My idea of heaven is a day off and a lovely long leisurely lunch. As it is summertime (whatever the weather outside), my advice is to book lunch at Castle Terrace Restaurant today.
I love this restaurant for so many reasons. It is one I return to again and again. The food is always flavoursome, packed with flavour and beautiful presented. I appreciate the friendliness of the staff. The welcome is genuinely warm. Many of the team have worked there for years and it’s a pleasure to meet them each time you visit. Wine matching food is something that many restaurants say they do. Here it is taken to another level. There are wines you would never discover on your own, let alone pick and whilst you could spend ridiculous sums on some of the most precious bottles, you do not need to. And, most importantly, the space is comfortable, light and welcoming.
My admiration for Chef Dominic Jack grows and grows. He runs a calm kitchen. You know his team understands his absolute attention to detail. It’s fascinating to watch dishes being assembled – elements might be added with tweezers. (Tasting menu diners are invited to sit at Chef’s Table for one course). But of course, his main drive is flavour and sourcing and using finest Scottish ingredients.
Why have I not written about Castle Terrace in detail before? Simply because it is somewhere I return to with my husband often. It is our personal favourite restaurant in the World. We’ve been lucky enough to eat at some top restaurants in Europe, USA and Japan and all are measured against this one, here in our own city. So in a weird way I did not want to try and share it with you. Now my time writing as Edinburgh Foody is at an end, this is my gift to you.
I shared lunch with bloggers Olivia from Oh Taste!, Emma Foodie Explorers from and Nadine from Eating Edinburgh recently at the restaurant’s invitation. I usually (read always) have the tasting menu which means I don’t actually have to choose. I love being in chef’s hands and not knowing what will come next. The sommelier knows that we are open to trying new wines, so we trust him implicitly. If you’re not wanting to drink too much, he will propose half glasses.
So today I had to choose. Luckily I was sitting next to Emma who was happy for me to swap morsels with her. After three amuse bouches (the green caesar salad dome is legendary), The “appetizer” looked for all the world like a quails egg, but turned out to be a pannacotta of arbroath smokie with “yolk” of mango!
I tucked into tartare of mackerel with gooseberry. Raw mackerel is delicate and almost creamy, the gooseberry adding a bit of tartness. It was topped with teeny, tiny croutons for texture. This was served with a refreshing glass of Sauvignon Blanc/Chardonnay from the Loire. A lovely start. I tried a bite of Emma’s heritage tomatoes and basil – pure summer on a plate.
Main course was a fabulous piece of skate from Shetland atop a salad of fresh wafer thin vegetables cut into a myriad of shapes. Every so often I tasted a burst of lemon, which perfectly complemented the fish. Simple, fresh and healthy. This was paired with my first ever taste of Lebanese wine, a Musar Jeune which was delicious. Emma’s Ling with crab bisque was rich and very moreish. Others on the table were cooing over their Sheriffmuir lamb with aubergine and apricot with Indian flavours.
We don’t usually take the cheese as we have no room! Today’s selection are half Scottish, half French. There are cows, goats and sheep cheeses. I loved the different flavours and textures , the favourite was a thin, circular goats cheese covered in ash. The accompanying wine was fascinating a Maury Mas Mudigliza from Perpignan.
And so to dessert. Chef Jack is very good at desserts. This one was heavenly. Strawberries from Blacketyside Farm with a crisp profiterole and lime parfait. The lime intensified the flavour of the strawberries so well. This was served with a Tokay from Hungary. As a special treat, we also tasted a chocolate and orange pavé with orange sorbet. Gorgeous, rich and indulgent.
Menus evolve with the seasons and locally sourced ingredients are always centre stage. Lunch at Castle Terace is £29.50. Matching wines £24.50. The Tasting Menu is £75. Matching wines including welcome drink £55. The cheese course is extra.
So what are you waiting for?
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33/35 Castle Terrace
Telephone: (+44) 0131 229 1222 or book online