There’s something very exciting happening on the Dalkeith Road in Edinburgh. Those in the know are frequent visitors to Edinburgh Food Studio. This is food at its most interesting.
We first came across Ben Reade when he gave a talk about the Nordic Food Lab. Then last year, he and David Crabtree Logan ran up the Scratch Series pop up. Over a few months, themed dinners took place in the upstairs at Iglu. Word of mouth endorsements were rapid. You just had to get a seat.
More recently, we took part in a Kickstarter project to get the Edinburgh Food Studio off the ground. This time Ben is working with partner Sashana Zanella.
Dining is communal, sitting on two long tables. There’s a fine selection of interesting wines, local beers and non-alcoholic juices.
The Studio is open on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings. There’s no set menu, the four course taster menu (which often has added extras) is created with that day’s seasonal ingredients. Many restaurants these days claim to use seasonal, local ingredients. Here, you can be sure that Ben and Sashana really are doing so. They have created an incredible networks of suppliers across Scotland and further afield. There’s also some serious skills in the kitchen.You are equally likely to find a gorgeous jus as homemade butter and really good bread or an éclair made with buckwheat flour.
A recent visit saw us sampling an Atlantic Feast. One of a series of special events where suppliers and/or chefs are invited to introduce guests to their food or cuisine. For an incredible £35 per person, we sampled seafood that we might never have the chance to try again.
Roderick Sloan dives in the frozen arctic ocean. In Northern Norway, far into the Arctic Circle he collects rare sea urchins and ancient mahogany clams. Seafood that often appears on restaurants such as Noma in Copenhagen, or St. John in London.(Do read the Urchin Man article about him). Roderick was in and out of the kitchen that night, telling us about the incredible seafood and his life in North Norway.
Mr EF and I had tried sea urchins before, but these were so different. The orange edible parts we sweet, light and gently briny. We sampled delicate soft shell clams (which are nicknamed dick clams in the Noma kitchen due to their appearance) served with mussels smoked with Juniper. Oh my were they good. The mahogany clams sat in their shells with a barley risotto.Lots of fresh tastes enticing us throughout.
We moved onto Cod cooked with birch salt (which Roderick had made very painstakingly with birch buds) – moist and wonderful. The cheese course was Norweigian brown cheese Gjetost which I have to say I am very fond of – is very unlike cheese, more like creamy fudge. Dessert came, no less surprising than the rest – Norweigan rice porridge. Rice pudding with butter and cinnamon and very little sweetness. This I could seriously get used to!
I know you’ll wish you could have been at the dinner. All I can suggest is to hurry and book for one of Edinburgh Food Studio’s suppers or one of the events coming up. There are some very, very exciting guests planned (details still to be confirmed), but you might enjoy a four course themed Sunday Brunch (like Amy did; see below) or a nose-to-tail fish event. See you there?
Amy’s Scots-themed Brunch (7/2/16)
There are three more meals coming up in the February brunch series, lead by David Crabtree Logan. They cost £25 and include one hot beverage. I guarantee you outstanding value. Find out more and book here.
Edinburgh Food Studio
158 Dalkeith Road, Edinburgh, EH16 5DX
T: +44 (0) 131 258 0758
Follow @edfoodstudio on Twitter. Well worth doing as you’ll find out about the events here first
Follo Edinburgh Food Studio on Facebook