Edinburgh Eats: Restaurant Martin Wishart

Being presented with a locked box which was then dramatically opened by a lady wearing pristine white gloves has to be one of my most memorable restaurant experiences. 

Not the exact box but you get the idea

The contents of the box happened to be freshly picked truffles flown in from Italy. They were absolutely exquisite, much like the rest of the meal at Restaurant Martin Wishart.

Chef Martin Wishart opened his eponymous restaurant in 1999 and it became Edinburgh's first Michelin starred restaurant in 2001. The food is a combination of traditional and modern French with Scottish flavours entwined into the creations. 

The Man Himself
I booked the restaurant for my boyfriends birthday a whole 2 months in advance, and just about managed to get a table at 9pm, so if you want a weekend booking I would keep this in mind.

The restaurant is situated in the port town of Leith, which is a 10 minute taxi from Edinburgh's city centre so don't attempt walking there in heels... unless of course you want to develop some serious calf bulk, then go for it!

Once inside this warm and cosy restaurant we examined the two tasting menus on offer (there is also a 3rd veggie option), and eventually settled on the six course 'Fish, Shellfish, and Crustacean' menu.

The inside of RMW 

Of course, before the menu there were little tastings of wonderfully creative dishes. Food before the food is one of my favourite Michelin concepts. 

This was followed by a fabulous amuse bouche, a light creamy soup that was so delicious that I felt somewhat heart broken when I finished the last mouthful. 

Amuse Bouche

Sheltland Squid marked the official start of the tasting menu. I am not a huge fan of squid but I have to say this dish was quite tasty, but perhaps not on par with the other dishes on the menu.

Shetland Squid A La Plancha:
with melon, avocado, and cucumber

Roasted Orkney Scallops was meant to come next but the waitress informed us that they had just received their first truffles of the season and that there was a special of scallop risotto with truffle shavings if we would like that instead. Unlike squid, I adore risotto so this news couldn't have been better. 

This was when the locked box was presented and ceremoniously unlocked to display the truffles with their storage then being described in exquisite detail. At the time I thought this was all a bit over the top, until I later learnt that white truffles can cost over $2000 a pound! Crazy!

THE risotto

The risotto was incredible, if I was a millionaire I would order it on the daily.

Course 3 was Kilbrannan Langoustines, which crackled and popped in your mouth, amazing! Now in case you are like me and do not know what a langoustine is, it is crustacean that is also known as Norway Lobster or Dublin Bay Prawn. Apparently, is also the most important commercial crustacean in Europe - thanks Wiki!

Kilbrannan Langoustines:
with parsnip & white chocolate, verjus, smoked butter and Dutch shrimps 

Next came the Shetland Salmon, which after the risotto was my next favourite course. It was cooked with lime and ginger giving it an oriental taste..... mmmm fusion.

Shetland Salmon:
 with quinoa, turnip, kaffir lime and ginger 

The main course was monkfish served with oysters, cauliflower and Bellota ham.  I love the meatiness of Monkfish, definitely a good choice for a main course. 

 with Oysters, Cauliflower, and Bellota Ham

For a supplemental £10 you can order a cheese plate. A trolley with several dozen cheeses is wheeled over and you can either select your own or they will put together a plate based on your preferences. This is definitely a winner for cheese lovers as they have quite the selection and give generous servings.

Cheese Board at Restaurant Martin Wishart
After such fantastic eating I was beginning to feel sad that we were near the end, though my full stomach was thinking thank god. However, it wasn't over yet! Martin Wishart served up a surprise pre-dessert. It was tiny but beautifully presented and very light and tasty.. perfect.

Pre-Dessert: best concept ever

Our last course was a choice of desserts, I can't even remember what the other choices were as I stopped listening as soon as I heard chocolate. The 'Valrhona Dulcey Chocolate with caramelized pecan nuts, chocolate sablé, and an exotic sorbet' was just gorgeous, far too pretty to eat but I somehow managed ;). It certainly tasted as good as it looked, an amazing finish to such a wonderful meal.

Valrhona Dulcey Chocolate:
with caramelized peacan nuts, chocolate sable, and exotic sorbet

Before rolling home we ordered peppermint tea in a pitiful attempt to aid our digestion. With the tea came chocolate truffles which we simply couldn't fit into our stomachs so we took them home and had them for breakfast, yum!

Truffles at Restaurant Martin Wishart

I personally think Restaurant Martin Wishart deserves a second Michelin star, I couldn't fault the food for its quality or taste and the service was excellent. My only slight gripe is that I had told the waiter on the phone that it was a birthday celebratory meal yet they made no effort to recognise it which I thought was odd and a bit of a let down for a restaurants of its caliber. Aside from that I have no complaints and I'm just dreaming of the day I can get that scallop risotto again. 

So as Martin Wishart didn't do it, here it is from Liakada Travel.. A very big happy birthday to you Mr. E, hope it was great!

Check out their website for other details: http://www.martin-wishart.co.uk/


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