Despite the Beast from the East bringing Edinburgh to a complete standstill, we decided nothing – not even a red warning from the Met Office – could stop us from eating and drinking far too much at dinner.
And so, thanks to however many inches of snow, we arrived fashionably late at the Kilted Lobster – a venue that promises some of Scotland’s finest seafood, as well as plenty of Scottish flair in the way it’s prepared.
Even more inspiring, all of the profits go to charity.
So not only does the restaurant help train people with barriers to finding work, every Tuesday night the doors close to the public so families facing financial hardship can dine on the house.
With so much to commend the Kilted Lobster, we were only too happy to make a reservation. Joining us, our fabulous friends Virginia and Grant, who began pouring our first glass of wine even before we’d hopped out of the taxi. Respect.
A few “sips” later we were enjoying a warm atmosphere, incredibly friendly service, and a series of complimentary canapés.
What better way to make a good first impression, we mused, than a generous platter of scallop beignet, pickled mussel, and salmon mousse on a sweet potato scone?
Already, dinner was off to an excellent start.
Next came another bottle of wine, obviously, followed by our entrees. Here the Scallops and petit fishcake with tarragon crème fraiche was the popular choice. A big thumbs up from Virginia and the Social Bitches.
Grant, meanwhile, dared to be different, and opted for the Pigeon Breast with pumpkin and chorizo crumble.
“Beautifully prepared,” he said.
“A wonderful sauce,” he added.
“But on reflection,” he hesitated for a moment.
“Yes???” the three of us asked in unison.
“Well,” Grant continued. “I’m not sure I like pigeon.”
Unsure of what to do with this somewhat perplexing review, we emptied yet another bottle of white wine, and moved promptly on to the main course.
Now despite a tempting selection of wild halibut, seabream, hake fillet, and Shetland salmon with crab risotto (which sounds amazing), Virginia and our good selves did the unthinkable while reviewing a seafood restaurant:
We umm … well … we ordered the lamb.
Yes, yes, we know. But it has to be said, the Organic lamb loin with carrot butter puree, carrot ribbons, and roast carrot & rosemary, served with a red wine & bramble jus is really quite spectacular.
Such an innovative mix of flavours, we savoured every mouthful. But wait, there’s more … it also comes complete with a serving of Isle of Mull cheddar mash. So delicious, we feel sure there is no problem in life it can’t solve.
So with three devotees of lamb at the table, it was now the sole responsibility of our resident pigeon-lover to review the restaurant’s signature dish: the Kilted Lobster.
But on this occasion Grant was in no way perplexed …
This classic dish, he says – served either half or whole, with crayfish butter, caramelised green beans and confit sweet potato – is cooked to perfection, and tastes fabulous beyond belief.
So what more could four happy diners ask for, apart from more wine that is?
Well, dessert naturally.
And once again, the Kilted Lobster did not disappoint. Its Clootie dumpling with salted caramel sauce, along with the Almond and white chocolate cheesecake, and several glasses of dessert wine gave this wonderful meal the perfect finish.
In a pre-theatre nutshell:
The Edinburgh Playhouse / Usher Hall / Edinburgh Filmhouse (all a 20 minute walk)
Dinner (closed on Tuesdays), or lunch on the weekends
A la carte entrees £4 – £8 / mains £12 – £40
112 St Stephen Street
0131 220 6677
For more information on Kilted Lobster’s charitable projects, see: Cooking Up a Storm