PAUL Kitching and his partner Katie O’Brien arrived in Edinburgh with a sense of purpose. They’d already had success with Juniper in Greater Manchester before falling in love with Edinburgh as somewhere to live and work. 

Paul presented his idea of an elegant restaurant with rooms in 2009 then added a menu that would have a particular focus. This menu changes every week. There is a choice of two starters, a soup, a choice of two main dishes, a cheese course then a choice of two desserts. 

HeraldScotland:

Paul says he wants to concentrate on the best possible cuts and flavour combinations – all the hits, no padding out the menu, very little waste and attention to detail on every plate. He admits each week the chefs in the kitchen will place a modest bet on what dishes will catch the attention of diners ans what way the decisions will go. 

There’s a real sense of occasion as each dish arrives. Expect playful combinations such as a Scottish risotto of barley morels, truffle and madeira. Chinese beef on our most recent visit was a multi-coloured, textured, layered showstopper. The fantastic glazed banana brûlée was our first choice of dessert, but maybe you would have chosen the other option.

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Paul says lockdown provided him with an opportunity to explore more of Edinburgh, walk around the neighbourhoods and remind himself why he moved here in the first place. The team are now back in the kitchen and the dining room, putting on a fine performance and continuing to set high standards in the capital. 

21212restaurant.co.uk

HeraldScotland:

A genuine passion for local food heroes

 

The Art Deco Drumossie Hotel has been a distinctive landmark, perched amidst parkland on a hill above Inverness, since 1936. A modern refit has brought the level of comfort you would expect for a highland retreat but without disguising the heritage of the place.

The menu in The Grill Room is defined by a team who want to showcase Scotland’s larder. General Manager Kenny McMillan sets the tone. He is an award-winning chef who first joined Drumossie in 2007 with ambitions to create a dining destination.

Euan Walker is in charge of the kitchen as Executive Chef. Head Chef Stewart McPherson also has a long association with the hotel. Kat Wardrop, Euan’s sister, looks after things front of house as Operations Manager.

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Kenny talks passionately about the range of producers they work with here, the way the menu is not only seasonal but driven by a sense of place.

Connage Highland Dairy supply the cheese. Ghillie and Estate Manager Ryan Rutherford delivers the wild venison, raised and stalked in local forests. Billy McGlinn, owner of Sea Stocks, brings wild halibut from the Shetlands and brown crabs from the waters around Ullapool.

The tasting menu demonstrates both a confident modern Scottish cooking style and remarkable access to ingredients.

A hefty King Scallop from the Isle of Mull presented with apple, celery and carrot velouté is a gloriously oversized introduction. Chicken leg and apricot terrine with celeriac remoulade, chicken liver parfait and apple chutney is a delicately balanced starter. Colourful beetroot and whisky cured salmon comes from John Ross Jr in Aberdeen, supplier to Her Majesty The Queen.

The main course is roast breast of duck and confit leg served with dauphinoise potatoes, cauliflower, and a cherry ketchup. Then onwards to a dessert of pineapple, mango and passionfruit salsa served with a mango sorbet to bring international flavours into play.

It’s worth noting a soup and a sandwich lunch in the lounge receives a similar level of care and attention to detail from the kitchen. If you are exploring Culloden, Loch Ness or the Cairngorms, stop by for a taste of the highlands.

macdonaldhotels.co.uk/drumossie

HeraldScotland:

New arrival delivers a triumph of taste sensations

BY the time Graeme Cheevers opened Unalome on Kelvingrove Street, Glasgow was back on the Michelin map. The one-star rating for nearby Cail Bruich has set the pace for a truly re-energised West End food and drink scene. This new arrival aims to compete at the highest level.

Graeme started out working for Geoffrey Smeddle at The Peat Inn before moving on to Restaurant Martin Wishart at Cameron House, becoming head chef and retaining their Michelin star. He took over as head chef at the Isle of Eriska hotel in 2018 and was awarded a star there in the Michelin Guide 2020.

The first menu is a declaration of intent. The canapés are a riot of colour, presentation and unexpected flavour reveals – Loch Fyne crab is star of the show. Then this heavyweight grilled Orkney scallop arrives, dressed in a lavender butter sauce with peas and cured duck fat.

If anyone asks you what the best Scottish fish is right now, the answer is Gigha halibut, especially when it is presented here with cevenne onions, Jersey Royals and Vin Jaune sauce.

You think things may have peaked then roasted Goosnargh duck arrives, with raspberry, beetroot, endive and Andaliman wild pepper sauce. A real triumph. We order a cacophony of cheeses and are convinced to embark on a Port flight of three glasses. There’s that Friday feeling.

Lemon verbena glazed strawberries to close with strawberry cream and pistachio ice cream. This is a tasting menu to make you sit up and pay attention. We look forward to seeing what they do next.

unalomebygc.com