Situated in Edinburgh’s Port of Leith, Restaurant Martin Wishart opened its doors in 1999. Just two years after opening, the restaurant was awarded a Michelin star which it has continued to hold. By using only fresh Scottish ingredients, Martin Wishart provides traditional and modern French cuisine. Over 10 years ago I had visited this restaurant and had an amazing experience. However with the ever growing restaurant scene in Edinburgh I have tried to keep up trying new places, and somewhat almost forgot about this gem.
Immediately you are welcomed and made to feel at ease. The dining area oozes class with large mirrors dominating the back walls which enhance the sense of space. The tables are set simply with white table cloths and shiny polished cutlery and glasses. Whilst looking at the menus we were given a delightful selections of beetroot and carrot savoury macarons. This made us both very excited about the food to follow.
The menu has various options including classic, fish or vegetarian tasting menu and a three course a la cart menu. We opted for the classic tasting menu which had variety of fish and meat. To compliment this we also ordered the matching wines.
Our Amuse Bouche was quickly to follow. Three mouthfuls of taste sensations; Cauliflower puree with shrimps, a queen scallop with toasted hazelnuts and a pork terrine with a curry foam. My only slight complaint was that at this point we still did not have a drink. We were initially offered an aperitif, however, as we had ordered the matching wine flight we felt there was no point in ordering something we might not have finished in time for the first course (and glass of wine) arriving. Nonetheless, this did mean we were sitting without a drink for the first 15-20 minutes of the evening, and from previous experience of ordering matching wine packages the aperitif is usually included. Although this may be trivial, it was the only real complaint of the entire evening and we soon forgot about this as the food arrived.
The first of our 7 courses was ‘Quenelles of Foie Gras served with Brioche’. The bread alone was a stand out. Light and fluffy with a buttery, flaky crust. The foie gras was smooth and silky. Topped with three different toppings, pistachio, praline and pecan this gave the dish different textures and tastes. Quince puree was also doted between each of the quenelles, which gave the dish a fresh, fruity taste.
Quenelles of Foie Gras
‘Ceviche of Halibut’ was to follow. The colours of the mango and passion fruit were vibrant through the clear cocktail serving glass and the tastes and textures danced on the pallet. Juiciness from the fruit and saltiness from the fish, this dish was full of freshness.
The next course was titled ‘Loch Fyne Crab Marie Rose’. This was not as simple as a crab cocktail; it had various depths of flavours. Tartare of rose veal covered the bottom of the glass with a creamy tomato and crab mayonnaise on top. Another delightful dish.
Loch Fyne Crab ‘Marie Rose
‘Langoustine and Veal Sweetbread Roasted in Buckwheat and Thyme’ was my favourite of all courses. This was served with braised endive and a curry and sauternes sauce. The surf and turf element of the langoustine and sweetbreads was a triumph.
Langoustine and Veal Sweetbread
For the main course we were served ‘Sauternes Glazed Quail Breast’. The meat was very tender and the glaze gave a sticky texture. Alongside the quail were sweet parsnips, juicy poached grapes and crunchy pistachios. The flavours and textures in this dish were an absolute triumph.
Sauternes glazed quail breast
Pre dessert arrived; a lemon mousse to cleans the palate. Three layers of different sharp yet sweet lemon flavours. A nice surprise as this wasn’t mentioned on the menu.
For the dessert we both opted for ‘Valrhona Manjari Chocolate’. Again layers of different chocolate textures sitting on chocolate soil. The only flavour of the exotic sorbet reminded me of a solero ice lolly; fresh and zingy (this was delicious, although I’m sure the chef won’t love my comparison to an ice lolly). The contrast of this and the mandarin curd against the bitter chocolate was tantalizing.
Valrhona Manjari chocolate
As the meal ended we were not only given the bill but also the best chocolates, I think I have ever had! Martin Wisharts restaurant certainly delivers on exceptional food and service and I look forward to returning.
Home Made Chocolates
Bill for two: £260
Food: Modern French/ Fine dining
Service: Attentive and informative
Atmosphere: Relaxed and luxurious
Overall: 9.5 / 10