay Season & Stir from Blue Dragon

The supermarket shelves are full of packets, pouches and sachets of sauces and seasonings all vying for our attention and hoping to make cooking at home that little bit easier, however I often find them to be fairly bland or tasteless. The team at Blue Dragon consistently produce well flavoured products to help me get a tasty stir-fry to the table quickly so when I spotted their new Season & Stir pouch on the shelf of my local Morrisons, I had to put it through its paces.
The Season & Stir pouch could be called the 'Idiot's Guide to Chinese Cooking' because it is the simplest product that I have seen that delivers an authentic taste with almost no effort what so ever.
The product comes in four flavours, Chow Mein, Chinese BBQ, Sweet Chili, and Satay and consists of a dry powder seasoning that is used to marinate the and a pouch containing enough sauce for two servings. Blue Dragon Season is priced about £1.20 per pack but you might find it on offer if you look about.
As with any stir fry, you can use whatever vegetables and/or meat that you like. I used a 300g sirloin steak cut into thin strips which were then coated in the dry powder seasoning. I left this for fifteen minutes whilst I chopped up some spring onion, red pepper, red chilli and an onion before stirfrying then all together. Once the beef was cooked through and the vegetables were beginning to soften, I added the contents of the sauce pouch and cooked for a further three minutes.
I served the beef satay over some egg noodles that I had seasoned with sesame and chilli oil. So there you have it, dinner ready from fridge to plate in about twenty minutes - it was that easy. The satay sauce tasted as good as any that I've eaten in Chinese restaurants and had a sneaky little fiery kick at the end of every forkful.
I've been using Blue Dragon products for a number of years and can honestly say that this is my favourite product so far. In fact, I have already bought in a few more packets to keep in the cupboard for emergencies.

 

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Quick Review - Restaurant Mark Greenaway

Back in August myself and Nicola were making our annual pilgrimage to the Edinburgh Festival, this time to see magician and comedian Pete Firman. We always end up grabbing a pre-theatre meal in one of the many chain restaurants that clutter the capital but this year when I was looking for dinner deals I spotted that Restaurant Mark Greenaway had a well priced pre-theatre menu on offer. I've written about Mark Greenaway before and we were lucky enough to eat at his North Castle Street restaurant just after Christmas last year so knew just how good the food was so it was a easy decision to choose Restaurant Mark Greenaway as our festival dinner choice.

As it happened, the only free weekend that we had in August also coincided with my birthday and unbeknown to me, Nicola had contacted Mark to arrange for a glass of fizz to be served upon our arrival. I have to say that I was a little surprised and embarrassed when we were shown to our table to be greeted with some chilled prosecco and even a birthday card from Mark too.

We were eating from the Market Menu which offered a choice of three starters, mains and desserts for just £22 with a wine flight available for an extra £18 each but as we didn't have a great deal of time between dinner and our show, we decided to just order a glass of wine each.
To start, we both ordered the Pork Ballotine, Crackling, Black Pudding BonBons & Roasted and Fresh Green Apple. This was a hearty opening to our meal with hot crispy bonbons, sharp apple jelly and apple sauce all sitting on top of a disc of chilled, well seasoned pressed pork. The black pudding had a nice level of spice to work with the sweet pork and fresh apple flavours whilst the crispy coating from the bonbon and the crackling helped added another layer of texture.









Nicola's main was a pretty dish of Roasted Free Range Chicken Breast with Carrot Purée, Poached Baby Leeks, Button Mushrooms and Rosemary Mash which was a great piece of cooking. If I served this up for roast Sunday dinner, I would have been so proud. Moist chicken breast with crispy skin was complimented by soft, peppery leek and sweet carrot purée, charred onion and the earthiness of the mushroom. The mash was soft and buttery with just enough rosemary to add another dimension and all of this was finished with a rich creamy sauce. Nicola loves roast chicken and quickly added this into her top three ever!

My own main was a very interesting dish of Pan Fried Fillet of Salmon with Mussel Spring Roll, Wilted Rocket, Caviar & Cucumber Velouté. I don't know what I was expecting from my own main but was blown away by the taste sensation that was served to me. The salmon was cooked to perfection, slightly pink on the inside and with proper crispy skin, that much I had expected. It was the rest of the dish that changed everything - three turrets of spring rolls filled with quinoa and mussels sat proudly wishing a slightly salty velouté made from cucumber and dotted with a spattering of caviar helping to add little bubbles of saltiness to cut through the sweetness from the salmon. The dish was finished of with nasturtium leaves helping to add a rustic feel to my main. Whilst this might seem like an odd collection of ingredients, everything felt that it was supposed to be there. This was a truly accomplished dish and certainly one of the best fish dishes that I've eaten.













Nicola had ordered the chocolate fondant for dessert and we were advised that these are cooked to order so there would be a short delay in service but as we waited we were presented with a little pre-dessert of a strawberry & basil trifle to keep us going. We both love trifle and this grown up twist was delicious with sweet strawberries and aromatic basil working in harmony while the creamy vanilla custard reminded us that this was a proper pudding. I would have been more than happy to have just a huge bowl of this trifle as my main dessert.
Nicola's choice of dessert was an easy one after she spotted Dark Chocolate Fondant, Salted Caramel, Coffee Macaroons, Burnt White Chocolate & Vanilla Ice Cream on the menu and it was definitely worth the 15 minute. What an amazing balance of flavour and texture! The chocolate fondant was crispy on the outside and gooey on the inside and when combined with the coffee macaroon, salted caramel sauce and creamy vanilla ice cream, it was divine. Every spoonful was amazing, at least that's what I was told, Nicola only shared one spoonful with myself.
Nicola's dessert was pure comfort food and the type of pudding that I would love on a cold winter day whereas my own dessert of Raspberry FishBowl, Raspberry Granola, Jelly, Espuma, Sorbet & Meringue was a much fresher way to finish a meal. I'm not sure how many raspberries died in order to make up my dessert but I'm sure that it was a lot. The fresh raspberry flavour ran all through the dish, some sweet and some sharp and the varying textures meant that every mouthful was a joy to the tastebuds.
With three courses down and our show at The Pleasance rapidly approaching, it was time for us to settle the bill and get on our way. The bill was £58 including two glasses of wine which we both agreed was great value for money for the meal that we had just eaten, and I know that had we eaten at one of the chain restaurant, we would struggle to get a meal of similar standard for the same price.
It is worth mentioning that since our visit, the Market Menu prices have increases to £24.50 for three course but even then, the quality and service is still worth the little extra.