Martin Wishart’s Cook School has had a bit of a rebrand and has become the Martin Wishart Cook School & Dining Room, The space has been reimagined – the cookery benches have been removed and in its place is a smart new dining area allowing guests to watch demos while enjoying the food that is created.
It’s a good idea, and at £38 for four courses is a great way to enjoy fine dining food. It’s a bit like being on the set of Masterchef, only you get to actually try the food!
I love an Amuse-Bouche and quite often these little morsels end up being my favourite part of the meal, this was one of those times. The depth of flavour on this Muscade Pumpkin Royale was unreal, chef admitted that it was probably all the butter! The hazelnut garnish offered a nice crunch and the nuttiness was perfect with the sweet pumpkin.
One of the things that surprised me about the menu is that they didn’t just pick the old favourites, the menu was a little challenging with dishes that might divide diners. I think the starter of Ceviche of Sliced Orkney Scallop was one of those dishes. It was served on a tuna tartare with quinoa and pickled Autumn vegetables. The pickled fennel was particularly good and we had the opportunity to ask the chef for his recipe.
My only criticism of the experience was I would have liked more of a guided demo, the demo part is very much happening in the background and a lot of the prep as you’d imagine has been done prior, so you don’t learn exactly how to make the dishes (though you are free to speak to the chef and go up for a closer look if you wish). That said, it did allow you to be more with your guest and to have a chat.
The fish course was a Smoked Haddock & Potato Dauphine on a Russian Salad. The potato dauphine was like a pillow and the smoked fish wasn’t too over powering. The Russian salad was a rich accompaniment with plenty of egg. Not a dish I would choose, but one that I did enjoy.
The meat on the Roast Pheasant Breast was perfectly pink (as you’d expect from the water bath) but yet again I’m left a wee bit disappointed by this technique as even though it was pan fried after, the fat hadn’t completely rendered. The lentils with Simon Martin Chorizo were a nice accompaniment and made it feel quite seasonal.
Dessert was Caramelised Braeburn Apple, a deconstructed crumble in essence with the crumble represented with a crushed sable biscuit. An uncomplicated dish which was a hearty crowd pleaser.
Overall a really nice way to spend an evening, especially if eating out and cooking is a bit of a hobby.