Tasting menu at Restaurant Martin Wishart

I recently spent a weekend in Edinburgh with some friends to enjoy some fine food and some fine whiskey. We didn’t end up going to The Kitchin, as originally planned but we did end up at another wonderful place, Restaurant Martin Wishart. Booked in for lunch, we went for the tasting menu, that covered five main courses. When we arrived, they also offered the truffle menu since the chef apparently sources some great truffles and wanted to create a whole experience around it. We decided to stick with our original one.


We sat down and some small snacks found their way to our table, courtesy of a waiter, including haggis bon bons and some fresh Spanish olives. Like all good Scottish traditions the haggis bon bons arrived lightly breaded, crisp on the outside with that hearty meat and oat mixture on the inside.


Soon after confirming what we wanted to eat, the waiters appeared with a plate of small appetisers. We started off with squid in, what looked like, black ink sauce. It sat next to a small piece of pork belly on a toothpick, covered in a rich dark sauce and lightly covered with crispy rice puffs. The pork belly seemed like just the fat without any of the meaty parts. I don’t mind having a bit of fat but it was a bit too much grease in the mouth that its sauce didn’t do anything to change. Next to it sat a lavishly rich chicken pate parfait sitting on the end of a wooden stick much like a lollipop. The chicken liver parfait was smooth but I think excessively overwhelming in size given all the other components. The other two parts, a bite of veal tongue with salad cream and a hake fishcake were my more favourite components, flavoursome without being overly rich.


We followed this with a presse of Foie Gras and Blaeberry Cured Orkney Beef accompanied by beetroot nad horseraidsh cannelloni. Complaints of richness definitely held back with the sweetness of the beetroot bringing a freshness and sweetness to the plate that cut through the piece of pate. The cannelloni, delicately crisp brought yet another texture to the plate although I didn’t even notice the accompanying bite I’d expect from a horseradish cream, however light it might have been. Nice little touch with the dehydrated beetroot specks that reminded me very much of the … pollen Noma served with one of their dishes.


This was a ceviche of Halibut, mango and passionfruit and a light meringue made with strong passionfruit or citrus note. Not too salty but meaty chunks of halibut cut through by the tropical flavours of passionfruit and mango. I loved the light passionfruit meringue perched atop the entire dish. Easily cut through, it tasted like yuzu and each slice really enhanced the ceviche. Definitely one of my favourites of the set.


Ravioli of Kilbannan Langoustine with winter cabbage and truffle sauce. The ravioli was definitely large and meaty, reminding me of a heart chinese dumpling but with a generous amount of filling. The pasta was delicate although the most impressive part was the truffle sauce that surrounded the entire dish, adding depth and flavour to it all. I almost wanted some more bread to soak it all up.


Roast orkney scallop and bellota ham served with pumpkin puree, parmesan veloute. The scallop was arrived in a small bowl, looking like an island floating amidst a sea of cream. The parmesan worried me that it would be overpowering but it didn’t prove to be.


Roast culzen partridge with creamed brussels sprouts, salsifi, confit potatoes and armagnac jus. The partridge finished off our main courses, and was a great way to finish off the meal. It was perfectly cooked – still juicy and firm, and the other components helped accentuate instead of overpower the natural flavours of the bird. The brussel sprouts were particularly impressive as well, firm and tasty without its usually strong flavours.


Cheese course. We had two plates giving us twelve different cheeses to try each, everything from strong goats cheese and blue cheese types, through to the softer cheeses that seemed closer to double cream than anything else. Served with some sweet balsamic and some truffle


Pink grapefruit terrine with passionfruit foam, charentais melon sorbet – A light and refreshing way to finish off the meal. The foam sat within a light shell that cracked and melted as you placed it on your tongue. The terrine was more like a jelly but firm and tasty. The melon sorbet hidden underneath the passionfruit foam brought sweetness to balance out the tartness of the passionfruit. Cleansed the palate indeed.


We then finished off the meal with petite fours including a small lemon tart, a chocolate ganache lollipop, chocolate truffle and a passionfruit marshmallow on a chocolate crisp. An amazing way to finish off the meal.

Name: Martin Wishart
Found at: 54 The Shore, Edinburgh, Scotland
Website: http://www.martin-wishart.co.uk/restaurant-martin-wishart/home.aspx

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