For most people August signals peace and quiet, a time when the streets are empty and the restaurants easy to book. Edinburgh, however, tells an entirely different story as a tornado of creativity and energy sweeps through its windy streets, and the world of drama, dance and music descend upon it. One scarcely has a chance to walk 5 paces before a flyer thrust under your nose or a half-naked man in high heels and fairy wings cracks a whip before launching into a monologue from A Midsummer Night’s Dream. With thousands of performances in hundreds of venues, it’s hard not to find yourself juggling shows and performances, slotting them into every minute of every hour. Of course, the other upside to being in Edinburgh, apart from whisky and haggis (skip the deep fried mars bar please!) is The Kitchin, where curly-haired Tom Kitchin of Great British Menu fame champions the wealth of Scottish produce.
The dining room, however, lacks character, especially for a restaurant on the quayside. The food, luckily, does not. A substantial amuse bouche of bacon, broad beans, croutons, pea shoots and quail egg did well to excite us before what could only be described, in my experience across 5 continents, as the finest bone marrow dish. Roast bone marrow, oxtail, girolles, bacon, potato crisp and parsley was unctuous; it was intense, meaty, juicy, earthy and even had a chunk of fried toast under the marrow that I only discovered at the end of the dish by which time it had soaked up all the sinful juices. I wanted to kiss the chef. The other half tossed her head back in glee with her Scallop, fennel and orange but fought hard to steal my marrow! For our main, we went for the Roast monkfish, girolle, bacon and peas to share. Although there was repetition of ingredients, I didn’t seem to mind much as these were the first girolles of the season I had eaten and the execution was light and almost feathery for a stew in the summer.
Unfortunately, that was where the meal stopped. We gave the waitress our dessert order but requested a 10 minute break . 40 minutes later when nothing arrived, it turned out that the charming waitress hadn’t put our desserts through so we ended up paying the bill and making a quick exit. Nevertheless, The Kitchin did execute as per expectation and no doubt would be visited again.