The Kitchin // Edinburgh // 9.8.16
Where to start with Tom Kitchin and his masterful culinary techniques? First off, Kitchin is the youngest chef to receive a Michelin star… and rightfully so. With Kitchin, it’s all about the ingredients and locally sourcing those ingredients. Here’s a map that we received at the beginning of our experience. This map shows where most, if not all, ingredients are sourced from within the United Kingdom.
After receiving our map, our waitress approached us and explained the menu to us. We had several options. We could choose any item off the menu and enjoy it a la carte, or we could do one of the tasting menus. We chose the “Celebration Surprise” tasting menu. This was the chefs preferred tasting menu where dishes were brought to us according to what the chef chose to prepare. If you don’t know by now, I am a huge advocate of tasting menus. After we decided the direction for our evening, our first dish was presented.
Essentially a 4 crisp amenity… all with different tastes and textures of sweet, salty, crunchy and oh and the one in the back was made of seaweed. All accompanied with a lovely “mustardy” dipping sauce. When I have dishes like this I tend to try each one in its natural state first, and then add the sauce to it after I have tasted it without. This essentially makes for 2 tastings in 1 dish. My favorite was the one drenched in local honey. It was sticky but fingerlickin good. *Becca was not impressed when I licked my fingers*
I really have enjoyed eating these gazpacho’s. They work excellent as a palate cleanser and they are just down right refreshing! This one had an exceptional texture because every element was in the shape of a sphere so when it was in your mouth, everything just rolled around on your tastebuds. Brilliant if you ask me! Light, crunchy and tasty… a perfect way to prepare for the next course! Speaking of..
The presentation of this dish was spot on. I love crushed ice with the seaweed on the outside. Dressed in a seaweed and lemon dressing, the mackerel tartare was salty and acidic. It was a perfect dish to follow the fresh taste of the gazpacho that came previously.
& the highlight of my night
This dish was served on the bone with a slice of bread and a spoon. The real treat from this dish was realizing that you’re not just eating the elements laying on top of the bone. Scooping into the bone you find a buttery, salty surprise laying underneath all the other delicious elements. The bone marrow was meant to be hallowed out of the bone and eaten with the bread. I had a difficult time making “one perfect bite” since there were so many unique tastes and textures. I took my freshly baked sourdough bread in one hand, my spoon in the other and created what I thought was the perfect bite. The crunchiness from the bread counteracted the soft, creaminess of the marrow. And the small bites of beef, mushroom and egg brought the salty flavors home.
This lobster was not your traditional lobster. This was like the twice baked potato of seafood. I am under the assumption that the chef cooked the lobster first with the shell on, then removed the meat from the shell, added some goodies and then put the meat mixture back into the shell and baked again. The reason I say this is because when I dug my fork in, there was no fighting with the shell at all. I really enjoyed this dish because with most other lobster preparations, I struggle to get all the meat off the shell and then I have to drench the meat in butter for it taste good. The preparations at the Kitchin definitely made eating lobster easier and more delicious.
There’s a lot to be said about Wagyu beef.. especially at a place like The Kitchin. It’s comforting to know the quality of the ingredients you are eating before it even hits your table. With The Kitchin’s philosophy of from nature to plate, I knew I was receiving the absolute best cut of meat possible. This dish had the beef prepared several different ways with the brisket portion taking up the majority of the plate. Accompanying the beef was a mixture of deliciously roasted carrots, mushrooms and herbs. The only thing that I didn’t eat from this plate was the stem of the carrot, which thinking now, it probably would have been perfectly acceptable to eat.
Some of these dishes may appear to have elements to them that are very strange. I get the question all the time “Reed, how do you eat all this crazy, weird food?” Well the answer is simple. The food really isn’t that weird at all. As Americans, a normal or traditional meal includes a meat, vegetable and a starch presented on one plate with the occasional side salad. The reason why these dishes may appear to be weird is because we’re not used to food being prepared and presented like this. Most times these are normal ingredients just prepared in a different way. This is why I always like to encourage people to get out of their comfort zone and try new food.
Slideshow of deserts
These desserts worked really well for me. I tend to prefer “fruity” desserts instead of “cakey”desserts. The reason being is that I normally am not a big dessert eater but I love all fruits (with the exception of the durian fruit… if you haven’t heard of it, go ahead and google that one.) These fruit oriented desserts left me feeling lighter by the end of the dinner. The elements of edible flowers were a nice touch and I really appreciated those carefully placed elements. All that being said, I thought these were great and complemented the dishes nicely.
All in all, The Kitchin was excellent. I really loved the philosophy “From nature to plate.” I appreciate when restaurants have high quality standards for their ingredients and take great pride in locally sourcing those ingredients. If you’re ever heading to Edinburgh, I highly recommend The Kitchin. Given the chance to come back again, I would love to go back to The Kitchin as well as try Kitchin’s sister restaurant, Castle Terrace Restaurant.
Unit Next Time… Stay hungry my friends.