My first experience of Adam Newth’s cookery was at his restaurant which overlooks the Tay, The Tayberry. Things are obviously going well, Castlehill is his new city centre gaff, and rumour has it that there are several other projects in the pipeline too.
Down a little side street, Castlehill doesn’t shout too loudly, inside the decor is smart and modern. While the service at The Tayberry felt a little amateur at times, the same cannot be said for Castlehill where everything is slick and polished.
To whet our appetites we started with some home-made bread and a moreish chive butter. Then along came a rich (I tried not to think about how much butter may be in it!) amuse bouche of butternut squash with puffed wild rice.
To start I had the Roasted Celeriac Velouté with Blue Murder Ravioli. I had worried the Blue Murder might be over powering and blue cheese isn’t my favourite thing, but it was perfectly balanced, the Waldorf garnished helped to cut through the buttery nature of the velouté but this was still a very indulgent dish.
Alex had the Pork Cheek with White Onion and Black Garlic. It was a dish that struck me as being like a little main dish, a perfect choice if you love meat as in essence it was a lovely chunk of well braised meat with jus. Alex loved it.
It took us a while to negotiate who would have which mains. We eventually agreed that I would have Pork Belly with Chorizo, Butternut Squash & Monkfish Cheek. The pork belly was properly cooked and I enjoyed the chorizo with it, I’m not sure it really needed the monkfish cheek as well, so I donated this to Alex who happily obliged.
Alex had the Goosenart Duck which was served with red cabbage (one of his favourite things at the moment), salsify and a dainty potato terrine. Adam’s style is quite classic and the dishes never fail to deliver flavour. It was good to see the same flair for plating is in evidence at Castlehill as was at The Tayberry.
Desserts impressed on the visual too, above is the Salt Baked Pineapple with Coconut, Mango and Tonic Bean Ice Cream. The salt baking on the pineapple was worth the effort as it had certainly intensified the flavour and it was a good match for the aromatic tonka bean ice cream.
The Chocolate & Laphroaig Delice was smooth and full of the sweet taste of whisky. The cocoa nibs on top added not only a bit of crunch bit a bit of bitterness too. If you’re struggling when you come to dessert, this one is definitely a good option for sharing alongside a strong coffee, and perhaps a dram of Laphroaig too!
I was very impressed with Castlehill and it would be my top recommendation for smart dining in Dundee.