Sunday, 29 August 2010

Scottish Food Word Sunday - 'Bride's Bonn'

'Bride's Bonn'
"A flat cake made with self-raising flour, butter and caster sugar (5:2:1) by the rubbing in method, brought together with milk and flavoured with caraway seeds. Cooked on a hot griddle on the wedding day and traditionally broken over the brides head as she entered her new Shetland house."
From 'Dictionary of food' by Charles Sinclair
  Border of Scotland and England on the A68

Friday, 27 August 2010

Friday Favourites - 'Poilâne Sourdough'

Few days ago I was food dreaming and buying cupcakes, as I often do these days, at Harvey Nichols Foodmarket, when I saw some rather tasty looking sliced bread behind the counter.
I found out that it was sourdough from Paris, from a bakery called Poilâne and gets delivered once a week to Edinburgh's Harvey Nichols, on Wednesdays. After chatting to this very charming older gentleman from Glasgow who was buying big bags of the bread and recommended it to me I had no choice than to buy some to try it. 
Expensive? A wee bit.
Worth every penny? Oh my, yes.
Absolutely beautiful bread.

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Scottish Food Word Sunday - 'Bannock'

'Bannock'
"1. A circular scone made from barley flour, oatmeal or barley meal and cooked on a griddle. Various types are produced for breakfast and high tea. 2. A biscuit resembling shortbread but containing chopped mixed peel and almonds."
From 'Dictionary of food' by Charles Sinclair
 
 Hairy cow (tukkalehmä in Finnish) at Prestonfield

Saturday, 21 August 2010

The Restaurant at The Rutland, Edinburgh

 Our last dinner at The Rutland in June left us slightly disappointed and we both agreed not to go back in a hurry. Fortunately I was convinced and encouraged by a number of people to dine there again, them saying that it must have been just a one-off bad night.
 So we did. It was a quiet Tuesday night when we walked in and I was well hopeful.
The menu was same than the last time. I chose 'Breast of corn fed Goosnargh chicken, potato gnocchi, wild mushrooms, tarragon and red wine sauce' and a side order of 'potato wedges with sweet chili and sour cream'. The chicken dish was an absolutely beautiful plate of harmonic flavours. I was seriously considering of asking for a spoon or straw to get every last drop of the dark, rich sauce...
For dessert I had 'Caramel and dark chocolate tart with apricot syrup and creme fraiche'. When we were tucking into our puddings our waiter said to me "By the look on your face I assume that everything is OK." Ha-ha. It was more than OK, it was heavenly.
So what a difference to our last experience. I am a fan of The Rutland now. I was so glad after this meal that I couldn't stop smiling and I kept saying to Mr Lovable "I'm so happy, I'm so happy". I'm looking forward to dining from their new menu which I believe will be starting in September. Until then...
they have eteaket teas!

again, crazy disco-style decor

exceptionally good, knowledgeable and smooth service

1-3 Rutland Street, Edinburgh, EH1 2AE - 0131 229 3402
The Rutland Hotel on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

The Boathouse, South Queensferry

I was well chuffed when after phoning several restaurants around South Queensferry on late Thursday night The Boathouse managed to get us in for a dinner with just 15 minutes warning.
The Boathouse is right in the heart of South Queensferry. There is a cocktail bar upstairs and bistro downstairs as well as the restaurant where we had dinner. The restaurant menu is light and mainly fresh seafood, as you can imagine, them being located right by the sea.
Most of us ordered fish or scallops. My 'Seared swordfish with sweet chili salsa' was meaty and perfectly cooked, little rare in the middle, just the way it should be. Our table of seven was quite loud and bubbly but as soon as our mains arrived everybody went silent and just enjoyed their food. I love when that happens!
My dessert 'Panna cotta with a mixed berry compote' was a bit disappointing as it was a teeny-tiny portion. All other desserts seemed to be bigger than mine and I always get serious food envy if my portion is the smallest.
Other than that, it was a really good night, a chance for two families finally to meet each other over a delicious meal. Only improvements that I can think of in this restaurant could be slightly bigger portion sizes and little more effort and imagination with food presentation: now all plates had same boiled potatoes and beans. Still, I'm sure we will return, their fish is so good.
fantastic location and views

tempting seafood menu

small, intimate venue

22 High St, South Queensferry, Edinburgh, EH30 9PP - 0131 3315429 
The Boat House on Urbanspoon

Monday, 16 August 2010

The Two Bridges, South Queensferry

Dinner time after a sunny, hot day and we find ourselves in South Queensferry with nowhere booked to have some light supper. We tried our luck at The Railbridge Bistro but it was packed, no chance to get a table for the four of us.
Next option down the road was The Two Bridges that is under a new management or owners. There was no customers sitting on the tables outside, which worried me a bit, but we were absolutely starving so decided to give it a go anyway.
We ordered pots of tea, soups and starters. I had 'French toast with chili and basil, served with fresh rocket and parmesan cheese' and it was nice, moist and spicy, but unfortunately they have seemed to run out of rocket, oops! Luckily the homemade, seriously good and thick lentil soup saved this meal.
 What a funny place this is. Like they started re-decorating&furbishing with enthusiasm and then just sort of... gave up. The upstairs and downstairs don't quite match. There is no atmosphere. The staff seemed bored to be working there. You can see what the owners are trying to achieve, but it's not anywhere near it yet. It's a pity, because of the location and area this could be a superb addition to South Queensferry's restaurants.
 breathtaking views to the Forth

really tasty soup

lots of tables outside

Newhalls Rd, South Queensferry, West Lothian, EH30 9TA - 0131 331 5381

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Scottish Food Word Sunday - 'Nun's Beads'

