We were excited to be invited to the recent launch of One Square’s Tasting Menu along with other press and media, including, at our table, Instagram’s EdinEats and the Edinburgh writers for The List.
The evening began with Irn Bru! Not in a can as I like it along with a chippie, but incorporated into a sophisticated and tasty cocktail.
Each course began with a demonstration by Head Chef Craig, a matched drink, and then the course itself was served. The first course was Brown Crab, Braeburn Apple & Mooli Salad matched with Gunner Blonde Ale from Campbell’s Brewery in Peebles. This was a delicate dish with light spring flavours, a perfect start to a five course dinner. The brown crabs are caught in Orkney and are at their best during Spring/Summer. Despite not being a beer drinker I enjoyed the Gunner, it was easy to drink and a nice change from wine.
Our next course was Roasted Scallop, Sweet Cicely Carrot Puree, & Puffed Oats.
A handy scallop shucking demo from Craig whetted our appetite for what was to come. The scallops are hand dived in Orkney and were huge, even with the roe removed. They were so sweet and juicy and tasted incredibly fresh. This dish was served alongside a One Square Gin perfect serve with Fevertree Tonic.
The main was my least favourite course, Textures of Scottish Lamb, Hazelnuts & Capers. Despite that, it still had some very nice things, the sweetbreads being the highlight. The creamy sauce was good and the crunch of the hazelnuts really worked. It was just that the lamb and all the vegetables were cooked using the sous vide method and I just don’t rate it. Meat like lamb ends up still being sinewy with a jelly like texture and lacking in flavour. Vegetables again were just a bit bland. I’m old fashioned, I want my meat pan fried or roasted, or both. Just not vacuum packed in plastic and dunked in water for hours.
Moving swiftly on to what was a real highlight of the dinner, an innovative Strathdon Blue Trifle. This was a cheese course reimagined as a trifle, judging by Craig’s chat it was the most risky of his dishes but he totally nailed it. I looked around the room to see clean glasses, and people stealing what leftovers there were – always a good sign! This was paired with whisky, Springbank 15 year old.
Dessert was Bruce Farm’s Strawberry Jelly & Vanilla Mousse, I loved seeing how this dish was assembled. Each component was quite simple in itself but as Craig built it up you could really see how fine dining dishes are put together to create that wow factor. It was a lovely light dessert, ideal for the season, showcasing not only fresh strawberries but a variety of other berries too. This was paired with a gin cocktail with a puff of candy floss.
The Tasting Menu is a great addition to the offering at One Square and despite my issue with water bathing, it was still a beautiful dinner and excellent value – five courses with matched drinks is £65, or £40 without.