CHEF’s LAND & SEA SURPRISE – Tasting Menu @ The Kitchin

For Strawberry Blonde’s birthday, (very) good friends AVM & I decided to treat her (and ourselves) to the tasting menu at The Kitchin, OK we knew it wouldn’t be cheap but it had been on our collective must-do lists for some time! Naively, on telling SB of her present back in October, we decided it would be great to go a couple of weeks later, er, yeah right! the first day we could reserve a table for was the 18th December!! (and so it was duly booked and something to really look forward to).

As you’ll appreciate, it was several weeks ago now so rather than give it the usual full-on Eating Edinburgh treatment, I’ll tease your taste buds with some pictures of our Michelin starred gastronomic adventure and the accompanying wines we quaffed. If this doesn’t get you reaching to book for a special occasion I don’t know what will!

Game Consommé

The Appetiser was a Game consommé with apple, chestnut and winter vegetables served with a rather fine glass of pink Champagne.

Octopus Carpaccio

Carpaccio of West coast Octopus served with pickled vegetables and a lemon dressing. This was served with a Rosa from the Galicia area of Spain.

Spoots

Razor Clams (Spoots) from Arisaig, cooked to order and served with diced vegetables, chorizo and lemon confit. This was served with another Rosé, French this time, from the Languedoc area.

Pumpkin Soup (the non shellfish alternative to Spoots)

As I was unable to have the Razor clams, my alternative was without question the best soup I have ever had in my life! Served from an enormous pumpkin turned into a tureen, this was a sweet, buttery, velvety soup with salty crispy dried cured ham of some description, for once I didn’t feel like the 2nd class option because of my shellfish allergy! outstanding!

Pigs Head & Crispy Ear

Pigs Head & Scallop (or in my case a Quail’s egg). Boned & rolled pig’s head served with hand-dived Orkney scallop (no thanks it was a pesky Orkney scallop that got me my shellfish allergy in the 1st place) and a crispy ear salad.

Halibut

Crispy fillet of wild halibut from Scrabster served with a ragout of coco beans served with a French Savennieres.

Venison

Roasted saddle of roe deer from The Borders served with quince, chestnuts, grapes & a pepper sauce. this was accompanied by an Italian red from the Verona region

Cheese board

A selection of Scottish & French cheese served from a pretty impressive trolley. Instead of a Port we were actually recommended a wine and went for a French Late Harvest Syrah (some of you will know why that name seemed especially appropriate :o)

Pear

British pear poached in chocolate served with vanilla ice cream. This was served with another Late Harvest, Tokaji, Hungarian this time

We were expecting something near perfection at these prices and to be fair we got it! Outstanding!

The decor itself is simple, classy and awash with earthy tones and neutral colours, there is nothing to detract you from the purpose of your visit. The window from the dining room into the kitchen allows you to see Tom and his team at work and the dishes are pure artistry, achingly beautiful and it is with bittersweet regret that you tuck in, that is until you taste your 1st mouthful and then such regrets are swiftly forgotten and the dish scoffed.

Excitingly (well for us ladies anyway) the Kitchin is the 1st establishment where we couldn’t fault the bathrooms & therefore gets our first 10! whoop whoop!

The Tasting Menu weighs in at £60 pp for 8 courses and the Tasting Menu with specially selected wines at £100 pp. Granted, it’s not an everyday dining destination but the quality of the food and the experience as a whole makes it worth every single penny! I would highly recommend going for the lunch/wine combo as it’s not often you have every single glass perfectly balancing and to be fair 8 ‘healthy glasses’ for £40 is actually less than you would pay on George Street per glass!

We were rather lucky as not only did we have a prime seat, allowing us to see Tom at work through the window directly behind our table into the kitchen but he also came to our table for a brief chat, what a lovely, unassuming and politely, almost shy man, not what one expects of a ‘celebrity’ chef especially one who I’ve seen on television and up on stage in the past. It was also rather charming to see his wife Michaela and their young children came to meet ‘daddy’ after service. Having coffee in the conservatory area after lunch our waiter told us that on the table next to ours were his parents and family and it was touching to note how Tom and Michaela spoke with them very warmly, almost as if old friends, despite knowing that this was not so.

Before leaving we were all given a date stamped copy of our menu along with the wines to take away which was a nice touch & has come in very handy writing this post!

The Kitchin, 78 Commercial St, Edinburgh, EH6 6LX. 0131 555 1755

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4 Responses to “CHEF’s LAND & SEA SURPRISE – Tasting Menu @ The Kitchin”

  1. Strawberry Blonde
    January 15, 2011 at 7:09 pm #

    Oh… this just brings it all back beautifully! I certainly have the best friends 😉 ..and safe to say we’ve discovered the ultimate way to celebrate future birthdays via Michelin style tasting menus! .. and of course in the interests of Eating Edinburgh! I think the only point I’d add is the overall exemplary, unassuming, polite and attentive but by no means intrusive service by a relatively young staff.. absolutely brilliant!

  2. October 7, 2011 at 11:41 am #

    Congratulations to Tom Kitchin for retaining his star in the 2012 Michelin Guide. (His sister restaurant Castle Terrace, also gained a star in this year’s guide. The Michelin folk clearly got treated a lot better there than we did when we went)

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