I’m just going to come out and say it. Dinner at Restaurant Martin Wishart was the best meal both me and my partner have ever had.
The restaurant, named after its Chef Owner, is the flagship of Edinburgh born Martin Wishart and is located in the district of Leith, a few miles to the north of Edinburgh. Since opening in 1999 it’s built up a collection of accolades that include a Michelin Star awarded in 2001 and retained ever since, No.5 in The Sunday Times Best UK Restaurants list of 2015 and four AA Rosettes kept since first awarded in 2005 as well as a list of others as long as your arm.
Just in case the accolades don’t say it loud enough, from the second you step across the doorway it becomes instantly clear that quality is something that is really cared about. The dining room was a thing of beauty. Crisp white linen adorned immaculately dressed tables with quality glassware and cutlery. Every detail screamed quality at the top of its voice, giving the whole room an air of sophistication that perfectly matched the food that was to come.
The Amuse Bouche was a symphony of colours, textures and tastes. A Beetroot Macaroon with Horseradish cream attracted the attention of my partner due to its pink colour and mine because of its airy, crisp texture, with the Horseradish cream bringing the faintest touch of warmth. A Tomato gazpacho and Green Pepper Mousse was light and refreshing and brought even more colour to the party, with both Tomato and Pepper making their presence equally known. Canneloni with Aubergine, Couscous and tomato powder, a Squid Ink cracker with gravlax salmon and avocado mousse and finally Mackerel with white radish, ginger and a citrus broth made up the rest of the first course.
The meal was kicked up a gear with the arrival of the Rose Veal Tartare. The Tartare accompanied by the buttery nature of the Foie Gras, wild mushrooms and sweetness coming from the Coteaux du Layon sauce made for a course of pure extravagance.
Orkney Scallops with Vadouvan Spice was the second course of the six. The sweet and delicate flavour of two precisely cooked Scallops met with a subtle blend of aromats coming from the spices, while spears of white asparagus added their mild earthy note.
Perhaps a further nod to Wisharts’ classic French training, the half way point was marked by the most French of ingredients: Snails. Encased within accurately cooked pasta, the snails were joined by its classic accompaniment in the form of a wonderfully subtle Garlic Veloute surrounding the entire dish, with baby leeks and mussels adding their own individual flavours. Possibly due to her new-found love of Escargot after a recent trip to Paris, on the journey home my partner declared that this was her favourite dish of the entire meal, despite her sweet tooth and enjoyment of the two desserts that would follow not long later.
A roasted breast of Goosnargh Duck was the last of the savoury dishes. Certainly, the prettiest of the mains, especially so after the Burmese Pepper sauce was poured around the main components table side eventually forming a perfect circle. The slice of duck breast had a wonderful crisp skin, with the meat underneath being an even shade of pink throughout. With Spelt’s’ slightly nutty flavour, a spear of Asparagus adding it’s earthy undertone and Beets bringing sweetness, this was the course of the evening for me.
The first of two desserts would be exactly what was needed after four previous courses of pure indulgence. Delicate cubes of Pineapple lightly sprinkled with Tajin were placed around a Hay Parfait and Lemon Grass Curd with Shortbread adding crunch. A light and refreshing first dessert before we moved onto the finale.
A Valrhona Guanaja Chocolate Mousse with Coconut Sorbet and Passion Fruit was the final dish of the evening. Just as beautifully presented as the previous dishes, the slight bitterness of the dark chocolate mousse offset by the sorbet and the tartness of the Passion Fruit. The perfect way to end a superb meal.
Over the two hours and six courses we were in the restaurant we experienced nothing but perfection. The total bill, coming in at £250 included two six-course meals, both pre-and post-meal drinks as well as a decent bottle of Wine, was, in my opinion worth every single penny. Masterful cooking that produced an absolutely faultless meal combined with a level of service that was both professional and approachable made for an experience that I’m unlikely to forget for many years to come.