Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Our exciting Kitchin experience

For Nik's birthday I took him to The Kitchin restaurant in Edinburgh.  It's somewhere he'd always wanted to go (and me too really) since we lived in Edinburgh but we'd never been.  We went to Martin Wishart's last year for Nik's 30th with his family so this year I decided we would have a nice romantic weekend in Edinburgh together and fulfil the wish.

Oh My God.

How glad am I that I managed to get a table!?  It was amazing.  We had such a great time over the three hours we were there, the food was to die for and the wines divine.  I booked in January, 4 months in advance and still couldn't get a Saturday booking so went for a late dinner on the Friday giving us time to get there and settled in a hotel from Glasgow after work.

We knew before we went that we'd probably have the tasting menu.  Nik suggested when we got there that we have the matching wines too!  As we were having a treat weekend we decided to go for it and so glad we did.  Our somellier was brilliant describing exactly why he had chosen each wine to go with each course and what qualities each wine had.  It was the first time either of us really noticed the 'topnotes' and such after being told what they were.

The meal itself was unbelievably delicious and the best thing was that it was an adventure.  It's a surprise tasting menu so you don't know what you're getting until they bring it over and explain the dish.  We loved trying to guess what was coming next from the cutlery that was brought over first.

Our evening started in the bar as our table wasn't ready yet when we arrived.  We decided on the tasting menu with matching wines, explained our nut allergies to the maître d' and were brought some crudités and our first wine - Philipponnat Royale Reserve Champagne.  Nik chose the Brut and I chose the Rosé.  Sorry for some of the photos not being great - I was trying to be subtle (Nik gets terribly embarrassed by my obsession with food photos for the blog) but the light was directly behind me so there are lots of shadows but lots of photos!  :)

We were then taken to our table and served some delicious breads - tomato, wholemeal, sourdough and olive - all in a cute little tartan bread cosy...

Our first course was an amuse bouche of chicken and spring vegetable consommé which was lovely and definitely got the taste buds going.

2nd course was one of the most exciting - a 'Rock Pool'.  Basically a bowl of things you might find in a rock pool... shrimps, crab, squat lobster, razor clam, oyster, squid, octopus, mussels, clams, fish roe and eight kinds of seaweed!  The maître d' explained all that and then demonstrated that "the tide is coming in" by pouring over a little jug of shellfish consommé!  Our next wine was Albarino 'Rias Baixas', Bodegas Martin Codax Cambados, Spain, 2010.

Our 3rd course was equally delicious and consisted of asparagus, duck egg and crispy prosciutto ham with a pea purée and beurre blanc.  I was glad I'd kept some bread to mop up the purée - it was amazing!  Served with Semillon 'Margaret', Peter Lehman Barossa, Australia, 2005.

The 4th course was one I might have been a bit apprehensive about had I read it in advance which is another reason we liked the secrecy of the menu so much.  No time to worry about what you're getting.  This one was Pig's head terrine with a scallop and a crispy pig's ear salad!  Not something I would have ever ordered for pathetic reasons - mainly memories of pig's ear dog toys - but actually turned out to be my favourite course!!  It was scrumptious and I finished every last morsel!  This one was served with Etna Rosso, Tenuta Delle Terre Nerre, Sicily, 2010.

 This was followed by a tasty fish course which was Hake with a ragout of peas, lettuce and lardons served with Chardonnay Chilcas, Valle Central Chile, 2010.

By this point I was rather full but still loving every mouthful and just about managing to keep up with the wines!  Our 'main' course was lamb rump served with a 'piperade a la Basquaise' and crispy sweetbreads served with Saumur Champigny 'Terres Chaudes', Thierry Germain, France, 2009.  (I only learned a few days before this experience what sweetbreads were (not croissants and pain au chocolat as I presumed but actually various glands!) thanks to a facebook list of which of these foods have you eaten.  Mine has now been updated to tick off sweetbreads!  :)

Our seventh and final course (we were gutted that we were too stuffed to partake of the cheese trolley and skipped that optional extra!) was glazed lemon tart (crème brûlée style caramelised sugar topping), rhubarb sorbet and rhubard jelly cubes.  This was served with a heavenly dessert wine (not something we ever have), La Fleur D'Or Sauternes, Bordeux, which we were surprised how much we enjoyed.

To finish off our evening Nik had a coffee and we received the most delightful Petit fours.  They included a coffee bean tuille, a yummy, moist spiced carrot cake and a luscious, buttery, chocolate truffle.

At the end, we were brought a scroll detailing the menu we had just enjoyed with all the wines listed next to each course for us to remember (and report back here of course!)  :)

A quick mention of the restaurant itself, the staff it goes without saying were excellent as you would expect in a place like this.  Friendly and efficient, the Maître d' even joked with me when he saw me taking pictures of the consommé when he came to fill our water glasses (I obviously wasn't subtle enough but it shows you how observant they are) that I wasn't allowed to take photos of the food, much to Nik's delight.  I said oh sorry, but was extremely disappointed and then relieved when he said he was joking and that I should carry on.  Phew!  ;)

The dining room decor was deliciously dark, (but not overly so with lamps dotted throughout giving a warm glow - I like to see what I'm eating), relaxing and modern with a big open window to the kitchen.  I love being able to see what's going on in there and was very excited to spot Tom himself inspecting all the dishes before they came out.  Nik was amazed at my surprise to see him there as, well, it's his job, but I wasn't sure how often he would actually be 'in house' what with the TV work he does now as well.  (Apparently he was on Saturday Kitchen the very next day but in a pre-recorded segment!)

So there you have it, our epic, mouth-watering meal at The Kitchin.  I highly recommend it for a special occasion, or just if you feel like a fabulous treat.  We had an amazing evening and would love to go back and try it again another time!  Oh and bonus excitement, I tweeted while still a bit tipsy after leaving to say how much we enjoyed it and got a reply from Tom!  :D

The Kitchin on Urbanspoon


amy said...

Oh my god that all looks immense.
Also, you look fabulous!
And finally, there is no greater combination in life than lemon tart and Sauternes.

Unknown said...

It looks amazing. I'm so glad you both enjoyed it so much. A real treat indeed.

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