Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Fazenda Edinburgh Now Open

FAZENDA EDINBURGH NOW OPEN
THE BRAZILIAN RODIZIO BAR & GRILL HAS OPENED ITS DOORS ON GEORGE STREET 


Fazenda Edinburgh on the capital’s George Street


The welcoming bar seats 40

Independent restaurant operators City District Group, founders of Fazenda Bar & Grill, opened the doors to their first Scottish restaurant on Friday 23rd February.

The £2m refurbishment of the George Street site includes 175 covers incorporating a 40-cover bar, plus a private dining room. The interiors feature banquette seating in tan leather upholstery with Brazilian flourishes reflected in the golden glow of traditional-style chandeliers. Wine is prominently displayed throughout restaurant, with dramatic displays forming a central theme.

Co-founder, Tomas Maunier said: “It has been an amazing start for us in Edinburgh. People have welcomed us with great feedback and we feel the city is a perfect match for us. Our unique dining experience is something the city has never encountered before and it's quickly becoming a favourite for both locals and tourists." 


Tomas Maunier with Scott Hastings at the launch party on Thursday 22nd February

The authentic gaúcho experience embraces rodizio dining, a unique Brazilian way of serving a selection of grilled meats carved at the table. The set menu showcases successions of prime cuts, among them chicken, lamb, pork and beef A highlight is Fazenda’s signature picanha offering- a juicy, tender and flavourful cut from the cap of the rump, popular in Brazil. Fazenda ensures the experience is easy and enjoyable by allowing diners to eat at their own pace via a start/stop control card on every table.


Fazenda Edinburgh

Diners are also invited to visit Fazenda’s outstanding gourmet sides bar offering an extensive selection of salads, sushi, smoked salmon, fresh cut vegetables, cured meats, and traditional Brazilian dishes.

Francisco Martinez, Executive Head Chef for the group, commented: “The high quality of our produce is essential in delivering the authentic gaúcho experience. We carefully select our meats, just as we would if we were cooking for our friends back in Brazil, and limit the seasoning to the minimum so the natural flavours and textures of these great cuts shine through. The beauty of the experience is that you don’t get stuck with one cut, you go through a culinary voyage that allows you to enjoy a rainbow of flavours.” 


Fazenda’s signature ‘picanha’ cut

Wine is also a key ingredient of the Fazenda experience, with a carefully-curated wine list offering diners a perfect accompaniment to every cut of meat. Fazenda offers a selection of award-wining wines with a focus on South America, but also including some of the great players from the old world, ensuring guests experience a culinary journey they will not forget.


Pouring Veuve Cliquot at the Fazenda Edinburgh launch party 

Tomas Maunier, continued: “We believe passion is the driving force behind a great restaurant. In South America, where we come from, life is all about sharing, and we want to share our passion for our roots and traditions with the people of Edinburgh.”

City District Group operates another three Fazenda restaurants in Leeds, Manchester, Liverpool and Fazenda’s sister brand Picanha in Chester.
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Kinrara Distillery in Aviemore announces its arrival with Kinrara Highland Dry Gin

One of Scotland’s newest micro distilleries, Kinrara Distillery nr. Aviemore, has launched its first Gin, the Kinrara Highland Dry Gin. A juniper led dry gin, combining both foraged and locally sourced botanicals. Nestled in 12,000 acres of Cairngorm National Park, just outside Aviemore, the estate offers a stunning range of flora and berries that Kinrara forage for their gins and mix with carefully sourced botanicals. Kinrara distillery prides itself on creating a handcrafted small batch spirit. From the distillation of the gin right down to the bottling, everything is lovingly done by hand, by their passionate highland team.
Stuart McMillan, Co-Founder and Director of Kinrara said: “This is a hugely exciting time for us at Kinrara. The launch sees both the end of the first stage of our journey and the beginning of an exciting future at Kinrara. We are proud to be part of a wonderful and successful industry in Scotland, and look forward to seeing Kinrara earn its place as a unique and individual brand”
Kinrara Highland Dry Gin is available to pre-purchase online only at https://www.kinraradistillery.com/product-category/our-products/gin. Batch 1 is limited to one bottle per transaction, to allow as many people the opportunity to purchase a collector’s edition of the Gin. Batch 2 is on sale now also. As Kinrara grows, they will also craft single malt whisky and Scottish rums.
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Monday, 19 March 2018

New 'Six By Nico Edinburgh' restaurant to bring traditional 'Chippie' to New Town

Six By Nico Edinburgh is a new restaurant concept opening this Spring and the brainchild of Chef Nico Simeone - the man behind the much-loved Glasgow restaurant in Finnieston.

