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Daisy Tasker at Hotel Indigo, Dundee
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Daisy Tasker
Lower Dens Mill,
Constable Street,
03303 311750

I just got emotional about pudding. 

Chef Stuart McAuley's white chocolate ganache is triumphant. I swooned, giggled and fair welled up as I savoured mini quenelles of white cocoa butter, caramel ice cream, pieces of areated white chocolate infused with tarragon and sticky creamy Italian meringue. Mr Bite who had dissed my choice of white chocolate (not strictly chocolate) took one spoonful and declared 'I could eat that all day'.

His nibs is doing fairly well across the table with moist Dundee sticky pudding. Shards of dark chocolate have been torched to toffee-like brittle. Chef has a touch of the technician but not to the detriment of comfort and flavour. A malty chocolate porter from London brewer Meantime surpasses being merely 'complementary'.

These puddings  are a labour of love both sides of the pass as we have already devoured two courses each plus 'nibbles' (freshly cooked red rooster crisps, homemade pesto, garlic olives stand out). Portions throughout are generous. 

My Arbroath smokie chowder was unexpectedly refined; creamy and silken with glistening puddles of chive oil. A freshly baked mini loaf is deliberately burnt outside and cracked open to reveal steaming dough. Mr Bite's tender fillet of mackerel has also been 'scorched' and is served with red grapefruit and fennel.

Main courses showed that Daisy Tasker cannily caters for visitors and the neighbourhood alike. My hake with cavalo nero, smoked pancetta, lemon-infused pomme purée and sticky jus is of a great restaurant standard whilst fish in a Schiehallion batter, chips and mushy peas is given equally good treatment and respect. The room is buzzing so credit to Chef who somehow finds time to personally present some of his dishes to diners. 

This restored Baxter Brothers jute mill has a hotel lobby themed around jam, jute and journalism and pictures of Daisy Tasker former mill worker and social secretary dot the eponymous restaurant. Heritage is proudly celebrated throughout the hotel with touches like locally woven blankets (namecheck: Hilary Grant), nods to Dundee cake (some craftily hidden) and copies of the Beano in the bedrooms. 

Breakfast is fit for royalty with free range organic eggs perfectly poached, freshly griddled tattie scones, spinach, bacon, hollandaise. The cold buffet contains everything from cake to charcuterie. 

With the opening of the V and A and a promise of more regeneration from the Tay City Deal it's Dundee's turn to shine and it feels like the whole of Scotland has its back. 
The hotel will shortly open self catering apartments for longer stays. And why not. Dundee is a great base for exploring and enjoying North East Scotland and famously has more hours of sunshine than any other Scottish city.

It also has great puddings. 

(S. Wilson) 

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