Castle Terrace was the latest Michelin Star to be added to the Edinburgh firmament while I was living there.
Opened by chef-patron Dominic Jack in 2010, who previously collaborated with Tom Kitchin in The Kitchin
it gained its (single) Michelin star a year later in 2011, but then (bizarrely) lost it again in the 2016 guide.
Bizarrely because when Flora and I ate there in 2015 with her (stuffed) gannet it was most definitely star-worthy.
Maybe even two!
Exquisite food, cleverly prepared with much love and humour earning a special bonus for the tartan bread cosy.
And the cocktails weren't bad either
, I'm looking at you)!
Unfortunately in 2020, presumably abetted by the Covid meltdown, Castle Terrace closed for good :(
It's a teeny tiny burger. Flavoured with cumin and capers.
A fantastic technical salad.
A miniature croûton is topped with bright green (hemi-) spherified lettuce jelly.
When you pop the thing whole into your mouth it releases all the parmesan, anchovy, lemon and garlicky flavours of a complete caesar salad.
These little pastries are a speciality of Monaco - they're made of deep-fried pasta dough and are traditionally filled with swiss chard and ricotta.
A sort of crisp ravioli, or a bit like a samosa.
Here it's filled with salt cod, and the spiky black pastry is coloured with squid ink.
To be honest I was slightly disappointed with the pastry, which was rather soggy - probably the only let-down in the whole meal.
I'm sure it would have been better, and probably should have been served, crispy.
A Taste of Carrot and Coriander with a Toasted Coriander Crumble
Masquerading as a cup of soil, this rich, thick carrot soup has a perfectly balanced crunchy coriander topping.
Tartare of Shetland salmon served sushi style
Off to a flying start with this inspirational
bed of diced sushi salmon
coated with puffed rice and toasted black sesame seeds and topped with a quenelle of wasabi and clorophyll ice cream.
This is served with a matchstick of pickled ginger, a cored cylinder of pickled cucumber and a cube of soy jelly.
Château Musar Blanc, Bekaa Valley, Lebanon, 2004
This complex, low-yield wine is made from a blend of Obaideh and Merwah
- ancient grape varieties indigenous to the stony, chalky soils of the mountains of Lebanon.
Seared hand-dived Orkney scallop served with light curry sauce 'Castle Terrace style'
Scallop decorated with shredded coconut on a bed of turmeric basmati rice, a puddle of gently curried coriander sauce,
a dollop of celeriac purée, and a miniature puffy naan bread.
Dried grapes and dried pineapple complete the ensemble.
It's a miniature takeaway!
Gewurztraminer "Herrenweg de Turckheim", Domaine Zind-Humbrecht, Alsace, France, 2005
A soft, unctuous, golden wine with hints of honeyed ginger.
Barbecued and braised shoulder of Ayrshire pork served with chick pea
A brilliant trompe l'œil pork burger, whose sesame bun is actually made of chick pea panisse,
the holey cheese slice is a sliver of turnip, the cocktail stick is fried linguine,
and the ketchup is molecularly jellified. Served in a puddle of pork jus.
I'm now thinking panisse buns might even be better than the real thing.
Rioja Reserva 'Viña Tondonia', R. lopez de Heredia, Rioja Alta, Spain, 2002
A rich Tempranillo red, vibrant with vanilla and dried berries.
Roasted fillet of North Sea hake served on a crisp spring vegetable salad
Served with a lemon/lime marmalade.
Riesling 'Steiner Hund' Reserve, Weingut Nikolaihof, Wachau, Austria, 2005
This sumptuous dry Riesling from the Nikolaihof winery offers peach and apricot notes.
Risotto of organic spelt from Eden Valley served with seared hampe of Scotch beef and Wye Valley asparagus
Provenance is sooo
important isn't it? Apparently so!
I'll admit it's not the prettiest of dishes, but Oh my God it is richly gorgeous!
The classic French steak cut from between the flank and the rump is of course here cooked to perfection,
and the spelt risotto is so heavy with meaty jus as to be practically beef itself.
It is topped with asparagus tips and a grating of summer truffle.
Château Phélan Ségur, Saint-Estèphe, Cru Bourgeois, Bordeaux, France, 2003
In 2003 Château Phélan Ségur was listed as one of the 9 Cru Bourgeois Exceptionnels,
and this is a classic big full-bodied red with oak and pipe tobacco.
A selection of French and British cheese served from the trolley
And what a trolley it is!
Ribolla Gialla 'Anfora', Josko Gravner, Venzia-Guila, Italy, 2006
A surprisingly lively orange wine with the flavour of passion fruit and white flowers.
Caramel soufflé with chocolate ganache and popcorn ice cream
Vin de Constance, Klein Constantia, Constancia, South Africa, 2008
The historic Constantia estate vineyards were planted in the late 1600s
and its legendary dessert wines were celebrated in the writings of Jane Austen, CharlesDickens, and Baudelaire.
This bright golden wine piques its viscous waves of honeyed peach and pear with a fresh green tinge.
A pistachio macaroon, a delightful miniature carrot cake, and a rosewater meringue.
Ruinart 'Blanc de Blancs', Champagne, France, NV
And, of course, a (non-vintage) Champagne to finish.