My quest for Scotland's Best dessert, led me to Tom Kitchins Restaurant in the capital city, Edinburgh today . The Kitchin is located in part of an old converted whisky warehouse in Edinburgh's stylish waterfront.
I had been looking forward to Toms place for a while now as he is a Chef I know quite a lot about but never had the privilege of dining at any of his Restaurants.
Tom opened The Kitchin in 2006 along with his wife Michaela and between them they have an impressive CV ,not to be sniffed at !
Tom is from Edinburgh and has worked with some of the greats of the culinary world , including Pierre Koffman and his 3 Star La Tante Claire in London.
Tom is also Scotland's youngest Michelin Starred Chef/Proprietor and earned his star at the tender age of 29.
He may be more well known to you and I from appearing as a judge on the Masterchef Final on BBC.
Tom's influence and style is typically French using the very best of Scotland's larder -How could you fail ?
The philosophy is a simple one – From Nature to Plate .
I arrived early to a very slick , efficient team organising my every move from door to table.
The restaurant feels warm and inviting and the open kitchen allows the diner to watch the amazing creations taking shape.
I was served with an absolutely perfectly baked miniature sour dough bread ,already scored and steaming hot with a quenelle of soft butter . Being a baker, I was especially impressed with this bread as it was as light and crispy as you can get in a sour dough ,which can be hard on the nashers if not executed well.
My first course was brilliant , 3 x large plump,fresh Orkney hand dived scallops served In the shell with puff pastry encasing the rim. Once opened expertly by the waiter ,the creamy vermouth sauce and aroma of the scallops was jaw dropping. The flavour can only be described as the taste of the sea – absolutely wonderful.
My second course, I thought ,would have to be brilliant to beat that and it was , Medallions of perfectly pink Roe Deer served with the best tasting pink soft Rhubarb, root vegetable quenelles and a dark sticky red wine sauce – oh lord the flavours of everything were just so intense that I was in heaven.
My third course was dessert and Tom in his wisdom decided to go full throttle on this course and deliver me all of the desserts on the menu to sample . These were not sample portions so this was no mean feat . I had to eat them all you understand or I would have offended this great Chef .
First up was the warm Apple tart which was not unlike a Tarte tatin . It was simply devine with little apple pieces which had been melon balled and dipped in caramel. The caramel was crispy on the outside and soft in the middle. They were arranged around a pastry circle and served with quenelles of vanilla ice cream and hot caramel sauce.
Next up on the hit list was an unusual dessert of Buckthorn consomme served around a farm yoghurt Panna cotta and Granny apple sorbet . The Panna cotta was perfectly formed and texture was excellent ,the apple sorbet was sharp and full of flavour and the consomme was bitter and different to anything i have tasted before.
The Chocolate souffle with the chocolate sauce and chocolate ice cream was my dream dessert. The chocolate was quite obviously a high cocoa solid, dark and grainy . The souffle light and well risen and the chocolate ice cream smooth and like velvet on the palate .
But my favourite of the night came in the shape of the Knockraich crowdie cheesecake served with farm rhubarb ,rhubarb sorbet and pink pralines .
The rhubarb was earthy and softly poached , pink and bursting with flavour , definitely the star of the plate .
The cheesecake was light and full of creamy flavour . A little pink cheesecake macaron perched gently on the top of the crisp praline on the top. It was quite simply a work of art not only to look at but to enjoy .
I was offered, at the end of this extravaganza of desserts, a further Chocolate and caramel tart but had to take a doggy bag on this occassion , what a let down Melanie!
What i came away with, at the end of this evening, was the reminder of how our food should taste . The earthy full flavour of fresh organic rhubarb , the taste of the sea oozing from the giant scallops , the intense flavour from the Roe deer and the Rich , dark and bitter flavour of the excellent chocolate .
The price of this Michelin star Restuarant in the heart of the city , offering simply excellent dining, was very reasonable and affordable compared to most i have sampled so far. The gratuity once again was not added to the bill and left to the diner to decide on whether to tip or not . I was very impressed all round.
I think Tom and his team at The Kitchin have just raised the bar !