When on a trip to Edinburgh recently we were invited to have dinner at Martin Wishart’s restaurant. Obviously we’d heard of Martin and his many accolades – the highest of which would have to be his two Michelin stars, one awarded in 2001 which has been maintained to the present date, the other in 2011 for his restaurant in Loch Lomond, but I had never sampled his menu.
We arrived at a place known to many as The Shore, in Leith. It’s steeped in history and used to be where, as its title suggests, the boats came in and the ladies of the night would meet the sailors! However, that was a long time ago and it’s now a buzzing metropolis of bars and restaurants for the young, middle-aged and silver surfers to hang out.
The MW restaurant has a modern façade, and a warm and hearty Scottish welcome awaits you on arrival where you can be relieved of the layers you may have donned to keep you dry and warm in weather conditions the city of Edinburgh sometimes throws at you. We were comfortably seated, all three of us, at a round table where our neighbouring diners were far enough away so as not to eavesdrop on our conversations but close enough should we wish to share a mmmm or an ahhh at the delights of our courses.
MW has thought carefully about what the customer would like and has not one but three tasting menus; the vegetarian, one for the fish, seafood and crustacean lovers, which was introduced to the restaurant two years ago, and one for the carnivores amongst us. So, being in a trio, we decided to have one of each, getting the full benefit of the MW touch. In fact 97% of the covers in the restaurant opt for the tasting menus which tells you how good they are.
We had a lovely glass of champagne to start our evening with the chef’s Amouse Bouche. It would take me far to long to detail and do justice to every dish we all sampled so I asked my colleagues to pick the one that stood out for them. The vegetarian menu was tasted by a non-vegetarian who couldn’t pick one in particular but said each dish was a surprise (as she thought she would miss the fish or meat content) and a delight. In fact, she did state she may be converted to vegetarianism after the Romano red pepper, Bombay saffron rice, artichoke and tomato which was preceded by the leek and avocado crème fraiche and Tosazu sauce and followed by the potato truffle yolk, roasted onion and mimolette which truly hit the top of the taste palette.
Moving on to the other two choices from the three tasting menus I would have to say it is really difficult to condense but for me, of the six course normal tasting menu I loved the Border’s Roe Deer with braised lettuce, carrot, date and bbq winter onion. I can still conjure up the taste as I write about it. The fish menu had everything from oysters, halibut, and scallops to sea bass and cod. However, I think my colleague’s particular favourite came in the form of the ivoire white chocolate mousse milk sheet, ginger biscuit, rhubarb sorbet.
To summarize I would most definitely make MW a pre-booked stop on your visit to Edinburgh, details below.
By Lorraine Fleming
54, The Shore,Edinburgh
0131 553 3557