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Martin Wishart
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Marti Wishart
54 The Shore,
Leith,
Edinburgh,
EH6 6RA
0131 553 3557
Lunch Tues-Fri 12 noon-2pm; Sat 12 noon-1.30pm; Dinner Tues-Sat 7pm-10pm

The tasting menu at Martin Wishart serves mercifully manageable portions which allow you to properly savour each exquisite course. With National Seafood Week around the corner I opted for the six course seafood and crustacean menu and Mr Bite plumped for the 'standard' tasting menu. A vegetarian one is also offered.  

My first course was knock out; loch Ryan native oyster, CareIian Nordic caviar, Isle of Barra cockles and fregola. Meaty mollusc, salty caviar and aromatic fennel foam caused instinctive vocal 'mmms'. Cep velouté for Mr Bite was pronounced 'deep and mysterious' and with these nascent petit artworks the character of our dinner was set. 

Exquisitely composed courses of intensely flavoured produce. A friend once commented that Wishart has the ability to make food 'taste more of itself ' and he likes his sauces, foams and veloutés so much I often forget he isn't actually French. He did of course study under the Roux's and his food is a master course of technical precision.

It's also comforting and tasty.

I loved the sweetness of scallop and Sauternes when offset by spicy curried squash in our second course and earthy Autumnal flavours shone through in Mr Bite's various savoury dishes of pigeon, fungi and hare, seasonality showing as much in the imagination as in the ingredients. Fishy delights across the table included Shetland squid (with lomo de belota, rouille, and Puy lentils), Peterhead monkfish, Tarbert crab and langoustine. All the romance of Scotland evoked on our plates; cold waters, stony shores, mossy forests, sparkling rivers.

Then there was an inspiring, wintry pre-dessert of purple blackcurrant sorbet, glossy blackberry and snowy yoghurt. Desserts themed respectively by spiced dark chocolate and apple followed. 

Two birthdays were being celebrated mine and his; fifteen years since he attained a Michelin star in 2001 two years after opening his eponymous restaurant on The Shore.  

Martin Wishart is a chef who put Edinburgh on the culinary map. He has been a major figure in the journey whereby Edinburgh and Scotland now receive worldwide recognition for produce and talent. Well worth celebrating. (S. Wilson)


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