Friday, 27 February 2009

Michelin Star #1 - Restaurant Martin Wishart

Late last year, in honour of my mum's 60th birthday, a cosy family group of seven trouped along to Edinburgh's first Michelin-starred restaurant, Martin Wishart for dinner. French in its style of food and Scottish in its choice of produce, Wisharts manages to be both conservative and daring at once. I can't imagine many restaurants at this level bother to offer a vegetarian tasting menu in parallel with the regular one.

A quiet, almost subdued atmosphere pervades the beige-and-cream room; a respectful hush descends as each new dish from the six-course tasting menu is delivered and explained by the slick but not obsequious waiting staff. Rarely, I think, do they cater to larger groups such as ours - the regular clientele more likely to be doe-eyed couples talking in excited whispers - and so our usually noisy banter must be tempered somewhat on this occasion. But we mind not a jot, as plate after plate of perfectly executed food appears in front of us, negating much need for conversation other than appreciative "mmmm" noises all round.

Vivaldi Potato Veloute with chestnut puree, autumn truffles and cepes
Emmental Souffle with soubise spinach
Ceviche of Halibut with mango and passion fruit
Fillet of John Dory with puree of jerusalem artichokes
Truffle Risotto with pan-fried king scallop
Selection of cheese from the groaning trolley
Chocolate and Praline Mousse

With champagne to start, a few bottles of NZ sauvignon blanc throughout and a special dessert wine to round things off - oh, and a small port with coffee - we were all gently sozzled by the time we rolled out the door some four hours later. Stuffed and happy, we made our bleary way home knowing that we had just sampled some of the finest food in the country. I can't wait to go back some day...

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