A Michelin Experience

As an avid foodie, I am always constantly looking for new places and new experiences wherever I go. A few days ago, I came across a website depicting Michelin restaurants and I discovered there are in fact currently four such restaurants here in Edinburgh: Number One, 21212, The Kitchin and Martin Wishart. (To be honest, I am a bit embarrassed that I never heard of any of them until now despite having spent years here lol. Apparently there are quite well known.😂😂) I had a few experiences dining in Michelin restaurants in Hong Kong and London years ago, but never elsewhere. (N.B. I just found out that Yauatcha in Soho which my friend and I visited a couple weeks ago also has a Michelin star! Link👉 https://tangosbaking.home.blog/2019/08/02/dim-sum-and-desserts/) So, my mum and I decided to pay one of those restaurants for a visit during lunch hours (which put Number One out of question since they don’t appear to do lunch hours.) I first phoned up the Kitchin, but was taken back in that they are fully booked for the whole of August and are placing people in waiting list for September!😱😱 So I was glad when I called Martin Wishart next, they have spaces available for the next day.😀

The restaurant is located by a river in Leith, and the beautiful interior certainly made a bold statement from the minute I stepped in. The service was absolutely outstanding as one may come to expect. (In fact, I felt I was slightly taken a back by how attentive they were. Awks. 😂😂) The minute we sat down (and before we were provided the menus), food already came rolling in the form of canapés and complementary appetisers.

Complementary appetisers: two canapés of basil macarons with tomato gazpacho and cumin crackers with curried cabbage slaw (top); sourdough served with seaweed butter, smashed olives and tomato sauce (bottom left); pea soup & croquettes (bottom right).

Right out from the gate, the canapés already impressed, especially the savoury macarons (which my mum was still going on about afterwards! ❤️😂) This unique take on macarons had a very delicate texture that instantly melted in the mouth, and I loved how they presented the classic combo of basil and tomato in such an innovate way. Definitely very inspiring!👍 The crackers were also very delicious (and kind of reminded me of coronation chicken lol!) I also loved the croquettes and the pea soup (though my mum were slightly more impartial as she felt the croquettes were slightly too salty and the earthy taste of the soup a bit too strong😅). I was really intrigued by the condiments that were served with the sourdough, especially the seaweed butter, though we couldn’t really taste the seaweed in it. (My mum preferred the tomato sauce, though I was more of a fan of the savoury olives.)

Starters: crab and tuna tartare with avocado, apple and kombu vinaigrette (top) & croutons of braised pigs’ trotters with mushroom vinaigrette (bottom)

We went for their three-courses lunch menu which we felt were very reasonable priced (£35) given the quality of the food and the service plus the complementary appetisers. Since there were only two choices in each course, we decided to simply order them all so we could both have a taste of everything. For starters, I absolutely loved the pigs’ trotters dish as the trotters were tender and rich combined with the flavourful mushroom vinaigrette. 🤤🤤 The crab and tuna tartare was also refreshing and appetising. (My mum loved the presentation.)

Mains: steamed fillet of sea bream with glazed vegetables and tarragon vinaigrette (top) & roasted saddle of rabbit with baby leeks and mushroom risotto (bottom)

For the mains, here came something that neither of us ate properly before and that was the rabbit. I was very intrigued by how it would taste (as I have heard that it tastes like chicken), and it turned out for me to be the best dish of the day!👍👍👍 The rabbit was almost like a very tender chicken, but also quite gamey and flavourful at the same time. The mushroom risotto was a perfect compliment!❤️❤️ As for the fish course, I found it overall to be nice (I must confess personally I am not a huge fan of steamed fish) but the star of the show for me were the delicious glazed vegetables, and the dish was absolutely stunning to look at.

Desserts: white chocolate mousse with passion fruits crémeux, mango sorbet, lime and ginger (top) & strawberry millefeuille with crème légère and strawberry sorbet (bottom)

And finally, of course, it was dessert time! 😋 The white chocolate mousse was absolutely a no-brainer choice for us given its classic combo of passion fruits and mango, and it tasted like just as we expected, tang and exotic. We weren’t sure how the white chocolate mousse would turned out to be like, but it was not overly sweet at all and its subtle sweetness paired very well with the other acidic components.👍 The millefeuille for me was good with its crispy puff pastry and delicious strawberry sorbet, but the flavour profile just wasn’t as exciting as the other dessert.

After dinner chocolates – white chocolate fudge & dark chocolate truffles with salted caramel

After a very satisfying meal, there was one final delight with the after dinner chocolates. For someone who is not a fan of fudge and salted caramel, I actually quite enjoyed these chocolates. Moreover, I loved how they served these chocolates over a salt mixture (I was not 100% sure what it is lol) to counteract the sweetness of these chocolates, which for me was ingenious.

What an experience ❤️❤️❤️, and it certainly opened my eyes. But, more importantly, the passion and the love of food were undeniable in these dishes.😊

Butter Yourself Up!

When I watched Julie and Julia a while ago, there was a scene when Amy Adams’s character expressed that when ‘the day there’s a meteorite heading toward the earth and we have thirty days to live, I am going to spend it eating butter’. Certainly not a good move for your cholesterol, but one cannot deny the pleasure butter can bring to your food. For a baker like me, butter is such a staple in many baking recipes, it seems inevitable that I will always have a supply of butter in my home. But what kind of bakes will allow you to showcase the beauty of butter the most? I would say it’s none other than some flaky, buttery puff pastry.

As a fellow blogger (Hi, terrepruitt! 😊) asked me about the puff pastry bakes on my cover photo a couple of days ago, it reminds of a period of time when I was desperately trying to master it at home. If one is to ask me if I have any tips on making puff pastry, my answer will be a simple one word: ‘patience’. Patience, patience, patience until you practically run out of patience by how many times I utter this word. The times I found myself struggling with the lamination of the pastry are often times when I rushed it. A good puff pastry can take up to several hours to make with constant procedures of rolling, folding, chilling and resting in and out of the fridge. It’s one LONG process (which does make me appreciate that some of you might just decide to save the effort and buy ready-made puff pastry from the supermarket altogether 😜). For those of you who don’t have much patience like me, there is an easy alternative though. And this is rough puff pastry.

So what is rough puff pastry? It is basically a cheating method of achieving puff pastry without the long lamination process. A rough puff pastry takes less than an hour to make as opposed to several hours for a full puff pastry. Only will you get the same signature flakiness in the pastry, but it also tastes just as good! The only one downside is that because you have no defined layers in your rough puff pastry, it will not rise as high as the full puff pastry would. But, this still means that rough puff pastry still can be used in a vast array of recipes – sweet AND savoury!

Mango Mille-feuille
English Breakfast and Teriyaki Chicken & Cucumber Puff Canapés
Salmon Wellington
Bacon & Cheese Puff Twists
Creamy Mushroom Puff Parcels

The recipe I used for the rough puff pastry is by Gordon Ramsay and can be found on the BBC Good Food website. (Link: https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/2403/roughpuff-pastry-)

What other ideas do you have for using puff pastry? Feel free to share with me in the comments!