Scotsman Review
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  • 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.
February 28, 2021

Osso at Home Peebles, Restaurant Review

Cat Thomson gets creative in the kitchen reheating a fantastic feast created for her by Ali McGrath of Osso, Peebles at Home menu

Chopping, dicing, simmering, roasting, melting, mixing, grilling, beating, stirring, liquidising, emulsifying, reducing and chilling, are just a few of the skills employed by Ali McGrath from Osso in Peebles to create his at home meal offering.

The hardest part is fine-tuning his dishes so that any idiot can reheat at home.

We jumped aboard to sample the vegetarian spectacular which served two people in three courses (£45)

Don’t fret carnivores: meat and fish are both normally available on the menu which Ali posts weekly on Instagram.

You then place your order, and pick up from the restaurant in Peebles on Saturday between 10am and noon.

As both me and the fella were working, my elder daughter had to be drafted in to collect the grub. The slight drawback is that she works unsociable hours so is completely out of kilter with us in terms of eating times.

So it was an elevenses starter of beetroot cavatelli, smoked almond, ricotta, crispy kale and whey and herb sauce for her.

Osso at Home

Beetroot Cavatelli, smoked Almond, Ricotta, crispy Kale and Whey and Herb sauce

I'm not going to argue with a hangry teenager, who has just collected my dinner.

As the kitchen team has done all the hard work for you, a quick squint at the foolproof instructions shows us that boiling water, warming sauces, and turning on the oven are the most taxing tasks required.

The only other job is plating up, and a spot of 'micro-waa-ve' as Nigella would say.

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Do- it-Yourself

First we decanted the pink pasta from the cardboard cup separating the tiny miniature rolls before cooking for four minutes.

We reheated the herb sauce with a ping and the job was nearly done.

A verdant boiling green sauce angrily fizzed when I opened the microwave door, but I poured it onto the dish, and artistically arranged the crisp and salty kale leaves before sprinkling liberally with herbs.

I then had a dilemma with the ricotta. Small dots, big lump? Then I scattered the ground nuts and herbs.

Bloody lovely was the verdict.

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Now it just so happens that I've scarred both my daughters by making them eat cauliflower cheese as youngsters, so I was volunteered to eat the brassica served with Goan curry sauce solo.

This dish was a doddle to put together; I warmed the sauce gently in the pan, heated the cauliflower, and poured the sauce over the top.

Then I emptied a small pot of puffed rice grains on top.There were also crispy cheese bits, a bit like something you've scraped off the grill after making cheese on toast.

Nevertheless I threw caution to the wind and loved the amalgamation of textures on my tongue.

Cauliflower, Goan curry sauce and crispy cheese

Cauliflower, Goan curry sauce and crispy cheese

Younger daughter bravely helped with the taste test. Quite nice actually, was her response.

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So far so good, we had taken the edge off everyone's hunger and not had any culinary disasters.

The two main course dishes were slightly unequal in portion size, so if you were dining out in a restaurant, there would have been envious glances towards your eating companion. 

Luckily we were sharing both.

Pie in the sky

While the oven heated to warm up the pie, we cracked on putting together the turnip tagliatelle dish. 

I admit that this dish was the one I was least looking forward to tasting.

Grainy walnut pesto smeared across the plate with sauce coated blanched turnip strips and pickled apple, did not exactly excite on paper.

However with the addition of Parmesan and ground walnuts on the top the dish was a surprise win.

Osso at Home

Osso at Home ingredients for The Turnip Tagliatelle with Walnut Pesto dish

By the time we had all scoffed that, the leek, onion and comte pie had reached optimum temperature, and had been expertly plated by junior MasterChef.

She went for: broccoli laid off to one side, wedges of crinkle cabbages to the other and the pie taking centre stage.

There was barely room for the embarrassment of chips, and a tub of mayonnaise to dip them in.

All that was left for me to do was sprinkle chilli slices.

The sizeable pie was stuffed to the brim with leek and cheese goodness. We all agreed this plateful was mighty fine.

We waited a suitable period of time before tackling the puddings. 

Pistachio Custard Tart with Chocolate Mousse.

One featured nuggets of burnt sugar honeycomb scattered on top of lemon posset, giving a perfect amalgam of creamy dessert spoonfuls and sharp citrus lemon that cut through the dairy sweetness. 

One complaint:  a plastic water cup didn't make for an eye catching container, but what else would you put it in to travel safely?

The final dessert was a showy pistachio custard tart with chocolate mousse.

Junior wasn't that keen on the base, which was ideal because it left more for me.

I can't wait to get back out and see how the professionals would plate up in the restaurant but we loved the challenge of giving it a go at home.

Osso (collection)
1 Innerleithen Road,

Orders to:


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Catriona is a freelance writer based in the Scottish Borders, and a nominee for Food and Drink writer at this year's Scottish Press Awards.
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