Work has been crazy this last few months, so when we have managed to grab a day together, we’ve jumped straight in the car and headed out for a drive and a spot of lunch.
Last month our destination was Dundee, and Daisy Tasker.
Expectations were moderate, until we realised half way there we hadn’t been looking at the right menu!
Inside, the decor has the currently on trend minimal factory look. In fairness, this was entirely authentic as the building had been a weavers and Daisy Tasker a 14 year old weaver who would organise all the social gatherings at the mill.
We were offered some crisps to start – what arrived was a dish of deliciously crunch hand cut homemade potato crisps with three dips – a shocking pink mayonnaise (shocking in colour not in flavour), a minty yoghurt, and a very good pesto. Fabulous nibbles, and very welcome after our drive.
I started with the Blackened Carrot which was a real surprise. The presentation was fine dining and it was a little bit of acidity off that level of cookery. The granola and mushroom ketchup were inspired, I think if the shallots had received a light pickling it would have been up there with some of the best starters I’ve had. Simple ingredients elevated with creativity.
Alex surprised me by choosing Seasons Salad, the healthy choice featuring red cabbage, new potato, brown rice, and a host of other sin (and syn) free elements. A fresh and zingy concoction that was a nice farewell to summer dining.
Cock-A-Leekie was a fun deconstructed version of the famous Scottish soup – beautifully cooked chicken, pomme anna and crispy strip of salty bacon. Our only complaint was the green puree, not sure which vegetable it was, possibly broccoli, was flavourless and watery and in need of a big dose of seasoning.
The Halibut was nice but the oxtail accompaniment had become a little dry and needed more of the meaty jus to bring it together. Another dish that came close to perfection but just needed a little more attention to detail.
Onto desserts and we chose something fruity and something chocolatey to finish off. Our fruity choice was a Lemon Posset with Apple Sorbet, Blackberries & Elderflower Gel. I was expecting something looser, but the posset came set, garnished with granola and a good helping of the gel. Alex really enjoyed it and felt it was perfectly balanced.
The Chocolate and Marshmallow Fondant sounded too good to miss and it certainly delivered with an oozey centre which flowed white with soft marshmallow. A nice twist on the classic. The orange sorbet promised a bit of sharpness but ended up being very sweet which made the whole dish a bit sugary. A sharper sorbet and this is one to return for!
Overall a really good lunch, just a shame it was a bit of seasoning and a touch of acidity off being a rave review – that said, nothing that can’t be easily fixed.
Location: Lower Dens Mill, Constable St, Dundee DD4 6AD
Good for: Flexible dining, creative cookery