Foodies have been singing from the Edinburgh rooftops for years about Martin Wisharts food yet it was a restaurant that i`d never quite managed to get around to trying.It was always on my list along with Tom Kitchin , The Witchery and 21212 so when an opportunity came my way for a weekend break in the city i seized it by the horns and phoned up to book.Unfortunately six weeks prior to my visit i found out they were totally booked up so i went on to the waiting list for a table.One week prior to my trip i phoned the restaurant to check again and was offered a choice of 2 time slots… 6.00 ( too early ) and 9.30 ( too late ) I really didnt want to miss out on this golden opportunity so i reluctantly chose the 9.30 slot thinking i could push half an hour and turn up at 9.00….Oh no way.
I arrived at the restaurant just before 9.00 and as soon as i stepped out of the taxi i could hear the hearty laughter from inside…it was jam packed , it was England v Scotland weekend hence the thousands of extra visitors to the city and a restaurant which was full to capacity.I made my way into the tiny reception area apologising for my early arrival and asked if i could get a drink whilst waiting for a table.I was apologised to by the maitre`d and asked to pop next door to the pub for half an hour as there wasn`t one seat in the house…it was madness and in full swing and the staff were totally flat out…and had been all day.I then went into the pub next door and discussed with my partner over a beer if this really was going to be a good idea or not….i had a bad feeling inside.
Half an hour later we ventured back into the restaurant , it was just as busy and we were shown straight to our table for two , the menus arrived and the nibbles came almost immediately.Apologies as I can`t honestly remember what they were as i was pretty well stressed out at this point and not relaxed at all.I could barely hear myself speak let alone hold a conversation and concentrate on a menu choice. I decided to have the 6 course tasting menu ( £70 ) and my partner went for the 6 course Veggie tasting menu ( £65)
Here`s the two tasting menus , the Vegetarian and the Meat and fish.Photos aren`t the usual standard i`m afraid but at least they give an idea of what`s on the diners plate…enjoy.
Beetroot and Horseradish Macaroon
Vegetarian course – Jerusalem Artichoke veloute , Potato , Truffle and Chestnut puree.
Ox tongue and Norwegian stone Crab , Celeriac Veloute.
Vegetarian course – Salsify , Pickled caulifower and Peanut Mayonnaise.
Ceviche of Gigha Halibut , Mango and Passion fruit.This is one of the restaurants signature dishes, really fresh flavours and very enjoyable.Best dish of the night for me.
Vegetarian course – Emmental Souffle with Soubise Spinach.
Veal sweetbreads and Langoustines , Orange glazed chicory, Sauternes and curry.
Vegetarian course – Risotto of Spelt grain with Celeriac and Black truffle.
Roasted Orkney Scallop , poached Squid , winter cabbage , Truffle cream…beautiful.
Vegetarian course – Wild mushroom Ravioli , buttered cabbage and Mushroom bouillon.
Wagyu beef blade and Oxtail Pastilla , Choucroute , sauce Gribiche.This was my first experience of Wagyu and i found the flavour really unusual , quite gamey and very rich.I`d love to try a different cut in the future but is it worth its price tag ?..Jury`s out.
Comice Pears with Caramel , Hazelnut and Praline…pudding time , gorgeous.
Valrhona dark chocolate cylinder , Guanaja chocolate cremeux and coffee ice cream.Enjoyable flavours but hurried presentation with no finesse.
Little chocolate and fruit puree treats with coffee.
So what did i make of Restaurant Martin Wishart and would i go back ? ……Mmmnnn well not just yet , my first experience wasn`t a good one or an enjoyable one compared to other places ive been.Far too noisy , far too rushed , no customer pampering as it was simply far too busy in there.The food was “ok” , i`m more than certain that if i`d gone when it was quieter then it would have been a million miles apart from what i`d experienced.The flavours were there , the technique was there…but on that night nothing came together and i left pretty well disappointed.Martin Wishart is one of Scotlands top chefs and from all of the other internet trip reports ive seen some fantastic food on the plates but on this occasion with the Rugby weekender i obviously picked the wrong time to visit….Next time it`ll be somewhere a lot quieter… Martin Wishart at Loch Lomond for certain.
The full set of photos from my meal can be found HERE