Tagsafternoon tea bakery baking bbc bloggers cafe cake chefs chocolate christmas comfort food competition cooking cupcake desserts dinner edinburgh experiments finding comfort Food from the tree good things in small packages ingredients italian italy lunch masterchef moderately easy pasta pastry recipe recipes recycle restaurant restaurants reviews scotland scottish soup TFGE themed total food geeks tv vegetables win
Unexpected Finds: Dinner at the Auchingarrich Wildlife Centre
This year’s Edinburgh festival, and in particular the Edinburgh International Book Festival, has been a very busy time, so it proved rather propitious timing that we were to spend a weekend in Perthshire, in the middle of the month, to celebrate our friend Mary’s birthday.
As part of the festivities, we spent an afternoon in the great outdoors at Auchingarrich Wildlife Centre. We had a rather nice lunch there, which I’ve reviewed over on Lunchquest. Although the lunch was lovely, it was not entirely unexpected, as the place was not entirely dissimilar to Loch Leven’s Larder, which I wrote about, a couple of months ago.
What was rather unexpected was the spectacular quality of the dinner we had, at the same venue, in the evening. The girls responsible for organising the event had focussed their attention on ensuring the wine for the evening was of the finest quality, and let chef Andrew Scott take care of the food.
As we sipped aperitifs, outside, the dining began with cured venison and warm scrambled eggs on oatmeal toast. These were incredibly moreish little toasts, and gave a very good indication that we were in for a flavour-packed feast of local produce. We then moved indoors, took our seats and perused the menu, which promised futher tempting dishes.
The starter was completely sensational. It comprised a fillet of turbot, west coast lobster ravioli, Skye mussels and dulse, served with a rich lobster bisque. The depth of flavour from the lobster bisque, which united the elements together, was quite remarkable. The dish was a complete winner, and probably my favourite dish of the evening.
As a palette cleanser, we were served a chilled cucumber, lettuce and mint soup. This was rather reminiscent of a Turkish soup I regularly sample on trips to Istanbul. It was light, refreshing and set us up nicely for the meaty delights of the main course.
The fillet of Perthshire lamb with a rosemary crust, red wine jus, chestnut mushrooms, green beans, roasted carrots and stovie potatoes was another top notch dish. The lamb was beautifully lean, yet full of meaty goodness. The herb crust was beautifully judged, and the accompanying vegetables of the freshest variety.
As regular readers will know, I’m not a huge dessert person, but I managed to pack away two slices of the warm Blairgowrie raspberry and vanilla tart, in the blink of an eye. Again, the freshness of the produce was sensational, and the delicacy of the preparation was a joy to behold.
We were starting to flag by the time the cheeseboard arrived, but wedges of Dunsyre blue and Isle of Mull brie were duly piled on to oatcakes along with a sweet red onion marmalade. The brie was particularly fine, I thought.
Good coffee and teeth-shaking tablet brought to the end what had been a truly memorable dining experience.
Chef Andrew Scott is well know in Perthshire parts. He’s worked as head chef at the Four Seasons Hotel in St Fillans, when it was owned by his family. He subsequently owned and cooked at the Achray Hotel in St Fillans, then owned the deli in Comrie, and ran a successful outside catering business, alongside.
He now owns the wildlife park with his wife, Maxine, running the onsite cafe during the day and catering for functions both on the wildlife park premises and also at other venues. Having built up a considerable and devoted following, over the years, people tend to follow him wherever he goes!
Based on our quite wonderful experience, those who are lucky enough to find themselves dining at his table are in for a considerable treat.
Powered by Facebook Comments