Casas del Cuito

Taste of Edinburgh

Sunday, 3 July 2011

We would usually go to the Scottish Traditional Boat Festival in Portsoy for the first weekend in July, however partly because the Seafield Arms Hotel, where we usually stay, has not surprisingly gone into administration, but more importantly the Taste of Edinburgh event is being staged here so we’re at home this weekend.

Taste of Edinburgh is held in The Meadows and has a mix
of produce stalls, master cookery classes and demonstrations, and offerings from Scotland’s leading restaurants and chefs. These offerings are tapas style meals allowing visitors to sample a number of restaurants during one visit.

It was a warm and sunny afternoon when we arrived, so after an ice-cold refreshing sample of Rekorderlig apple and blackberry Swedish Cider it was time to have a look around and see what the show had to offer.


Creative Cookware

Creative Cookware is a boutique cookware shop in Rose Street, Edinburgh specialising in high quality and otherwise hard to find  kitchen utensils, accessories and ovenware.

The owner and staff are extremely knowledgeable and helpful so is well worth a visit when setting up a kitchen.

We are especially impressed with the copper Mauveil pans which are used by professional chefs.

Ondine Restaurant

Well it must be lunch time by now, but where to start ? There is such a huge range of possibilities to choose from. Some Alaskan oak smoked salmon on Poilâne toast from Ondine Restaurant looked a great choice to begin.

However, although Ondines have built an enviable reputation as a seafood restaurant, the salmon was strangely bland without that distinctive sweet smokiness of the best Scottish smoked salmon. The accompanying portion of horseradish crème fraîche also appeared a bit on the bland side to accompany the salmon.

However Ondine’s restaurant itself gets excellent reviews, especially of their Crustacean Bar and steaks, so a visit to Ondine’s is on the to do list.

Wedgwood Restaurant

Wedgwood Restaurant  features Scottish dished influenced with ingredients and flavours from around the world that Paul Wedgwood has experienced on his wide ranging travels.

A distinct feature is the use of foraged wild herbs and salads, and occasionally events are held where customers are taken to forage for their own ingredients before returning to the restaurant for them to be prepared for lunch.

For entrée Wedgewood Restaurant provided an excellent plate of Lanarkshire blue cheese bon bons with beetroot paint.

S. Luca Ices

So that’s about it. Just time to have a vanilla 99 from S. Luca Ices served from the only Rolls-Royce ice-cream van we’ve ever seen - it’s a conversion based on a 1923 20 HP model. A Bedford ice-cream van drove around the village where we were on holiday and played the Popeye theme tune as its chime and couldn’t help wondering what this altogether classier Rolls-Royce would play on its round, maybe something like Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries would do.

Fresh Kippers !

We were rather taken by the portable kipper smoking kiln demonstrated by Polsco Smokehouse. Makes for a fine wee breakfast, although the kippery smell does hang around the house for a while.

Brew Dog

Surely beer time by now. What better than some Brew Dog promoted as ‘Beer for Punks’. Brew Dog are based in Fraserburgh in the North East of Scotland and have developed an innovative range of quality beers.

We first tasted Brew Dog when their Trashy Blond pale ale was guest ale at Teuchters bar in William Street, Edinburgh.

So a well chilled bottle of hoppy, fruity IPA was just the thing whilst listening to the the band from the Jam House.

Japanese Steel

Japan has been renowned for producing high quality multi-layered steel for hundreds of years, originally for  Samurai swords. This set of  Ziganof kitchen knives carries on that tradition and are wickedly sharp. A snip at £145.00.

Le Creuset Mini-Cocotte,

Mauveil copper Butter Pan

and Le Creuset Oven Dish

Restaurant Mark Greenaway

Restaurant Mark Greenaway was launched early 2011 at Hawke & Hunter, now being rebranded as No. 12 Picardy Place. This is a modern Scottish restaurant at its best, delivering a cutting edge new perspective on the tradition Scottish dining experience with an emphasis on visual appeal - just look at their Cullen Skink, although using the basic ingredients it would not be recognisable as traditional Skink to a native from Cullen.

For Taste of Edinburgh, Mark has pulled out all the stops with an offering of Duo of Borders lamb, braised shoulder, roasted cutlet, Scottish mushrooms, fondant potato, red wine jus. This was extraordinary good with well balanced flavour showing through.

Rumour has it that Mark is aiming for a Michelin star: with this standard of cooking he can surely not be far away from achieving that.