MasterChef 2014 winner, Jamie Scott, and his wife and business partner, Kelly, have added something new to their Tayside and Fife empire, which already includes fine dining venue The Newport Restaurant, several bakeries and Shipwreck Seafood.
This month saw the opening of Sandbanks Brasserie, in the former premises of Broughty Ferry restaurant The Tayberry.
The all-day proposition is smart, yet casual - something that’s pitched in between this Scottish chef’s smartest restaurant and the temptingly sugary wares, like caramel cornflake doughnuts, that are on sale at their bakery. It’ll be serving coffee and pastries in the morning, and lunch and dinner will feature slow cooked pork belly, sage and pancetta sausage with clotted cream mash; Fife Buffalo Farm burrata, their own sourdough, and Loch Etive sea trout ceviche, among other things.
We asked Jamie a few questions about the new venture.
Why did you decide to add a casual dining experience to your portfolio?
We have considered it a few times over the years. We feel there’s a good middle ground when it comes to what we do already. The Newport offers fine dining and The Newport Bakeries have their pastries, coffees and deli items to go, as well as our food trucks coming out seasonally. We wanted to create something accessible for any day and not just by occasion, and somewhere we and our team could enjoy on days off.
Is this relaxed style of restaurant becoming more popular?
I wouldn’t say more popular but it’s so important to be considerate about everyone’s circumstances. People are looking for more quality in products and experience when choosing to spend their money.
How did you develop the menu and are there any dishes you're most proud of?
Due to the quick turn around on this one, I bought a new notebook at the airport on the way to a family holiday and filled it with menu ideas for each season while we were away. It was great to relax, let the creativity flow and reminisce about previous foods we have enjoyed or dishes that customers have loved. The hardest part was narrowing down the options. I am proud of them all but my favourite dish is the wild garlic veloute on the starters list and, from the mains, rolled pork belly with our own recipe sausage and Mr Pattullo’s asparagus.
Any new suppliers?
We have good range of long standing suppliers but we’ve started using a collaborative farming supply of honey berries while they’re in season, from Scottish Honey Berry Growers.
What would you order if you were visiting your own restaurant?
Sourdough bread and oysters, trout ceviche, roasted half chicken Caesar salad and lemon meringue and raspberry tart.
Who are your favourite regular customers and what do they think of the new place?
I would get in serious trouble if I dared to answer that! We are very fortunate to have a number of regulars that follow all our businesses. They’ve become friends and their feedback is always taken on board. On opening weekend my first regulars in the door absolutely loved it and rebooked a belated 50th dinner with their friends. We just can’t ask for better than that.
What's the property like and how did you re-design the interior?
Set across two floors, it has space for 40 covers to look out onto the sandbanks of Broughty Ferry Beach and the River Tay. We wanted to bring the outdoors indoors, tastefully, and make it light and open. We are so fortunate to have great views in both restaurants so we kept it simple to let everyone enjoy them. We had a local photographer take shots of the beach and have included those pictures throughout.
Any other Scottish restaurants/chefs that you particularly enjoy and are inspired by?
We are always inspired by the Cail Bruich team in Glasgow. We also really enjoy a family day that involves sneaking off to Nick’s at Port of Menteith. That’s a hidden gem. The Gannet team in Glasgow are perfect for a date night if we get the chance. There are some real superstars in the industry just now and I could honestly shout about them all. It’s a tough time and the fact you still have heroes producing fantastic food and experiences is something we value greater than ever just now.
What's it like working with Kelly? What's your/her influence in the new place?
It’s great. We have the same ethos, high standards and work ethics but we both have eyes on different aspects of the businesses. It’s always a welcome support having each other and driving our passions forward. It’s easy when you live life with your best friend. We share a lot in terms of influence but Kelly was definitely keen for more casual dining and inclusion of the bakeries’ products within the menu.
We’ve heard about the triple chocolate brownie that’s on the Sandbanks menu, tell us more
It is our longest standing confectionery item on the bakery menu that hasn’t come off and never will. It’s a super-charged brownie that’s made from 30 per white, 45 per cent milk and 80 per cent dark chocolate, plus pure brute cocoa powders to give it deep richness and a topping of chocolate ganache. There is no other like it, it’s a winner for sure.
594 Brook Street, Broughty Ferry, Dundee, www.sandbanksbrasserie.co.uk