'Nun's Beads'
"Grated Dunlop cheese, egg yolks and breadcrumbs (4:1:1), made into a paste, formed into walnut-sized balls, each ball covered in thin puff pastry and deep-fried until golden brown"
From 'Dictionary of food' by Charles Sinclair
 
Edinburgh castle waiting for rain in last years August

Friday, 13 August 2010

Friday favourites - Victoria Mason Jewellery

Last week I saw some adorable jewellery, made by Victoria Mason. She makes silver necklaces, rings and and earrings that are inspired by everyday household objects like teacups, scissors, biscuits, clothes pegs...
I got the spoon and fork sterling silver necklace on the top left corner. It's tiny, shiny and perfect! If you're ever struggling to find a gift for the foodie in your life, head to the The Red Door Gallery in Edinburgh's Victoria Street, or have a look at the full range of her jewellery from her website. She has got a cool blog, too!

Thursday, 12 August 2010

The Scottish Cafe&Restaurant, Edinburgh

There are people in this world that absolutely LOVE food and it's written all over them. The owners of The Scottish Cafe&Restaurant, Victor and Carina Contini are like that. Their third and newest restaurant is at the National Gallery of Scotland
right in the middle of Edinburgh city.
 We had the pleasure to taste their butteries at the Taste Festival this year and been planning to go for lunch ever since. The menu at the cafe consists of breakfast served until 11.45 am, sandwiches, pate's, butteries, cheeseboards and also afternoon & cream teas served from 3pm to 6pm. Not to mention their very tempting looking pastries and cakes... They also have a restaurant menu that has got all the Scottish classic starters and mains in it.
 After doing an open bus tour around Edinburgh's old town with my mom and brother we were all starving so we headed for lunch and ordered haggis for my mom, soups for three and hot butteries served with a seasonal mixed leaves salad. I had the 'Loch Arthur cheddar and our own unsmoked Borders boiled ham', it was lovely and greasy and hot, perfect lunch for a windy day after spending all day outside.
 Next time I have a Sunday off I would love to try their 'Sunday roast lunch special: Classic traditional Sunday roast, served with crispy potatoes and fresh organic summer vegetables' from 12 noon to 5 pm, for £13.95...
herbs growing outside

friendly and warm welcome

unique location & buzzing atmosphere

The Mound, Edinburgh, EH2 2EL - 0131 226 6524 
The Scottish Cafe & Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

The Olive Branch Bistro, Edinburgh

Days off are my absolute favourite thing. And better than a day off is to have a whole week off. And to have a whole week off with Mr Lovable is just... well, heaven. 
 Last week was a Very Special Week as my mom and brother were in Edinburgh for few days! So on Monday, the day of their arrival, after scrubbing the whole flat from floor to ceiling the pair of us made a trip to Broughton Street to get sausages, black pudding and bacon from Crombies for next days big breakfast.
While there, we went for a late lunch to The Olive Branch Bistro. Both of us ordered fresh tagliatelle with chorizo, artichokes, cherry tomatoes, roast fennel and olives and not much was said after our plates arrived. It was a perfect sized bowl of very, very tasty pasta. Chorizo is an amazing ingredient: it just goes with pretty much anything.
 I couldn't help noticing that their daily specials had honey and apricot cheesecake written on it. I quickly scanned my endless 'list of excuses to have dessert' in my head and used "But we are on holidays..." and got to eat my oh-so-lovely slice of cake.
Restaurants and cafe's come and go on Broughton Street but this place looks like it is steadily busy and hooray for that. I have been here few times before and the food&service has always been faultless.
If looking for relaxed, friendly bistro that is excellent value for money, look no further. 
 jugs of water with fresh mint, lime and lemon

great place for people watching

tables outside as well
  
91 Broughton Street, EH1 3RX - 0131 557 8589 
Olive Branch (Broughton Bistro) on Urbanspoon

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Scottish Food Word Sunday - 'Haggis'

'haggis'
"A sausage made from the minced heart, liver and lungs of a sheep mixed with oatmeal, suet, minced onion, spices, herbs and seasoning, all encased in a sheep's stomach and boiled prior to being served hot. Nowadays more commonly stuffed in a plastic casing. Traditionally served at Burns' night suppers with tatties, bashit neeps and an excess of whisky, whilst Burns' Ode to the Haggis is recited with due ceremony."
From 'Dictionary of food' by Charles Sinclair
 
'Haggis graffiti' in Edinburgh