There are lots of reasons to visit this new restaurant situated on St Stephen’s Street in Stockbridge. First up is the food which is not only fresh, exciting and more Scottish than a deep fried Mars bar but also because any profits made go to fund community food initiatives. Eating out never felt so good – you can feed your face and your conscience at the same time.
|Table decorations at the Kilted Lobster|
We were invited to a tasting dinner that showcased what this restaurant is all about – Scotland’s abundant seasonal larder and traditional produce served up in new and exciting ways by a chef who wears his heart on his sleeve. The restaurant is like a seaside lobster shack inside, done up in nautical blue and white and decorated with a few fishy pictures that are eye-catching and fun. The restaurant is quite bijou without feeling sardine-like and the service comes with a smile and good knowledge of the dishes being served.
|Nautical blue and white|
First up was a palate cleanser of various freshly made juices served in cute little yard of ale shot glasses – not much to say about this other than they did the job. The amuse bouche canapes that followed were an explosion of colour and taste including scallop and lobster served on a dazzling mirrored plate. The whole thing looked and tasted divine.
After clearing the plate of every morsel and fretting over how on earth they would get the mirrored dishes washed, we were treated to a starter of woodland pigeon breast, fruit dumpling, Stornoway black pudding, chorizo crumbles and Merlot syrup. The dish was a delicious combination of textures and flavours with the fruit pudding adding a warm and comforting taste of nostalgia. This course was served up on a wooden plate this time giving a rustic feel to the whole thing.
Next up on our grand tour of Scotland was a seafood platter including Scottish calamari, West coast langoustine, cod fillet and mussel veloute served with sweet potato gnocchi. The calamari were well-seasoned and crisp and a definite hit around the table. The langoustine arrived already split neatly in two making it a pleasure to eat rather than the usual messy hatchet job. They tasted tender and sweet with garlic butter and gnocchi providing the perfect accompaniment. The veloute was silky smooth with lots of juicy mussels and along with the flaky fillet of cod this was a stunning Scottish underwater feast.
The nice thing about seafood is that I’m never too full for dessert which was just as well as we were treated to a whole platter of goodies. The dish washer did a sterling job on the mirrored plates as they were back for the grand finale starring Jura soaked clootie dumpling, a hand-made petit four, a piece of tablet and toffee apple panna cotta. The dumpling was moist and fruity with a subtle whisky taste –a bit too subtle for Donnie’s whisky loving palate. The petit four and tablet were nice little sweet treats leading up to the pana cotta that stole the show. It was very naughty but very nice – the burnt toffee apple sitting on top of the creamy cool panacotta then topped with spun sugar – yum. Coffee followed along with a quick chat with the patron Colin Hinds.
He explained that this was his first venture in Scotland after working for over 20 years in various restaurants throughout the world. Along with his team of young chefs he has created a lively and interesting menu that takes the best from Scotland but also aims to give something back in return. The profits from your dining experience go into his charity venture “Cooking up a storm” that will fund various projects offering practical support to people who maybe haven’t had the best start in life and need a helping hand. These include offering workplace and job training for school leavers and individuals with barriers to work and meal bank complimentary dining for individuals facing financial hardship. He has a driving ambition to create something unique on the restaurant scene-to provide a great dining experience combined with compassion for others.
We had a great time sampling Colin’s take on Scotland’s larder and look forward to returning soon – they do a fantastic three course Sunday lunch for just £13.95. Oh, and the a la carte menu changes with the seasons and is also great value for money. Do you need any more reasons to dine here?
112 St Stephen’s Street
Tel:0131 220 6677