Scotsman Review
Our criteria 
  • Ambience - It's important that a restaurant is inviting. We rate the decor, comfort and atmosphere.
  • Drink - Is the wine or cocktail list as exciting as the food, or does it fall short? Same goes for soft drinks. 
  • Food - We judge dishes on flavour, but also use of produce, cooking skill and presentation
  • Service - The staff and pace of a meal can make or break a meal out.
  • Value - From the food on the plate to service and surroundings, we check that you get what you're paying for.
Ambiance
8/10
Food
8/10
Total
0%
April 20, 2024

Duthchas, Edinburgh, review - the new Leith restaurant from the Purslane team

This new venue’s name translates as 'land'

Remember Storm Kathleen, from a couple of weeks back?

She was BAD, like her namesake actor when she played Barbara in War of the Roses. Great Junction Street became a wind tunnel, and my hair was puffed up into an unintentional beehive. We wished that we’d put stones in our pockets, as we braced against the gale.

Thankfully, my party made it to number 187, and the door shut behind us like an airlock on the Starship Enterprise.

It was bittersweet, since I did love the former resident, Aurora, but it’s good to see another independent, from the team, including executive chef Paul Gunning, behind Purslane in Stockbridge, filling the slot.

They’ve painted the small space dark green, and added some Billy Connolly prints, including one called Face Off, which features a two-faced businessman in a striped suit. On the stereo, there’s A-Ha and ELO. Okay, so this isn’t going to be one of those too-cool-for-school places.

In common with loads of the capital’s new restaurants, including Lyla, Askr, Eorna and Montrose, the focus here is on tasting menus. The main offering is the six course version, for £95pp, but we tried the Wee Taster Menu, which is £55pp for three courses, bookended by canapes and petit-fours.

You can upgrade with a wine pairing for an additional £25pp, or £55pp for the premium version, but we tried their cocktails - a toddy of a clarified butter old fashioned (£12) and the tongue twizzler (£12), with citrus and smoky mezcal.

Then the canapes started to arrive - consecutively, which is rather unusual.

The first, listed as “venison/citrus/redcurrant” looked a bit like a round dog treat, but tasted gorgeous, with meat in a ring of pastry, micro-herbs and a marmalade-y sauce.

Number two was served in a funny onion-shaped pot, which resembled an essential oil diffuser. Inside - ta-da - and served on a pile of non-edible sunflower seeds, was a little haggis bon-bon, quilted in a tattie scone jacket, and with a dod of brown sauce and pickled neep on top. It was a single bite of comfort, joy and slippers by the fire.

Right to Roam, Rothes golf club, review - go for the cinnamon butteries and coffee, stay for venison schnitzel 

The third canape - served on a wooden coaster and sunflower seeds (I know, there must be a giant hamster working behind the stove) - was a gorgeous mackerel-filled pani puri, with leaves of beetroot and chervil on the top. Our final bite was probably my favourite - a fine tube of feuille de brick pastry stuffed with a cauliflower and blue cheese puree. Served on a bed of decorative sunflower seeds, naturally.

“How was that? Not too shabby?” said the lovely maitre-d’, who confirmed that, yes, they were currently playing Shakin’ Stevens and that he’d recently added Green Door to the playlist.

He brought over the bread course. There were two milk breads, and focaccia with specks of gruyere, salami and olive. These carbs came with a pleasant roasted garlic spread, though I’m a philistine who probably would rather have had butter.

This segued into the sunshiney fish course - a lovely burnish-skinned parallelogram of sea bass, which had been marinated in an acidic escabeche, as well as an additional pile of cured fish nibs, with pickled veggies, all served in an oyster–shell-shaped bowl.

“Not too shabby?” he repeated, as these dishes were shucked clean.

Under the Table, Edinburgh, restaurant review - Marvel film director, Joe Russo, has backed a winner

Next up was the lamb, which was the homeliest dish. There was a slice of rump, and a tiny croquette, as well as a little bit of dauphinoise, asparagus, wild garlic and crispy kale.

This dish was enjoyable but didn’t really pop for me, though the bonnie pudding of rhubarb, pistachio and vanilla did. There were little cubes of ginger sponge, a striped rhubarb jelly, pistachio ice-cream, and lots of nutty toasty crunchy crumbs and fruity bits.

Gorgeous, and it wasn’t over yet, though I’d prematurely asked for the bill.

We were each presented with a wooden box, filled with cocoa nibs (NO, don’t eat them), and petit fours - a buttery financier, a dark chocolate chip sable, a cube of blackberry jelly and a rich coffee chocolate. I ate all of mine, then his too. So good.

This is an interesting place. It’s very much ploughing its own furrow.

The Gannet, Glasgow, review - award-winning restaurant turns away from tasting menu

You won’t see any particularly trendy ingredients on the menu, and they love serving things on seeds. The playlist is a bit Alan Partridge. Still, though we’d chosen the downsized taster menu, we felt extremely spoiled.

Not too shabby? Certainly not.

187 Great Junction Street, Edinburgh, UK
187 Great Junction Street, Edinburgh, UK, EH6 5LQ
0131 287 2600
Gaby Soutar is a lifestyle editor at The Scotsman. She has been reviewing restaurants for The Scotsman Magazine since 2007 and edits the weekly food pages.
Scotsman Review
Our criteria 
  • Ambience - It's important that a restaurant is inviting. We rate the decor, comfort and atmosphere.
  • Drink - Is the wine or cocktail list as exciting as the food, or does it fall short? Same goes for soft drinks. 
  • Food - We judge dishes on flavour, but also use of produce, cooking skill and presentation
  • Service - The staff and pace of a meal can make or break a meal out.
  • Value - From the food on the plate to service and surroundings, we check that you get what you're paying for.
Ambiance
8/10
Drinks
8/10
Food
8/10
Service
9/10
Value
8/10
Total
0%
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