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
7/10
Total
0%
February 17, 2024

Thirty Knots, South Queensferry, review - a mixed bag of a restaurant in the shadow of the Forth Bridge

The food needs a bit of a tweak at this new restaurant.

After twenty-odd years together, I know everything about my other half. Except for one vital piece of information.

“So, which IS your favourite bridge?” I ask, while we wander through South Queensferry.

“Well, the newest is quite beautiful, but it has to be the original, because it’s an icon,” he conceded. Excellent choice.

Now that there’s nothing more to learn about each other, it’s time for lunch, and there is no better fave-bridge-viewing point than Thirty Knots.

It’s the new pub and restaurant from Buzzworks Holdings, who also have The Herringbone in Edinburgh and North Berwick, plus Scotts in Largs, Troon and also South Queensferry, among many other places.

Unfortunately, we hadn’t booked, and their newest place was completely stowed out. Fair enough, it was a weekend, but that’s still pretty good for February. Despite this, they managed to find us a first-come-first-served spot in the bar.

Compared to the boujee restaurant space, this was slightly basic, with US diner-style red leatherette seats and small tables. However, Bargain Hunt was playing on both tellies, so at least that made me feel at home.

The extensive menu is a blend of genres, so you’ll find bao buns alongside burgers, and something called a Nagasaki crunch beside gateau of haggis. That doesn’t usually bode well, but I reserved judgement and started with the warm Knockraich Farm crowdie and fig tartlet (£8.45).

They had used the word ‘gooey’ in the description and it suckered me in. Beware of adjectives on menus, as there was nothing of that description on the plate. Instead, I was presented with a sepia-toned fridge cold offering, with lots of sugary chutney inside, and only a measly layer of crowdie. It came with a mixture of wet rocket, beetroot slices, cherry tom and red onion – a basic salad that didn’t feature any of the billed chicory.

My dining partner fared better, with the hoisin duck spring roll (£8.95). It wasn’t fancy, but at least it was hot, almost the size of a kayak oar and tightly packed with meat, with accompaniments of mango salsa and a sweet hoisin sauce. Ach, fine. 

33 Ashton Lane, Glasgow, review - Irish tapas in stylish new restaurant in the west end

He followed this up with their take on a king rib supper (£18.95). Now, I’ve never experienced one of these Scottish and Northern English chip shop specials, but he has, so I let him be the judge of whether it was any good. It wasn’t made from the usual minced pork, or battered, but instead featured a grotesque-looking length of pork, which was the colour of a girder thanks to the red and sweet char siu sauce. This came with stacks of skinny fries, whole pink pickled onions and a ramekin of katsu curry mayo. It wasn’t pretty, but this combination made for a filthy chippy tribute that was impossible not to enjoy.

I’d gone for the slightly smarter option of butter blackened cod (£21.95), which wasn’t buttery or blackened. Zoinks! Those pesky adjectives foiled me again. It was just a piece of slightly overcooked fish that was dusted with a take on Old Bay Seasoning. This came with a watery lobster bisque and a small and dense Maryland crab cake, with none of the billed mango salsa, plus a couple of struts of broccoli. Adequate, but unremarkable.

At least I had the Naked Sour cocktail (Naked Malt, benedictine, lemon juice, honey, bitters, marmalade and egg white, £9.50) and a helping of truffle and Parmesan fries (£3.95) to console me.

The place was really hoaching now, and Songs of Praise was firing up on the tellies, so we repaired for dessert at nearby Manna House, which used to be a favourite of mine when it had a branch on Easter Road in Edinburgh. It turns out it’s been there since 2017, and spotting it was like seeing an old friend.

I took away a decent flat white (£2.90) and we ordered three of their cakes: a creme schnitzel (£4.50), which was pastry-based and topped with meringue that was as fragile as eggshell; a lemon-tinged and moussey New York cheesecake (£4.50) and a huge strawberry tart (£4.40) that featured about a pint of creme patisserie.

Margot, Edinburgh, review - we try the hip new cafe from the LeftField team

They were all squishy and joyous, and we ate them in the shadow of his favourite bridge.

It might just be mine too. After all, the classics are often better than the new contenders. 

Dunkeld PH8 0AQ, UK
Dunkeld PH8 0AQ, UK, PH8 0AQ
01350 677123
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
7/10
Food
7/10
Service
7/10
Value
8/10
Total
0%
Copyright ©2024 National World Publishing Ltd
Cookie SettingsTerms and ConditionsPrivacy Policy
crosschevron-down linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram