Jan 25 2013

Castle Terrace

This is a quite a new restaurant in Edinburgh, that only opened in July 2010 but it has already managed to get 1 Michelin star and also been ranked as a top 100 place to eat in the UK, and is a sister restaurant to another famous Scottish restaurant The Kitchen. The main chef is Scottish and his name is Dominic Jack and the restaurant serves modern British cuisine influenced by French cooking techniques (so fairly standard Michelin restaurant in the UK) and using Scottish produce. Dominic Jack has worked in one of my favourite restaurants in the world l’Arpège in Paris, but unfortunately I did not see much influence from l’Arpege when I went to Castle Terrace nevertheless it was a very enjoyable meal. When you enter Castle Terrace there is a lounge with chairs coloured in the typical Scottish pattern (which is where, when I booked a table, the waiters suggested we have our desert as they thought we did not have enough time at the table as we had a 1.5h booking, but in the end no one kicked us off the table and into the lounge). After the lounge and to your right hand side is the main dining room, which is quite simple and quite plain so I can’t say I really liked it, but it was not bad. According to the website the dining room has “calming brown tones with hints of purple in the wallpaper, created by top French designers Elitis”. The bread they brought us was not particularly inspiring as some breads in Michelin star restaurants can be, and they brought us some small baguettes and grain bread, and one of the things I love about other Michelin restaurants (not Castle Terrace) is interesting bread that you would not get in any other place. Before our meal we got some canapés and an amuse bouche as well, and I have to say the canapés were excellent, totally superb. We each got a plate of 3 different canapés, a mini pizza, a ravioli filled with smoked cod and a third canapé called “Caesar salad” which had this round green thing on top of a small biscuit and you were advised to eat it all at once. All these 3 canapés were brilliant as I said, the Caesar salad canapé actually tasted like Caesar salad despite the interesting look and the cod filling of the ravioli was also extremely delicious as were the mini pizza. After the canapés they brought us a carrot and cumin amuse bouche that was very pretty as it looked like a small green leaf was growing from the brown earth, something Noma would do, but besides the pretty look, the taste was average. After eating already the equivalent of a starter we started looking at the menu and I particularly liked their selection of starters and I could have ordered quite a few of them, including an intriguing spelt risotto, which the waiter said was very nice, but in the end I settled for “raviolo of fresh herbs and Highland crowdie cheese, served with a light tomato sauce and crushed black pepper”, and it was delicious. Ravioli type of starters are quite popular in a lot of restaurants (especially Michelin star restaurants seem to love them), and I have to say this is one of the best ravioli dishes that I have had, the pasta was soft, the filling delicious and it went super well with the tomato broth, so quite simple flavours, pasta with cheese and tomatoes to put it simply, but very delicious, and I also loved the bright green and red colours on my plate. My friend Alex had “Seared hand-dived Orkney scallops, served with a cannelloni of tarragon and lemon” and these were some of the biggest scallops I have seen in the UK (I had equally big scallops in Paris in a 2 Michelin star restaurant recently), so this was really impressive and Alex loved them. My friend Mark had “Pâté en croûte of roe deer from Saltoun Estate, served with pear, prune and port” and it was a cute mushroom shaped pate that Mark also seemed to enjoy. The main course that caught my attention was hake, and so I ordered this “Poached fillet of North Sea hake, served with piperade, olive, anchovies and Parma ham”, this was another dish where the colours on the plate were stunning, this time in autumn shades and the piperate was underneath the hake and the olives, anchovies and Parma ham in a cool string like shape were on top of the hake. It did add an extra dimension to a nice fish and whilst I liked it and though it was an above average fish dish, it did not fully interest me so I left some on the plate. Mark had the same main course and he finished it though. Alex ordered “Seared fillet of wild Scrabster sea bass, served with celery, celeriac, lemon and lime” and I thought the presentation of this dish was actually quite plain, but Alex seemed to like it and also ate everything on his plate. I did not opt for a desert but the boys had “Roast “Conference” pear and Scottish heather honey panna cotta, served with lemon thyme sorbet” which was presented like a little cake with sorbet on the side. Very pretty colours once again and I also tried some and it was superb. After our meal we had 3 little petite fours each, and another thing that I loved about Castle Terrace restaurant was how they did not just give you a plate of canapés or petite four to share, they gave us each a little separate plate, which I have not seen that much in other restaurants, and which is very cool. The petite four we got were a madelaine cake, a macaroon and a chocolate little petite four and the macaroon was delicious although it did not have a very strong flavour and the madelaine cake was nice, but also was not as sweet or powerful as I would have liked it to be. So overall there are many things I liked about Castle Terrace (like the beautiful colours on the plate and the thought that went into this) but also some that I found average, but this is a very comfortable MMMM restaurant.

Location: Edinburgh
Price for 3 with 2 glasses of wine and service charge: £211.75
Date: 25/01/13

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Castle Terrace
33-35 Castle Terrace EH1 2EL
United Kingdom
Castle Terrace Reviewed by Hungry Bee Maija on . Rating: 4