Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Lunch Prix Fixe at The Kitchin (Edinburgh, UK)

The menu read: "Ravioli of game from the border"

I (stupidly) asked: "which border?"
The waiter looked at me. "The England-Scotland border."
Oh, right, silly me. I was in Scotland.

Having survived on grilled sandwiches (sorry, "toasties") for lunch that whole week and dining at bars/pubs with friends (which were awesome) after my conference sessions, I treated myself to one nice lunch: The Kitchin. The Kitchin was opened by husband and wife Tom and Michaela Kitchin in 2006 and six months later, in 2007, won a Michelin star.

Gougere and an assortment of vegetable chips

Their tagline? From Nature to Plate. Meat sourced from a local game-keeper, hand-dived scallops, and mushrooms from around Edinburgh hunted by the Kitchins themselves.

Dining at The Kitchin is pretty expensive, but luckily they have a three-course lunch prix fixe for £24.50. The wine list was also notably expensive. The cheapest glass I could find was £9.50 (almost $15). Regardless, a glass must be had.

As an amuse bouche, I started with a bowl of Langoustine Bisque over tomato. It was cold in Edinburgh, and this bowl warmed my body right up as I hunted for the langoustine pieces.
Langoustine Bisque at The Kitchin

For the lunch set menu, there are three choices for each course. For my first course I ordered the Ravioli of game from the border served with autumn vegetables and grapes in a game consomme. The game meat filling turned out to be hare and pheasant.
Game Ravioli

I loved the slight tartness of the pickled veggies, which cut the gaminess and the bold flavors of the meat nicely. The crispness and the sweetness that came from the fresh grapes made it a perfect garnish. It was a rather unexpected combination but it was simply perfect.

My main course: Roasted Perthshire pheasant served with savoy cabbage, chestnut and a calvados sauce

I probably should've clarified what game meat went into the ravioli and not have two pheasant dishes in a row, but oh well. Between these two dishes, it was like I never really had game meat before. The meats were much leaner, more flavorful, and gamier than the game meats in the US. In this case, alas, a little too much so for my still-in-training palate. I devoured the fattier and more tender cuts but had a bit of a trouble with the lean and denser cuts. The crisp cabbage really helped of course, and was a refreshing accompaniment.

Pistachio souffle with pistachio ice cream
Pistachio Souffle
What a great way to end a meal. A perfectly risen souffle: fluffy, airy, and creamy. The strong pistachio flavor was bursting in each bite.

The dining experience was quite a treat. Chef Kitchin came out to greet each table a couple of times throughout the meal. The restaurant was spacious, the decor simplistic, the service courteous and well paced. The food, of course, was great.

The Kitchin
The Kitchin
78 Commercial Quay, Leith, EH6 6LX
Leith, EH6 6LX
(0131) 555 1755
The Kitchin on Urbanspoon


Wandering Chopsticks

Ooh, everything looks excellent. I like pheasant! But then, I like all poultry.

Funny anecdote. When I was in Edinburgh, my friends and I wanted to walk to the water. And every person we asked for directions kept saying Leith. I thought it was a Scottish word for water? Until we got there and realized Leith was a neighborhood by the water. :P

Kung Food Panda

Damn, that meal looked good. I know my buddy had a really nicer dinner there last month as well. I told him about the place after you talked about it.

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