Sunday, 10 June 2012

Wedgwood the Restaurant, Edinburgh

I wanted to find somewhere for a special meal in Edinburgh. Nothing too formal or ridiculously expensive but somewhere to enjoy a long leisurely dinner, three courses and plenty of wine.

My first couple of choices were out as we'd be in town on a Monday and they'd be closed. A spot of random internet browsing brought Wedgwood to my attention, and I was immediately attracted to their promise of fine dining without the pretentiousness, no table turning and a menu that read wonderfully well.

We were seated in the basement level dining room, a small, simple space given the impression of roominess by the mirror covering the entirety of the back wall. It was rather dark down there though, hence the atrocious photos in this post.

Good quality bread with a herb oil started things off nicely, as did a half bottle of a lovely ripe tasting Rias Baixas Albariño from a list with several wines by the glass as well as a few half bottles.

I began with nettle soup, poached quail's egg, blue cheese, crispy nettles. The soup was smooth, green, and enlivened by little bursts of tart creaminess from the cheese. I enjoyed this, though it was a little unexciting in comparison with the dish across the table.

AS had the stir fried shredded beef fillet, pear, rocket and spring onion salad, thai sesame and honey dressing. I tend to avoid Asian themed dishes in non-Asian restaurants, finding that they're rarely worth the effort. Underseasoned, unbalanced or just plain wrong. This wasn't. On the basis of the one mouthful that I ate it was utterly divine. Finely shredded almost tartare like beef, almost raw in the centre with just the hint of a browned crust adding savour, and a beautiful delicate, sweet nutty dressing. I'd gladly return to Edinburgh just for a plateful of this.

After the starters a palate cleanser arrived that was a contender for highlight of the entire meal. A shot glass containing raspberry puree and lime sorbet topped up with elderflower champagne and a raspberry. Amazing. A depth charge of bright, fragrant fruitiness. I love raspberries and I love elderflower so this was just a dream. 

It was a close run thing, but I reckon I won the mains. Wild scottish deer, creamed leeks, venison haggis, beetroot, basil pesto, truffle jus. This was the best piece of meat I've eaten in a long time. Seared perfectly on the outside and dark ruby red on the inside it was tender and deeply savoury. Combined with the haggis and truffle jus the whole was earthy, rich, very more-ish, and paired excellently with a peppery Rioja. I couldn't detect any flavour of basil but I'm not sure that I needed to.

Crusted mutton loin, braised neck, truffled goats cheese dauphinoise, nettle sauce, black pudding was also declared a resounding success. I didn't try enough of it to form an opinion, except for the black pudding which ended up on my plate, and that was delicious.

For pudding I went traditional; - very sticky toffee pudding with Caol Ila butterscotch. If I was being picky I'd point out that it wasn't actually that sticky, but that's an irrelevance as it was very good. Sweet and rich without being cloying, and served simply with top quality vanilla ice cream.

AS had the rhubarb and custard crème brulee, orange and ginger granita, rosemary syrup. I've no idea what this was like, so engrossed was I in my sticky toffee I didn't pay it much attention. There were no complaints so presumably it was good.

We shared a single glass of dessert wine that was offered to us in two separate glasses without our asking, and certainly ended up with more than the single 125ml measure that we'd ordered. This was consistent with the service we received all evening, which was completely faultless as far as I'm concerned. Friendly, unpretentious, attentive without being obtrusive.

Including service we paid £125 in total, not cheap but entirely good value for the standard of cooking and service. Bearing in mind that over £40 of that was on wine you could eat here for considerably less than that. Excellent, highly recommended.


Royal Mile
267 Canongate

Wedgwood the Restaurant on Urbanspoon


Lee Burns said...

Agree with your views on Wedgwood; we had a pared back version of that venison with truffle jus dish on a cheap lunch deal. Think it was 3 courses for about 15 quid. Delicious, and incredible value.

Dave said...

There's not a lot about the place on the web (blogger reviews etc) so it's great to here someone else was equally impressed!

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