Foodies will be treated to a new restaurant at the same location on Hanover Street in New Town every six weeks and now, the team have announced the theme and name of their first concept.

'The Chippie' will kick-start the series of evolving concepts - which includes a six-course tasting-menu - providing a nostalgic nod to the traditional fish and chip shop, with items on the menu including chips and cheese, steak pie, sausage supper and the classic deep fried mars bar.

The restaurant menu will showcase the flavours of the local chip shop for which the UK is framed for worldwide and acknowledges the infamous 'Salt and Sauce' condiment, peculiar to Edinburgh and Fife regions, where a mixture of malt vinegar and brown sauce is used to accompany chips or any meal from the local chipshop. 

A nostalgic nod to the past, ‘The Chippie’ will serve six dishes based on the classics found in your traditional Scottish Fish and Chip shop – each one re-imagined and re-created with a contemporary twist.

Chef Nico Simeone said, "We are very excited to launch in the capital with 'The Chippie' concept. Most people are familiar with the tastes and scents of their local chip shop and we wanted to take the idea of the everyday chippie menu and re-invent it to create a playful food experience that guests would recognise and be amazed by".

Diners can book a table now for 'The Chippie', which runs from March 30th - May 13th 2018. Open from midday, Tuesday through to Sunday, each six-course menu will be available from noon to night. The menu will be priced at £28 per person and diners will have the option to enjoy an expertly selected wine pairing for an additional £25.

He added. "We couldn't be more delighted about bringing a completely new offering and dining experience to the people of Edinburgh. By challenging ourselves to do this every six-weeks we feel we have created the perfect recipe for an exciting epicurean adventure for not just our diners, but our team too.”


Serverino designs and creative partners blk 29 have been appointed by the team to develop the new city centre restaurant and work is currently underway at the former 'Passorn Thai' brasserie site at 97 Hanover Street. Six by Nico plan to create 35 new jobs as they expand their restaurant portfolio in Scotland.

Six by Nico Edinburgh will open it’s doors on Friday March 30th 2018 becoming the latest addition to the cities burgeoning restaurant and bar scene. From it’s creative menu concepts to outstanding food and service, the venue will aim to become an immediate hit with the people of Edinburgh.

The Edinburgh restaurant promises to be as eye catching as it is delicious. It will boast a minimal design, starkly contrasted by grand fixtures and fittings with atmospheric mood lighting. The restaurant will feature a modern design open kitchen on view to all. 

To make a reservation and to book now, visit www.sixbynico.co.uk/edinburgh/
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Sunday, 18 March 2018

Restaurant Review - The Shore Grill & Fish House, Double Tree by Hilton - Queensferry Crossing




Towards the end of last year, myself and Nicola were invited to try out the menu at The Shore Grill & Fish House which is housed within the recently opened Double Tree by Hilton Edinburgh - Queensferry Crossing, which as the name suggests overlooks the new bridge that spans the Forth, as well as both the Forth Road and Rail Bridges. 
Operated by the Cairn Group, the creators of the award-winning Twenty Princes Street and Juniper cocktail bar in  the heart of Edinburgh City Centre, The Shore offers sanctuary from the city and hopes to offer a destination venue that will be the perfect place to enjoy drinks and dinner for friends and family alike.
The restaurant boasts stunning views over the Forth with all three bridges visible from most tables however as we visited on a winter evening we have no photos to demonstrate these phenomenal views. 
If you manage along during the day, you will be met with wonderful floor to ceiling views of the Queensferry Crossing.


I had been looking over the menu before our visit and the thing that really stood out to me was the drinks menu which has a fantastic selection of classic and house cocktails, wine, premium spirits and craft beers ensuring that there’s something for everyone. 
As we were in no rush, we decided to kick things our night off with pre-dinner cocktails with both of us opting for the Daffy’s 75, a variation on the classic French 75 cocktail made using Daffy’s Gin, lemon juice, sugar syrup, lemon sorbet and topped with champagne. I love champagne cocktails and this twist on a classic is so refreshing and a great way to prepare the palate before dinner.

