Located above the Traverse Theatre, ‘Dine’ is the new venture of chef, Stuart Muir. Stuart was previously executive chef at the Forth Floor Harvey Nichols restaurant. Dine with Stuart Muir, opened next to the iconic Usher Hall in late November 2015.
Walking up to the restaurant, it certainly felt like a place that belonged in a city like Dubai or London. With a wall of grass (yes, that’s correct, grass!), curved glass windows and an apple tree inside the restaurant, one could be forgiven for thinking that they have accidentally walked in some kind of garden themed spaceship. We loved it. Although many restaurants in Edinburgh have modern décor, there are certainly none like this. (And, to top it off, we were sat directly beneath the tree!)
The space was welcoming and we were immediately greeted by the hubbub of fellow diners laughing, enjoying their meals, and of course, celebrating the fact that it was Black Friday.
The Champagne Lounge certainly seemed to be a popular destination that evening, and the whisky, champagne and cocktails were well and truly flowing. The cocktail list, created by bar manager, Mateo Ortiz has a tipple to please everyone…!
Waiting staff, all wearing Converse (coincidence or uniform, we’re not sure), were friendly and knowledgeable – if a bit pushed for time by the sheer volume of guests that evening. The menu was seasonal, sounded delicious and festive flavours ran throughout.
We started our meal with a glass of fizz, which was swiftly followed by a starter of Borders pork and ham rillette, whisky prunes, piccalilli, and homemade cream cheese. The pork rillette was delicious – but eaten together with the creamy cheese and combined with the sharpness of the piccalilli, this dish was a true winner. This plate had a variety of textures and flavours, and was all in all, very enjoyable indeed.
Across the table, my partner enjoyed a plate of seared hand dived Tarbert Scallops, warm seafood cocktail and vanilla bisque. Although pleasant, the scallops were slightly under seasoned. However, despite the slight misgivings of the scallops, the dish as a whole was flavoursome and presented beautifully.
To follow, I enjoyed the Braised Borders shin of beef, pearl barley ragout and parsnip – puree, roasted and crisped. This dish was very tasty indeed. Although the dish as a whole lacked any kind of ‘wow’ factor’, it was certainly an enjoyable plate of food and I would certainly be glad to enjoy it another time. The sweetness of the parsnip was indulgent and matched the richness of the shin of beef beautifully.
Unfortunately, the quality of the dish served to my partner did not match up to the my superb dish. His Roast Partridge with stuffing, spiced cranberry chutney, creamed sprouts, roast potatoes, glazed Scottish carrots and baby leeks certainly sounded fantastic- but unfortunately, did not live up to our expectations. The partridge, although beautifully presented, was slightly overcooked. However, the spiced cranberry was just delicious and brought not only flavour, but moisture to the dish. The roast potatoes were absent, and instead, perfectly nice, boiled potatoes graced the plate.
What followed was simply a triumph. My partner enjoyed a luxurious Christmas pudding that was bathed in brandy cream while my Sticky Toffee Pudding was served with stewed spiced apples, creme fraiche with salted caramel sauce. This dessert was truly heavenly- and something I hope to enjoy again in the very near future.
Stuart certainly has not only put a great deal of love and thought into the restaurant, the ambience and the menu, but obviously cares a great deal about the provenance of his ingredients.
“My passion for food was born of a childhood spent shooting and fishing with my father on the local rivers, lochs and moors and cooking this fresh, sourced produce with my mother. This is the heart of what I do and the soul of Dine with Stuart Muir.” – Stuart Muir
Although there were a few shortcomings, the meal was nevertheless, hugely enjoyable. I have no doubt that the slight errors were due to the extremely busy nature of the restaurant. It was, after all, Black Friday – the busiest, and booziest, day in the whole year.
All in all, a very enjoyable experience in a restaurant with a fabulous atmosphere and dishes created from some of Scotland’s finest ingredients. With a market menu priced at £14.50 for 2 courses or £17.50 for 3 courses, a dedicated express lunch menu and an extensive a la carte menu, we have no doubt that Dine Edinburgh will be a huge success and a welcome addition to the Edinburgh food scene.
Find them: Saltire Court, 10 (1F) Cambridge Street, Edinburgh, EH1 2ED
Telephone Number: 0131 218 18 18