There are a couple of places in Edinburgh that I’ve been several times that, in my opinion, have moved from good to great this year. First one was The Printing Press, our recent Foodinburgh dinner there was a step up from anything I’ve had during previous visits, the second is Dine. Dine has always been very reliable (in a good way), this time it was even better than that – on the food and the drinks.
We started with a couple of their Christmas Cocktails, I love their cocktail menu which changes (I think it’s monthly, but if not it’s nice and frequent anyway). This one was the best cocktail menu so far. At £7.50 they are a little more than usual but that price is reflected in both the quality and quantity of the alcohol they are using (anyone can make a cheap cocktail, and it will taste like that too – just have a pitcher in Wetherspoons and you’ll know what I mean. PS not being snobby, sometimes a cheap pitcher is what’s called for, but if you want something decent you need to pay a bit more).
We had the Roast Tomato Soup and Chicken and Cranberry Rillette. The soup was a hearty portion so if you’re particularly hungry go for that. The rillette really impressed me, I’ve had similar starters a few times over the last few months and there’s a couple of things that spoil it.
- The meat is too finely shredded, OR worse still it has been blended or passed through something very fine. Rillette should be a little coarser than pate as a general rule.
- It has been served too cold. Room temperature is ideal as that allows the flavour of the meat to come through.
I’m pleased to say this version at Dine was served at room temperature and the chicken still in recognisable pieces with little bits of cranberry peppered throughout. It had a great flavour and was the perfect start to the meal.
Mains were equally good, Roast Chump of Lamb which was served blushing pink and with a good selection of vegetables. I swithered over the Crisp Confit Leg of Duck it can so easily be either too dry because it’s been overcooked, or the fat isn’t rendered enough. I took a leap of faith and was VERY glad I did, one of the best duck dishes of the year. The leg was huge (reminded me a bit of my own thigh actually!) with lots of tender meat and the skin was crispy enough to eat the lot. The mulled wine cabbage was heavy on the fruit and light on the spice, ideal for me. On the side was a vibrant purée made from whole oranges (rind and flesh and all), a much needed Vitamin C kick at this time of year. I thoroughly enjoyed this dish, highly recommend you consider this one if you’re going!
Desserts were Christmas traditional, a Spiced Apple Crumble with a big scoop of brandy cream and a Christmas Pudding. Not just any old Christmas Pud though, apparently it’s the same supplier as Harvey Nics and Harrods. Posh!
We finished how we began, in the bar enjoying two more of their Christmas Cocktails. We left full of festive cheer and ready for a lie down! Great job, Dine.