As a special treat I was very lucky to be taken to The Kitchin in Leith. I have been before and found the experience truly amazing so knowing I was returning I was very excited. The restaurant was awarded a Michelin star in 2007 followed by numerous prestigious awards including ‘Best UK Restaurant 2011′ and ‘Best Restaurant in Scotland 2012′. Their slogan is “from nature to plate” and they pride themselves on serving modern British seasonal cuisine influenced by French cooking techniques.
From the start the reception we received was exceptional. The welcoming front of house showed us to our table. As a special treat my husband had asked if there was anything they could do to make the occasion even more special, so at our table awaited a card from Tom Kitchin. This was such a personal touch. We started to look at the menu when the waitress asked if we would like to meet Tom and go into the Kitchen, I felt very privileged. The kitchen itself is small, the chefs were all prepping and busy, Tom took time out to welcome us and had a chat about cooking and the menu then the waitress offered to take a photo. Back at the table we were provided with a cornucopia of crudités accompanied by a pot of creamy blue cheese dip scattered with crispy bulgur wheat. This set the tone for the evening; stunning local and seasonal produce served in cunning flavour and texture combinations
We ordered the surprise 7 course land and sea tasting menu with the matching wines. Before we began the meal we were given a map of Scotland which showed the origins of the ingredients. Then a bread selection of olive, tomato, sour dough and white bread with soft salty creamy butter arrived.
Our appetiser was a jellied consommé served with a celeriac cream and crispy bacon which was stunning. The jelly melted in your mouth with such a enhanced flavour of chicken. Along with this we sipped a glass of champagne (part of the matching wine tasting menu to go with our food).
Squid and potato was to follow as our pre starter. This was the highlight of the 7 courses. The crispy potato and seaweed terrine was buttery and soft and sitting on top was perfectly cooked braised squid. Alongside was squid l’americaine, diced squid in a sweet and juicy tomato sauce and dots of garlic puree and squid ink sauce. The colour of squid ink has put me off in the past but this sauce was sensational.
As a special starter we had scallop and asparagus. The seared hand-dived scallop was sweet and succulent. Alongside the asparagus ,cooked al dente, the scallop was not overpowered. The light orange drizzle gave the dish further sweet notes.
The middle course had a simple title ‘pork’ but the dish itself was nothing simple; a truly astounding variation of surf and turf. Melt in your mouth pork belly with the crispiest crackling as the meat element and a succulent tail of langoustine roasted as the fish. Served with braised fennel and sea purslane the textures and tastes were sensational.
As I couldn’t wait to tuck in to my fish course I forgot to take a picture! Seared fillet of cod with mussels, served with cauliflower slow cooked with curry and coriander seeds. There was a surprise burst of flavour when eating this, juicy sweet raisins which added lightness to this indulgently rich dish.
The main course of duck was another epic dish. The delicate taste of this red meat was enhanced with a beetroot puree, earthy, sweet and flavoursome. Served with an endive tatin the dish was complete.
Pre-dessert an earl grey sorbet cleansed the palate and just when I thought I couldn’t eat any more courses the desire for a sweet course accrued.
Rhubarb cheesecake was to follow. Every spoonful was creamy yet refreshing, indulgent yet inviting and crunchy yet soft. A perfect desert for an amazing 7 course taster menu.
We moved through to the bar area where we sipped our coffee and just when we thought the food had finished we were presented with petit fours. I do not know how but we managed to find space for these taste sensation bites. Along with our coffees we also were given a copy of our tasting menus. Again another special touch that adds to this dining experience. In fact, overall I can honestly say that I have never enjoyed a meal experience as much as this.
Throughout the evening we were made to feel special. The atmosphere is sophisticated, elegant and relaxed. The staff were so passionate and attentive without being overbearing. The wines matched the dishes perfectly, and the explanations of why they were chosen descriptive and accurate. Most importantly the food was exquisite!
Bill for two: £260
Food: Modern British
Service: Knowledgeable, Friendly
Atmosphere: Intimate and Cosy
Overall: 10 / 10
- Atmosphere - 10/1010/10
- Service - 10/1010/10
- Food - 10/1010/10
- Value For Money - 10/1010/10