Date of visit: end of April 2014
Wildest Drams, is an independent restaurant that has opened recently on the High Street in the heart of Edinburgh that specialises in craft beer and whisky. They showcase quality local seasonal produce and game which is not found in many places in and around Edinburgh. As my partner, let's call him Mr.M, works across the road from them he asked to try it out a couple of weeks after they opened because we were going through to see Paul Hollywood over at the Playhouse that night. Yes, I too thought it a little strange to go see Paul Hollywood in a theatre but it worked for me (mainly because I was sitting in row D).
As we approached the entrance to Wildest Drams, the entrance and sign is very understated. For a restaurant in a big city, that is bold and I like it! I can never stand walking down the street, bumping/avoiding the constant stream of signs pointing in the direction of particular restaurants with "special deals!" I know competition is high but for me, these places with that sort of advertising actually makes them look desperate.
When you go through the first set of doors, there is a set of steep stairs that take you down to the next set of doors which take you in to the restaurant itself. At the time of visiting I could not see any access for wheelchairs.
We were the first customers of the evening and upon entering the restaurant there were a couple of chefs sitting at a table discussing dishes and our waiter kindly led us to our table, near the back of the restaurant. All the staff were well presented, tidy and very polite. I can not fault them on their service at all. They made sure we were comfortable and that we always had a drink. I couldn't help but notice their large collection of whisky on the shelf behind the bar so if you are a whisky lover, you do not want to miss this place. They also like to advise on what beers/whisky to have with your meal, depending on the dishes you have ordered. They change their menu on a regular basis so don't expect to have the same dish every time you visit.
Now here is the fun part, FOOD!!
I had trouble deciding on what I wanted as everything on the menu looked very appetizing but figured I would be best not to have game in both starters and main so for Starters I opted for Trio of Scottish fish and Mr. M chose Grilled Goats Cheese with Sweet Whisky Pickled Beetroot.
|Trio of Scottish Salmon|
|Grilled Goats Cheese|
Goats Cheese can be very overwhelmingly strong so the beetroot and balsamic dressing helped to cut through this, creating a nice mellow dish.
Main Course: Pan Roast Duck Breast and Roast Haunch of Venison.
My Duck was cooked to perfection and the star of the dish was definitely the sweet potato and confit duck cake. And Kale! Oh my goodness, I had never tried kale until that day and boy am I in love with that veg. One little niggle was the plums, which for me, were a little on the tart side but it does cut through the dish so makes the dish seem less heavy.
|Roast Haunch of Venison|
|Pan Roast Duck Breast|
There was no overcooked venison on Mr. M's plate so the meat was beautifully tender and as Mr. M would like to put it, "Perfect". Which says a lot as he is a bit of a fussy eater.
Dessert: Stouty Toffee Pudding, which there is no photo of because Mr. M was tucking in to it before I could get my camera out! It's served with a whisky butterscotch sauce and wheat-beer ice cream.
Cranachan with a twist was just amazing! The added oats gave the dish texture along with the popping candy. Yes, that's right, popping candy! I was very wary of it too but believe me, it is worth a try. You will not be disappointed.
It's obvious that the chefs are very passionate about their food and respect their ingredients. The Restaurant is well lit but not blinding and it is very clean. Their toilets are a bit small and the mirror in the ladies is placed so high above the sink that you would need to be at least 5'5 in height to see yourself in it. I'm just under 4'11.
They have recently added another dining room upstairs and a cellar bar to their beautiful restaurant, which I hope will not compromise on their service and food quality.
Would I come back here? Hell yes! I wanted to bring a friend here for his 30th Birthday but Wildest Drams unfortunately close on Mondays (so we ended up in Whisky Rooms) which just so happens to be my only day off in the week!
If you enjoy game or want to take visitors for a "Scottish" meal then definitely give these guys a go. They may be new to the restaurant scene in the capital but they certainly don't show it.
I wish these guys all the success with Wildest Drams.