As Leith locals, it’s no surprise that we frequent Malmaison on the Shore. In fact, we have been regulars since it’s rebranding earlier this year. We were, of course, delighted to receive an invitation to sample their Autumnal menu – along with Adele from Tartan Spoon and Kate and Andy from Citylicious.
After a little taste of a cocktail now known as the ‘Pink lady of Leith’ (find out more about the history of the building here), the conversation about the upcoming ‘Cocktails in the City‘ was flowing and we were early anticipating the arrival of our chosen dishes.
I decided to go half and half, a starter from the A la Carte and a main from the autumnal menu.
While Kate dined out on the Autumn salad, complete with roasted crown prince beets, pearl barley, balsamic and horseradish crème fraiche, I decided to go for the Spatchcock Quail. I was assured by our host that it was a beautiful dish, and she certainly wasn’t wrong. Served with coriander, preserved lemon, pomegranate salsa and chermoula dip, this dish had a North African/Middle Eastern vibe. Traditionally served with fish, the delicious mix of fresh herbs, spices and lemon worked beautifully with the quail.
To follow, I opted for the most autumnal sounding dish on the menu; Roasted Pumpkin Tortellini with pumpkin puree, toasted chestnuts, sage and pine nut butter. Warming, indulgent and perfect for a chilly evening, the pumpkin tortellini put a big smile on my face. The pasta was light and delicate, while the rich buttery pine nut sauce worked beautifully with the pumpkin, enhanced further by the texture of crunchy sage leaves. Delicious.
Across the table, Adele enjoyed Slow Roast Highland Venison while Andy enjoyed pan-fried Sea Bass Ribollita with autumnal Italian broth with white beans, tomato and cavolo nero.
We swiftly moved onto puddings, where we chose strategically – based both on flavour and visual recommendations. I opted for a warming and indulgent dessert of Autumn Eton Mess. Soft poached fig was balanced with sharp plum and autumn berries, zesty lemon curd, topped with crunchy meringue and spicy toasted gingerbread.
Around the table, the other bloggers opted for Steamed Treacle Sponge with golden syrup and vanilla custard, Poached Pear Crumble and blackberry with a crispy crumb topping and cinnamon ice cream and Vanilla Panna Cotta with poached winter fruits and toasted almonds. (We certainly enjoyed passing around these plates for photos!)
It was a pleasure to be part of such an intimate tasting of a truly autumnal menu. While showcasing some delicious Scottish ingredients, the menu is well balanced and reasonably priced. With two courses for £19.95 and three for £24.95, there’s not much that can go wrong here.
Find Them: The Shore, Leith
Contact Them: 0131 285 1478