Lunch and Cocktails at The Adamson
The Adamson, in St Andrews, has been keeping students and visitors to the town well fed with high-quality dining for the past six years. During this time they have built an enviable reputation for their seasonal local menus using the best of Fife’s abundant larder. This month they have been awarded best family business in the Scottish Food Awards and are also winning accolades for their new cocktail bar venture, recognised as “Best Bar of the Year” in this month’s BWS Women in Business and Hospitality Awards. With a change of season, we were invited along to sample their latest menu and enjoy a cocktail or two.
Located in the heart of St Andrews, 127 South Street used to be the home to the main Post Office and before that, physician and pioneering photographer, Dr. John Adamson. The imposing exterior gives way to a bright and stylish interior that feels warm with exposed brickwork and wood surround.
To start. Cocktails and nibbling.
We had decided to make a Premier Inn weekend of it, so we were both able to try something from their dazzling array of cocktails. I went for the earthy “Black Rose” (Tanqueray gin Amaro Montenegro, blackberries, rosemary and soda – £8.50) and Donnie had the citrusy “Gypsy Eyes” (Tanqueray gin, Aperol, lime, pink pressed grapefruit and green chartreuse rinse – £8.25). We shared some plump herby olives (£2.50) and a portion of warm crusty bread served with a moreish olive tapenade, balsamic and charcoal butter. The cocktails and nibbles were excellent and a nice start to our leisurely lunch.
The menu is a nice balance of seafood, grilled meats and a good choice of vegetarian and vegan dishes that all sounded tempting. I chose a rich pearl barley risotto topped with gremolata, a yolky quails egg, and salty capers. It was a deliciously zesty Mediterranean dish. Donnie went for the mussels which once the shells were cracked open, were a wee bit puny but tasted good with lots of garlic and parsley cream to mop up with his lightly toasted sourdough.
I had a nicely cooked piece of hake piled high with juicy brown shrimp perched on a bed of broccoli and asparagus (£16.95). The dish came dotted with curried puréed cauliflower that needed a bit more spice for my taste. I was bullied by the waitress into ordering a side of hand-cooked chips because of the lack of carbs in my chosen dish – a good choice as they were a naughty treat!
Donnie’s “Duck” was an explosion of flavour, colour and textures. Slices of pink duck breast, chunks of sweet potato, nuggets of sweetcorn, crunchy spring onions and poppy seed crisps filled the plate (£20.50). The dish was drizzled with a sweet and sticky ginger and chilli sauce then topped with coriander micro herbs. There was a lot going on as you will see in the picture but it was extremely enjoyable.
Room for dessert?
Our desserts didn’t disappoint with a couple of old favourites given a bit of an update. I went for the ganache (£6.50) that had thick chunks of dark chocolate ganache mixed up with refreshing pieces of grapefruit and sorbet. It was an incongruous but enjoyable combination. It’s not often a fondant (£6.75) is made from milk chocolate so Donnie decided to give it a try as he prefers milk to dark chocolate. The innocuous looking fondant practically filled his plate with the dreamy chocolate sauce which he devoured along with the pistachio ice cream and nutty pistachio soil. Fabulous!
More cocktails in the bar
We decided to have a wander along the stunning St Andrews West Beach to work off some of our lunch but couldn’t help returning to the Adamson Cocktail Bar later on to try another of their concoctions. This time around I had The Privateer (£8.25), a sweet and sour mixture of Doorly’s 3yo rum, Smith & Cross rum, Crème de Mure and blackberry cordial & bitters. Donnie went for the trade winds (£7.95), a heady brew of black chai-infused rum, East India sherry, plum sake & bitters. They certainly know how to make cocktails here, both were excellent and were well worth the return trip.
If you are planning a day out then be sure to consider St Andrews – it’s pretty much got everything. The town is steeped in history, has lovely beaches, great restaurants and bars, lots of trendy shops and of course…golf! The Adamson is the ideal stopping off point for brunch, lunch, dinner or cocktails and it comes highly recommended.
How to book a table.
127 South St,
Huge thanks to The Adamson for inviting us along to sample their menu.