The wine list is well balanced and well priced with the most expensive white wine just £40 for a bottle of Chablis while the red wine selection boasts wines from both old and new world including a big hitting Amarone Della Valpolicella topping the pricing at £65.
We were both in the mood for white wine and opted for the 2016 Pulpo Albariño at a modest £30. Albariño is one of our favourite wines at the moment and this offering from Pagos Del Rey was very good. Pale in colour with aromas of flowers, peach and apricot is big on flavour with a salty mineral finish, this great wine to drink on its own and a fantastic match with our seafood starters.

We spent what seemed like an age trying to decide what to order but both struggled as the menu is loaded with lots of our favourites with fresh seafood and prime meat featuring heavily. In years gone by, Nicola would have been all over the scallops but in recent times she has developed a fondness for mussels and on the night, she decided to start with half a kilo of Scottish rope grown mussels in a hay smoked Cullen Skink sauce. The mussels were plump and meaty and had been cooked perfectly. The Cullen Skink sauce was a well thought out accompaniment although we both struggled to detect much in the way of flavour from the hay smoking process. That said, it didn’t stop Nicola working her way effortlessly to the bottom of the bowl. The mussels were served with a couple of slice of homemade focaccia that worked well to mop up the remainder of the creamy Cullen Skink.

Nicola’s decision to start with the mussels, paved the way for me ordering the pan-seared Scottish Scallops with black pudding and apple. When the scallops arrived, I’ll be honest and say that was a little disappointed. Don’t get me wrong, the dish was presented nicely however the portion size was smaller than I had expected although had the scallops been presented on a round plate rather than the very eye catching oblong platter, perhaps the portion size would have looked more impressive? 
Putting that to the side, the dish was delicious. Scallops and black pudding are best friends and should be served together more. Soft sweet scallops, crispy spiced black pudding are the perfect foil of taste and texture while the addition of green apple matchsticks added a little acidity that cut though the spice and freshened the palate.

The main menu offers a wide selection of comfort food and Nicola decided to stick with a ‘pub grub’ classic by ordering The Shore Haddock Supper. My good lady is a bit of a connoisseur of fish’n’chips and when her Caledonian Three Hop beer battered haddock arrived, she was immediately impressed. Two huge fillets of fish rested atop a bed of French fries (triple cooked chips are also available)  and were joined on the plate with mushy peas, a charred lemon and a little pot of homemade tartare sauce. The fish was cooked perfectly, the batter was crisp and well seasoned while the haddock was firm and flaky inside. The accompanying mushy peas were as good as we’ve had, full of fresh pea flavour with just enough vinegar to work with the fish. Nicola isn’t a fan of tartare sauce but I did sneak a taste and thought it was a pretty good homemade version. The charred lemon was a nice touch as this completely changes the flavour of the lemon juice, adding a slightly sweet lemon flavour when squeezed over the top of the fish. Overall, this was a very good fish’n’chips.

For my own main, I opted for slow cooked pork belly with smoked polenta and toasted pine nuts which turned out to be one of the best plates of food that I ate last year. The pork belly was soft and tender, falling away at the slightest touch from the fork. The smoked polenta was inspired - smooth and creamy but with just enough smokiness to cut through the rich, sweet sticky jus that accompanied the pork. Toasted pine nuts are one of my ultimate luxury items and their earthiness worked wonderfully with the big hitting flavours from both the pork and polenta. As comfort foods go, this hearty dish was as good as they come and one that I will be trying to recreate at home.

I’m generally not a fan of ordering side dishes but as my main didn’t come with any vegetables, I decided to get a small salad with my Pork Belly. In fairness, I should probably have ordered some greens to cut through the richness of my main but in the end, the dressed rocket leaves, tomato and onion added enough contrast and acidity to my main to do the job necessary.

As mentioned earlier, The Shore Grill & Fish House is located within the Double Tree Hilton Edinburgh - Queensferry Crossing but don’t be fooled into thinking that this is a hotel restaurant. The restaurant operates very much as a go to venue and proved to be a popular place as we witnessed over the course of the night and based on our visit, it’s safe to say that the locals have taken The Shore to their hearts. 

We dined as guests of the hotel but my review above is an honest account of our experience on the night. We would like to thank the management and staff for their hospitality and generosity on the night and which them all the best for the future.

If you happen to be on the northside of the The Forth then I would have no hesitation on recommending The Shore Grill & Fish House if you’re looking for somewhere for lunch or dinner.

Keep up to date with The Shore Grill & Fish House on Facebook and Twitter.
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