The Scran & Scallie in Edinburgh’s Stockbridge was high on my wish list of restaurants to visit in 2015 and this month I finally made it! Tom Kitchin and Dominic Jack are chefs well-known for their fine dining menus but at The Scran & Scallie they’ve teamed up to provide a more casual eating out experience while still focussing on locally sourced, quality ingredients.
The restaurant only take reservations on half of their tables and when I called to book a few days in advance, there were none available. Bummer! So we decided to take a chance and arrive at 3pm on a Saturday afternoon, in the hope that choosing a time in between lunch and dinner would mean we’d get a table. Thankfully, the ploy worked and they were able to accommodate my husband and I with only a ten minute wait. This gave us time to get a drink at the bar. I was super impressed by the enthusiastic barman who suggested I try a Rock Rose gin with tonic and some toasted rosemary. This particular combination is easily in my top three gins! Mr GvF was delighted to see a great selection of ales available by the bottle and on tap.
We headed through to our table in the dining room and poured over the menu which had a range of poshed-up pub classics like sausage and mash, as well as more unusual dishes like roasted quail. My dining partner started with Beef Tartare and Bone Marrow Toast. The tartare was served with an egg yolk on top and I knew it must have been good due to the lack of conversation as he tucked in!
I enjoyed some of the fresh complimentary bread and held out for my main of Monkfish with Pancetta and Puy Lentils. Mr GvF went for one of the specials for his main which was Squid Ink Pasta with Seafood. We were both chuffed with our mains, the monkfish was cooked to perfection and the impressive jet black pasta was packed with loads of tasty seafood.
Regular readers will know that I find it very difficult to pass up a dessert and this was no exception! I chose a rich chocolate brownie served in a skillet with popcorn and the creamiest of ice-cream!
We had two courses each as well as a good few drinks and the bill came in at roughly £80. I loved the relaxed atmosphere in The Scran & Scallie and it was great to see young families out enjoying a meal together (there is even a small playroom for kids). The service was excellent, both in the restaurant and the bar and the ‘From Nature to Plate” ethos really came through in the quality of ingredients and the flavours. I would highly recommend checking out ‘The Scran & Scallie’ next time you’re in Stockbridge.
This week, I was invited along to sample the menu at the MP’s Bistro at Parliament House Hotel which is just a five minute walk away from Waverley Station at the foot of Calton Hill. The building has a fascinating history with the oldest part dating back to the 1760’s. It has had many uses over the years and was even home to the office of ‘Trainspotting‘ author, Irvine Welsh. During the latest refurbishment, when the property was changed into a hotel, the original range cooker was uncovered and forms part of the restaurant décor.
I loved that the old lift had been transformed into a charming phone cubicle; as modelled by my friend and dinner guest, Kerry!
The menu has a strong Scottish theme, with lots of locally sourced ingredients. It’s also fab value with the 3 course pre-theatre menu coming in at £20.50. To start, we both went for seafood – I chose crab cakes while my dining partner had a classic prawn cocktail; both were generously portioned.
For the main, I opted for lamb steaks and Kerry chose the hake fillet with a caper, shrimp and leek butter.
Desserts, I must say, were the highlight of the meal. I had a heather honey pannacotta while my friend had a baked lemon cheesecake. The desserts were rich, indulgent and beautifully presented. The perfect end to the meal.
Fancy trying out the MP’s Bistro for yourself? They have a brilliant offer on just now where if have dinner in the restaurant before 30th April 2015, you can go back and enjoy a main course for free in May! You can book a table here.
*Please note, this meal was courtesy of MP’s Bistro
A nice big, juicy, steak. Is there anything better? That’s exactly what you can count on at one of Argyle Street’s newest restaurants, Porter & Rye. With all the redevelopment in Finnieston, this area of Glasgow is now more popular than a Primark sale. There’s a great selection of bars and restaurants to suit every taste. We started our evening off with a G&T in The Finnieston which is a nautical themed bar right next door to Porter & Rye.
Porter & Rye specialise in fine aged meats which are sourced from Gaindykehead Farm in Airdrie before being dry-aged on the premises for up to 28 days. Booking ahead is a must; I visited with Mr GvF and another couple on a Saturday night and the place was choca. The restaurant is set over two levels and on our way upstairs to our table we got to eyeball the beef as it hung (vegetarians please scroll past the next picture quickly).
There was an inspired selection of starters to choose from with a Heston-esque flair. After some deliberation, I went for the braised lamb shoulder, served with a lamb cutlet, pea puree, charred leaks and mint foam. One of my dining buddies went for the ham hock which came in the cutest little ring-pull tin and was served with a candied apple and apple caviar.
I was a bit nervous before visiting the restaurant as the online menu didn’t specify the price of the steaks. Would I need to remortgage the house to cover the price of the meal? I was delighted to see that there was a wide range of cuts of beef available, starting from around £16. However, we opted for the other end of the spectrum which was a huge Porterhouse sharing-steak for two people. The steak was cooked to perfection and was literally melt in the mouth. We chose bone marrow mac ‘n’ cheese and truffle salt fries as accompaniments. These were included in the price of the steak along with our choice of sauces. The sauces we chose (a smoked oyster emulsion and a pink peppercorn sauce) didn’t overwhelm us with flavour but with steaks as good as this, you don’t spend a lot of time thinking about the sauce! The sides were delicious and even after polishing of that beast of a steak, we couldn’t stop nibbling at the mac cheese and fries.
Amazingly we decided there was still a tiny bit of room left for dessert! The duo of crème brulee with a chocolate chip cookie was a popular choice at my table and I loved that it arrived flaming! “Please continue to stay on fire while I take a picture, thank you very much!” I’m a sucker for anything peanut butter and so naturally went for the peanut butter ice cream served with banana, toffee sauce and almond crumb.
The bill was roughly £55 per person for three courses including wine. In summary, this was a brilliant meal and the hype is very much justified! Porter & Rye should definitely be added to your dining list for 2015.