A Taste of Scotland
“Taste of Scotland” is a new five-course tasting menu that changes with the seasons and is available at One Square restaurant in the luxurious Sheraton Grand Hotel and Spa in Edinburgh. Head Chef, Craig Hart showcases the very best of Scotland’s larder and the £65 per head menu includes matched Scottish drinks chosen to compliment the flavours in each dish.
We were invited along to watch Craig create each course and it provided a fascinating insight into the construction of each dish. Bar manager Tobiasz was also on hand to guide us through his selection of paired drinks. There were also a couple of One Square suppliers, to tell us about the provenance of the produce used in the menu. It was interesting to hear the journey from land and sea on to our plates.
Brown crab, Braeburn apple and mooli salad paired with Gunner, blonde ale from Campbell’s Brewery in Peebles
We started our Scottish feast with deliciously light and fresh Brown Crab from Orkney. The crabs used are caught in baited crab pots enabling sustainable fishing. Each pot is checked by hand and undersized crabs or smaller females with eggs are returned to the sea. Each crab comes with its very own Orcadian passport to guarantee quality. The creamy mix of crab and Perthshire crème fraîche was balanced with shards of sweet red apple and mooli salad. A drizzle of Scottish rapeseed oil dressing and a scattering of micro coriander completed the dish. The crab was complimented by Gunner, a blond ale from small family owned Campbell’s Brewery in Peebles. The ale’s sweet flavour with notes of apple and orange blossom really brought out the delicate flavour of the crab.
Roasted scallop, sweet cicely carrot puree and puffed oats paired with One Square gin and Fever Tree tonic from Pickerings at Summerhall in Edinburgh
Next up was an equally well-presented dish of Roasted Scallop. The meaty scallop is hand dived in the deep clear waters of Orkney before making its way to the One Square kitchens. The caramelised scallop was served on a bed of sweet cicely carrot puree and the dish was topped with a crisp squid ink tuille. Puffed oats gave a crunchy texture while salty samphire added to the taste of the sea. The Scallop dish was paired with One Square’s very own Gin specially made for the restaurant by Pickerings at Summerhall in Edinburgh. The fresh crisp gin with botanicals rich in juniper, cinnamon, cloves and lemon verbena was garnished with grapefruit and thyme and the perfect Scottish alternative to the usual crisp fruity white wine pairing.
Textures of Scottish lamb, hazelnuts and capers paired with Innes & Gunn Rum Cask Finish Ale from Edinburgh
Our third dish was Scottish Lamb which proved quite controversial around our tasting table. It was interesting to get chef’s insight into the public’s dining habits. Craig commented that on a set menu if lamb is the main meat choice, the number of diners choosing the vegetarian option increases dramatically. It’s a bold choice, therefore, to make lamb the centrepiece but I suppose that’s the great thing about a tasting menu. It encourages diners to try food that they might not otherwise choose. One Square’s lamb is bred on farms around the Scottish Highlands and will be in season from now until the start of next year. The lamb shoulder was served with an aubergine caviar with garlic, thyme and oil, Kohlrabi, sweetbreads, spinach and creamy fondant. Innis & Gunn Rum Cask finished ale with its spicy roasted barley flavours and rich chocolatey notes were the perfect accompaniment to the meaty dish.
Strathdon Blue trifle, walnut biscuit and Lochnagar grape chutney paired with Springbank Whisky 15yo
Tanny Gill from Clarks came along to talk us through our cheese course which featured savoury and salty Strathdon Blue as the centrepiece. Chef worked his magic and created a taste sensation by layering whisky-soaked grapes, Strathdon espuma, dacquoise walnut biscuits and sweet pear chutney. It only took a spoonful or two to realise that this was an inspired creation. The paired light and fruity Springbank 15 yo malt whisky brought out the cardamon and pear flavours in the chutney and prevented the dish from being too rich.
Room for Dessert?
Bruce Farm’s Scottish strawberry jelly and vanilla mousse paired with One Square 76
Our final course celebrates Scotland’s reputation as the best producer in the world for soft fruit. A light vanilla mousse is crowned with a selection of berries encased in jelly made from Chapel Down wine (using Cairn O’Mhor strawberry fizz would make it even more Scottish!). Fresh strawberry purée, nuggets of honeycomb, edible flowers, chocolate shard and twirl finish the dish with a flourish. This refreshing dessert is paired with One Square 76. A cocktail combination of Verdant dry gin from Dundee mixed with strawberry and elderflower syrups, lemon juice and topped up with prosecco – a sweet and frothy end to the meal.
If you are looking for a real taste of Scotland and a menu that changes with the seasons, then we highly recommend trying Chef Craig Hart’s thoughtful tour of Scotland’s larder. In just over two hours you will enjoy imaginative food and drink pairings from around the country in the perfect surroundings of One Square. Castle views, plush surroundings and excellent service make this a real visit to remember.
Available Thursday to Saturday between 6 pm and 9 pm
Cost £65 per person
How to book a table
Tel: 0131 221 6422
Hughe thanks to One Square for inviting us along to sample the new tasting menu as their guest.