Chef’s Land and Sea Surprise Taster Menu.
For a Saturday night treat with friends I could think of nothing better than the taster menu from Castle Terrace. The evening started in the bar with canapés of: Goat’s cheese, apricot and pork collar, Salt cod barbajuan and Caesar salad. Three tiny taste delights, one for each person on your own slate so you don’t have to share and can eat them in any order at your own pace. Perfect. Most noteworthy is the Caesar salad that looks like a bright green sweet. When you put it in your mouth it quickly pops filling your mouth with delicious cheesy, anchovy, goodness. A treat, even the second time around, although the surprise was lessened as this is the same canapé that they’ve had on the menu for months.
We were then escorted to our table by a very polite waitress and my non alcoholic wine (one is now with child) was swiftly and effortlessly placed on our elegant dining table for four. Swiftly followed with a generous helping of warm home made bread served in perfectly sized tartan cosies.
Appetiser was Panna cotta of Arbroath smokie. I love this delicacy from up the road near Aberdeen, and is cleverly disguised as a egg. Absolutely delicious, however sightly disappointing as again from the summer lunch taster menu.
Next was Salmon: Tartare of Shetland salmon served sushi style. Although I’m not one for don’t do this and that when pregnant, I was considerately presented with the tomato salad as a pregnant alternative which was light, fresh and delicious, but not a patch on Scottish smoked salmon (I would imagine grr).
Scallop followed: Seared hand-dived Orkney scallop served with a light curry sauce ‘Castle Terrace style’. I absolutely love curry so I was delighted to see this on my plate and it didn’t disappoint. I was wondering whether the curry sauce would over power the scallop, but it didn’t and was amazing. There was even a home made tiny naan – love the attention to detail here.
Next Pork: Barbecued and braised shoulder of Ayrshire pork with chickpea. On paper this sounds quite average, right? Well i thought so. But when it came it had been styled to look like a tiny burger. This brought a smile to everyone’s face and a delicate slice of turnip had holes cut out to look like swiss cheese. It was accompanied by homemade tomato sauce. My company absolutely loved this tiny nod to the USA, but for me it was a little style over substance and I thought a little bland, sorry, bah humbug.
Cod followed: Gently poached flakes of North Sea cod with a brown crab bisque and milestone of vegetables. Simple, healthy, delicious, enough said. I was very impressed at the precision of the cut vegetables which were impeccable. Possibly my favourite of the mains section.
Last of the savoury courses, Spelt: Risotto of organic spelt from Eden Valley served with a selection of Scottish beef, which turned out to be fillet, heart and tongue. The flavours were really earthy and I unexpectedly preferred the cheap cuts over the fillet which I found to be a little tough. Overall I have to comment on the portion size, which was on the very small size, which looked and felt a little mean. Our mouths, eyes and bellies wanted a little more – even on a tasting menu.
Dessert: Apple: Apple and mascarpone cheesecake with caramelised sesame seeds and apple sorbet. Wow, wow, wow. This was the best course by far and absolute heaven. Beautifully presented with a red apple crisp on top. The cheesecake was dainty but satisfying. The sorbet sharp of green apple. An absolute delight to eat something i was I could reorder right now!
We didn’t opt for tea and coffee and had our petit fours to go which were presented to us in a very sweet little white bag and matching box, sealed with a ribbon. Sweet treats were a mini pistachio macaron, a sugar coated fruit jelly and a tiny madeline cake – which a consumed with joy over a coffee the next morning.
Once again the team pulled off a flawless fine dining experience all round! Not cheap but feel like you get a lots of frills and extras. Worth the trip. Tell your friends.