There is no doubt that Scotland offers up some of the finest produce in the world and, no, we are not just talking about all that glorious whisky. It wasn’t too long ago that the best of it was always spirited off to be enjoyed on the fine dining tables of London, Paris and Madrid. That has all started to change in recent years and there’s now a rich bounty of places to eat dotted around Scotland – from deceptively simple looking chippies through to slick metropolitan dining rooms – where you can enjoy boat-fresh fish, world-class beef and ultra-fresh game within sight of the very boats and pastures that helped dish up your food. 2015 has been designated the Year of Scottish Food and Drink so what are you waiting for? Tuck in!
A Michelin temple
Edinburgh now overflows with a quintet of Michelin star restaurants. Renowned TV chef Tom Kitchin can still be spotted working hard in the open kitchen at The Kitchin, his mercurial signature Michelin temple in trendy Leith. Kitchin’s mantra is ‘from nature to plate’, which translates into sophisticated dishes such as boudin of Inverurie ox tongue served with braised ox shin, bone marrow potato and Parisienne carrots, plus more unusual seasonal options such as sea urchin bisque, served in the urchin, and whole grouse in season.
For seriously good steak
If you love steak – we mean really love steak – then Glasgow’s Butchershop Bar and Grill is for you. They present all the finest Scottish cuts for you to peruse before cooking, including their legendary ‘Tomahawk’, which comes in at over one kilogram. Their Sunday roasts are the stuff of local legend, while away from red meat their breast of local chicken comes with a colcannon mash and confit tomato in a satisfyingly rich red wine and lardon jus.
A Glaswegian buzz
Savvy Glaswegians rate Crabshakk and you will too. The downstairs space buzzes all day with slightly quieter tables upstairs, though at weekends the whole place rocks. No wonder, with such well-chosen wines, excellent sourcing, skilled cooking and ever changing specials spicing up an already impressive menu. The heaving seafood platter could probably feed four, but it makes for a real treat for two. You could keep it ‘simple’ with half a dozen creamy oysters to start followed by a plump Scottish lobster or rump steak and chips. Their seasonal vegetarian risotto comes highly recommended too.