It’s impressive on approach and majestic as you drive over it. Gone is the clickety clack of driving over sections of the old bridge replaced by the smooth drive and the towering white lines of the state of the art cables. The Queensferry crossing is pretty special and it’s the road that leads straight to my foodie destination.
The Shore Grill & Fish House is located in the DoubleTree by Hilton Edinburgh – Queensferry Crossing and it offers possibly one of the best places to bridge spot! The view from the restaurant is the bridge in all its glory and a seat at a window table watching the sun set makes for quite a special setting.
The restaurant is beautiful with elements the pick up on the understated aquatic theme of the restaurant; the smooth wavy lines of the wooden panels in the ceiling reminiscent of the contours of a fish or waves, the sea green colour scheme and the almost boat shaped booths.
We were seated at a window table and shown the menus. The menu is well shared between seafood and meats although it has a very strong Italian influence which seems odd given that we live in Scotland with some of the best produce in the world! You’ll find marinated Kalamata and Nocellara olives next to Loch Crenan Oysters under nibbles and sharing platters; Burrata and heritage tomoto crispbreads on the starters and Romesco Orzo with goats cheese part of a mains dish.
They have a decent selection of wines and a good choice of spirits, beers and cocktails from the bar. We ordered the Amarone Della Valpolicella Classico. This red is rich, full-bodied with flavours of black cherries, prunes and a slight spice. Far too easy to drink!
Can you guess what I ordered for starters? Hint : it’s a seafood restaurant…… yes, I ordered the Scallops! Hebridean Scallops with Stornoway blackpudding, wild garlic and Pink Lady Apple.
The scallops were cooked perfectly for me. Soft and well seasoned. The black pudding was nice, peppery and crumbly and the apple added that much needed crunch but overall it was quite a dry dish. There wasn’t enough of the puree to create a symphony in each mouthful. Still I ate the lot.
My dining partner ordered the Charcuterie board with a selection of cured meats, house pickle and tomato bread. This was a little disappointing. At £10.50 you would have thought that at least a wee bit of effort would have gone into the presentation. Merely placing 5 slices of 3 cured meats on a board does not a Charcuterie board make! And as for the tomato bread – it does read like it’s bread made with tomatoes and not chunks of bread sliced up with pureed tomatoes on top.
That said, the meats were tasty, the bread and tomatoes were fresh; and the pickled cauliflower heads and strips of carrot added a nice tang.
Mains consisted of steaks as we didn’t fancy fish pie nor fish n chips. T-Bone and Ribeye steaks were ordered from the Josper Grill.
The T-Bone was ordered medium which arrived medium rare and the Ribeye was served as ordered, medium rare. Unfortunately both steaks hadn’t been rested long enough.
I know it’s tricky cooking on a Josper Grill as it has grill plates at the top and the bottom, so the steak is cooked evenly from both sides. This means that steaks get cooked quicker but do still require resting time not only to allow the excess juices to run off but also to allow for the meat to tenderise. You can upgrade your steak to a sort of Surf n Turf by adding three Josper grilled whole langoustines; unfortunately they didn’t have any available!
The Ribeye was served with a peppercorn sauce and the T-Bone with a beef and beer BBQ sauce which was very more-ish. Both dishes are served with chips, good chips and a watercress salad.
We also ordered the beer- battered onion rings. These were impressively stacked and large. Very, very crunchy (perhaps a little too crunchy in parts) but they had a nice taste.
And the Mac ‘n Cheese which I quite liked. It looked quite thin and runny but it packed a cheesey punch and totally surprised me on the taste front.
We had room for dessert so I asked for something that was ‘Instagramable’; something that has the ‘wow’ factor. Our waitress suggested the ‘Flaming Elvis’ Creme Brulee – a duo of peanut butter and strawberry jam creme brulee’s with a white chocolate cookie. I wouldn’t normally order this as it sounds very sweet but I’ll eat anything for a good photo! (haha).
This photo captures as much of the ‘Flaming’ Elvis that I will ever see! Unfortunately they never used the correct sugar for this which meant that it didn’t burn effectively and didn’t create that hard layer of caramel that you crack with the back of your spoon. Instead you were left with two bowls of creamy custard with a gloopy layer. The redeeming feature of this dish was the warm white chocolate cookie which was pulled apart and was soft. Great taste of vanilla with just enough white chocolate chips to cookie. All I can say about this dish is that Elvis had truly left the building on this one!
And things didn’t get any better with the other pudding. This was the Sea Salt and Vanilla Tablet Brownie with Dulce de Leche sauce and honey comb ice cream. Looks pretty right? that’s as far as it goes. Unfortunately it was burnt as they had microwaved it for too long! I really don’t care for Chef Mic in a kitchen at all. The ice cream was nice.
I finished off with a wee espresso.
Oh what can I say about The Shore Grill & Fish House? The food has potential to be wonderful and there are elements that were outstanding but there are a few aspects that definitely need some attention. The views are exceptional and I could have spent the entire evening there staring out the window at the bridge drinking a bottle or two of wine. The service is fantastic and the waiting staff are knowledgeable, friendly and attentive. The Shore hasn’t been open that long and it does take time to bed in and tweak as you go. I’d like to return to The Shore Grill & Fish House but I might leave it a couple of months.
The Shore Grill & Fish House, DoubleTree by Hilton Edinburgh – Queensferry Crossing
St. Margaret’s Head, North Queensferry, Fife, KY11 1HP Tel : 01383 410000 www.theshore-queensferry.co.uk
My Spoon Award : Bronze Spoon 7/10