Winter is coming; we have no choice in the matter, so we might as well make preparations for the months ahead. Besides wanting to hibernate under your duvet in front of the TV, binge watching Netflix, you will at some point want to venture out into Edinburgh’s city centre; so here’s one place worth visiting for a little luxury and warmth – The Printing Press Bar and Kitchen.
November/December brings together my favourite seasons, Autumn and Winter. It’s time for warmer, more indulgent and richer dishes. Being creative with what’s in season like mushrooms, potatoes and pumpkins, fragrant herbs like garlic chives, rosemary, sage and thyme and meats like lamb, goose and hare.
I went along to the Chefs Table event at The Printing Press Bar and Kitchen and left impressed by their new menu.
Executive chef Colin Fleming and Kris Currie, head chef along-with their team have embarked upon a journey around Scotland’s unrivalled natural larder, and combined seasonal ingredients with innovative flair to create autumnal flavours that warm and comfort.
Starters include hand-dived Orkney scallops served with orange-braised endive, squid ink sauce; fig and red pepper tart presented with Crowdie and laced with mustard vinaigrette; Cumbrae oyster, red wine vinegar and shallots; flavour-packed Wellington Farm pork rillettes, apple and sourdough; and smoked Peterhead haddock fishcake with bisque butter sauce.
I tried the Fig and Red Pepper Tart which was absolutely delicious. The tart case was light and crispy, the red pepper was squishy and sweet as was the aubergine; and the cheese enveloped it all in a creamy tartness.
Yessss, scallops are on the menu too and this is an almost near perfect mouthful. The scallop was silky and soft, the squid ink added a little earthy surprise and the crispy leeks, the crunch.
Main courses celebrate the riches of the farm, land and sea, from seaweed-grilled Scrabster cod, Shetland mussel and clam gratin and sea herbs to roast corn-fed chicken, braised leg pastilla, almond and apricot Israeli couscous; a whole roast plaice, capers and brown butter to Huntingdon Farm Barnsley lamb chop, lamb faggot, dauphinoise and spinach.
The Herb Gnocchi with trompette mushrooms and pecorino cheese is an outstanding dish. It is simplicity at it’s best. Imagine a lot of small light fluffy delicate creamy potato pillows and you’re half way there.
Another well executed dish. The lamb was tasty and tender but it was the dauphinoise potatoes that shone through here. Give me more!
If you like the ‘old favourites’ they’re still there but with a special twist: succulent Tweed Valley beef burger, cheese, bun and chips; and fish tucked inside a crisp craft beer batter served with – of course – chips and minted peas. From the Josper Grill comes a selection of certified, grass-fed Tweed Valley Scotch beef steaks served with a choice of béarnaise or peppercorn sauce, spiced butter or bone marrow gravy.
Deliciously indulgent puddings pay homage to the season’s fruit harvest: honey and thyme-roasted plum accompanied by chocolate custard, cinnamon granola and honeycomb ice cream; peach and raspberry granita comes with yoghurt and the wonder that is ruby chocolate; while pear and almond tart fine is served with a dollop of smooth crème frâiche.
The Passion Fruit Posset dessert dish came with elements that I loved and it split opinion at the table. Some loved the macaroon and some not, some loved the thin ribbon on pineapple and some not but everyone loved the actual posset. It had everything – sweetness, tartness, sourness, creaminess and ‘I’m-going-to-eat-every-inch-of-this-plate’ – ness.
I have to admit that by the time this sixth course had arrived at the table, I was seriously full but I managed a few wee mouthfuls (for blogging purposes only).
The plums were tart and slightly soft. I loved the honeycomb ice cream but I felt I was eating breakfast with the granola and the chocolate custard didn’t hit the spot for me. However, there was another guest who ate three plates of this dessert! Just goes to prove that taste is a very personal thing!
The Printing Press Bar & Kitchen also have new and favourite cocktails to celebrate Scotland’s literary heritage and combine a sense of fun with high drama. Look out for the Salted Caramel Espresso Martini, topped with a delicate spun-sugar cage, and for those who simply can’t choose, a new cocktail tree features nine cocktails perfectly perched on its branches – a unique chance to savour a selection of the Printing Press Bar & Kitchen’s favourite tipples.
Get the party started at one of the Printing Press Bar & Kitchen’s cocktail masterclasses – step behind the bar to shake up a favourite cocktail with friends, compare creations with colleagues, or take a whistlestop tour through the history of gin or whisky at a mini masterclass.
All info on their Autumn menus and Christmas menus and packages are available on their website www.printingpressedinburgh.co.uk
The Printing Press Bar and Kitchen, 21 George Street, Edinburgh, EH2 2BP. Tel : 0131 2407177 www.printingpressedinburgh.co.uk
My Spoon Award : Gold Spoon (food and service are excellent. Equivalent to 9/10)