What a busy week! School has finally started up again, but I’m still in holiday mode. My week was spent at vegan garden picnics, tea and scones with friends, and watching fireworks that celebrated the 600th anniversary of my university. I ended my summer break and kickstarted the academic year in the best way possible by hosting a three-course vegan dinner and a Beyoncé themed birthday party last night. Prep work started at 8am, and by 9am I was cooking away madly. It was exhausting, but so worth it to be able to cook for my nearest and dearest friends! That dinner deserves an entire blog post, so I will save that for another time.
Today, I want to tell everyone about a delicious discovery in Edinburgh. It’s a farm-to-table restaurant called Field, and their chef Gordon Craig has previously worked at the Michelin-starred restaurant The Peat Inn. The concept is simple: their ingredients are seasonal, local, and fresh. The Scots aren’t famed for a diverse diet and adventurous palate, as most of what they eat consists mainly of meat, potatoes, and deep-fried food. But if you take a look at the Scottish produce that is available, you’ll find beautiful fruits and vegetables to cook with. In the summer alone, Scottish produce includes blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, tomatoes, asparagus, aubergines, beetroot, broad beans, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, courgettes, cucumber, lettuce, pepper, potatoes, radishes, sage, spinach, turnips… the list goes on! This is why I am curious as to why so many Scottish people seem to fear fruits and vegetables. Even the sight of it on their plate seems to make them squirm. Perhaps it’s the cooking method- everything is boiled, and there’s little flavour left by the time the vegetables are done. Thankfully, Field has done an excellent job of incorporating all the amazing local ingredients into their dishes, which they do by “stripping them to the bare essentials and adding a playful element.” The result? A flavourful symphony in my belly.
The menu was short, but I was pleasantly surprised by the diversity of the dishes. I was very pleased with the vegetarian options, even though I would have preferred more than one option per course. I had two courses for £11.95, and I was blown away by how great the food was for such a small price tag.
Lewis’ parents both started with beetroot cured Scottish salmon, citrus crème fraiche, raisin and caper compote, pickled peppers, candied zest and crispy crab ball. I had a tasty gazpacho, while Lewis ordered a fricassée of wild mushrooms on toasted brioche and fried quail egg. With the exception of one sloppy quail egg, all the dishes were beautifully plated. So far so good!
It took a while for the main courses to arrive, but none of us were disappointed when they finally came. Lewis had a pan-fried hake with creamed sweetcorn, chorizo, avocado, and chunky chips. His dad ordered a roast chicken breast with confit onion dauphinoise, haggis cromesquis, turnip purée, and drambuie sauce. I wasn’t able to try the non-vegetarian mains, but they looked tasty! Both Lewis’ mum and I ordered the saffron gnocchi with duck egg, radish, onion, purple potato, broad beans, and olive purée. The duck was perfectly poached, and the gnocchi was excellent. It was so, so good. I loved all the colours on the plate, especially the purple potatoes. This made the dish quite starchy, but still delicious regardless.
Everything I had was absolutely delicious, and the staff were very friendly. Despite having to wait a little longer for our main courses, the food was great- especially for how much it cost. My favourite thing about the restaurant is their commitment to and pride in using local Scottish produce. One bite of any dish on their menu will show you just how fresh their ingredients are. It’s too bad I was too full to eat dessert! Highly recommended- next time I go, I’m definitely getting dessert.
Wishing you much love and happy kitchen adventures,