7 OLD FISHMARKET CLOSE EDINBURGH
food served all day fri 8: sot
open seven days
‘Best vegetarian restaurant in Scot/and' ms SCOTSMAN Opening Hours: Mon—Fri12—2pm, 530—1 1 pm; Sat 5.30—1 1 pm
2—3 St Patrick Square. Edinburgh EH8 9E2 Telephone: 031 667 9890
37100 (7a! ﬂat/I'm
[Dam/mime: @0011 (1111111010 339 1944
DINNER 6.309m MST ORDERS 10.30pm
also meet and vegetarian dishes
LICENCE APPLIED FOR In the meantime please bring your own
REVIEW THE CITY MERCHANT
Since opening around eighteen months ago. the secret of the City Merchant‘s success — besides. of course. the excellence of the cooking — has been its ability to offer separate. competitvely priced a la carte menus at different times ofday. Few other Glasgow restaurants can be fully booked as early as 6pm — something that owner Tony Matteo manages by offering a ‘pre-theatre‘ selection at prices of around 50% less than the cost ofthe full dinner menu.
For Christmas. too. the same pattern will apply. The four-course dinner. followed by coffee and mince pies. will cost £19.75; there will be a limited a la carte choice. predominantly ofseafood dishes: and the pre-theatre menu will be retained. at a price of£8 for a three-course selection from the dinner menu.
While the traditional turkey — albeit with an apricot and chestnut stuffing— makes an appearance. other. less usual dishes are also available: oysters flamed in brandy is one ofthe starters; the second courses include fillet sole Veronique; and the main courses include fillet steak Strathspey (whisky and cream sauce). game and oyster casserole. and salmon in a shellfish sauce.
The restaurant is closed from Sunday to Tuesday of both Christmas and New Year weeks. but on all other days has some spaces left for booking. lfyou‘re going to a show in town. the pre-theatre menu is highly recommended — it really is ludicrously good value.
The City Merchant. 97 Candlerr'ggs, Glasgow, 553 15 77. Mon—Sat Slam—I 1 pm.
THE CITY MERCHANT ORKNEY SCALLOPS WITH SUGARWARE
Quantities per person:
4 Orkney scallops
Dried Highland seaweed (a small handful, orto taste)
3 tbs dry white wine
4—5 tbs double cream
Salt and pepper
Soak the seaweed for five to ten minutes; bunch together and shred finely.
Lightly season the scallops with salt and pepper, then place in a pot with a small amount of butter, the wine, and shallots. Steam gently for several minutes.
Add the seaweed (this is the ‘sugarware') and steam for a further two orthree minutes.
Stir in the cream and allow the sauce to reduce until it holds together. It is important that the scallops do not cook right through —they must keep their fleshiness to give the best blend of flavours with the seaweed.
Biscuits are a dirty word at Jacksons. ‘We only serve oatcakes. oh and a bit of bread.‘ says its manager. Peter Fenick.
Jackson‘s specialises in Scottish food with a French flair and subscribes to an association known as The Taste of Scotland. who make suprise visits at least twice a year. ‘You have to use fresh Scottish produce and your menus have to be Scottish in style to a certain extent. lt‘s contemporary. not traditional so we’ll use haggis. perhaps venison rather than lamb. coat it in breadcrumbs then deep fry and serve with a whisky cream sauce.”
The (‘hristmas menu (£12.95 for lunch. £17.95 for dinner) contains such non-sequiturs as pigeon breasts in Highland honey mead sauce with lime and apricots or fruit salad marinated in Highland sloe gin. The wine list is as bizarre. with alternatives to your usual grape base such as sap ofsilver birch tree. elderflower. clover. blaeberry and gooseberry.
‘A lot of Scots entertain foreigners here as an example of traditional fare. though in fact it's not very conventional. There are so many Chinese. Indian and French restaurants around. I think people like to come back to something
Scottish. Everyone is looking for quality now. and Scottish produce is better than ever before'.
Determined to provide a relaxed atmosphere. the restaurant will also cater for large parties and festive occasions. ‘A company uses us who have their own Santa. Each of the staff pulls a number out ofa hat. which will denote a particular present which they then have to buy for another member ofstaff.‘ Presumably the boss ends up with some ladies underwear. to the sound of much guffawing. (Jo Roe) Jackson '3 Restaurant, 209 High Street. 225 I 793. Open Mon-Sun 6.30—10.3()pm and Mon—Fri noon—2pm.
JACKSON'S DUCK AND ARMAGNAC PATE
As prepared for four people:
Knob of butter
2 chopped shallotts
11b duck liver
Finely chopped mixed herbs
Dash of cream
Dash of Worcestershire sauce
Duck fat (as a preserve)
Saute the shallots and herbs in the butter until soft. Add the Iiverthen the brandy and set alight for a spectacular brandy flame. Once overthe excitement, add the rest of the ingredients and reduce slowly for up to an hour. Liquidise to the required consistency, place in mould and cover with melted duck fat.
(‘hristmas is coming and the turkeys are being prepared for early retirement. The general consensus these days amongst restaurateurs is that people are sick of the bird almost before it hits the dinner plate. hence the general abstinence ofa traditional ('hristmas spread. Many establishments cook up special menus for Christmas which will usually include magnificently imaginative dishes reflecting a general preoccupation with food. [710 List has prepared a selection of what'son offer with a closer look at two favourites.
I The Babbity Bowster
l(>— 18 Blackfrairs Street. 552 5055. (‘hristmas meals are served from i 1 December in this intimate and friendly restaurant. There is no set menu but choice from the a la carte includes langoustine or duck with juniper and whisky.
I New Maharajah 914—9 I (i Sauchiehall Street. 339 45-13. Front 15 December. the restaurant will he ' serving a three course (‘hristmas lunch (£6.95)
and a three course dinner with half a bottle ofhousc
wine per cottplc. A small Indian. very popular at lunch. due to the good food. generous portions and low prices. A welcome change from the Usual meat and two veg. I One Oevonshire Gardens 1 Dcvortshire (iardcns. 339 200] . Treat yourselfto sortie styliin diningin serene surroundings with a set menu at £2 I .50for lunch and £27.50 for dinner. each a fourcoursc meal. There will also be a special seven course (’hristmas live dinner for
I The Penguin Cafe The Rooftop. l’rinces Square. 2210303. For the smart set — where you can eat. spot the faces and guess the labels. lip within the atrium's roof space it must be one of the most spectacular places to dine. The (‘hristmas menu is
£ 1 (i for three courses. coffee and mince pics. The selection is broad and the food well prepared. Vegetarian dishes can be ordered in advance.
I The Rogano 11 Royal i lixchange Square. 248 I 4055. (‘hristmas menu £22.50. four courses with coffee and pctit fours.
With its reputation for all things fishy the (‘hristmas fare doesn't disappoint. The menu offers such dishes as ('rabe Bisque or i smoked trout with
clernentinc mousse as starters. (‘arnivores need not worry. a liberal peppcring of meat and fowl is also included. The (‘afc Rogano upstairs provides a more relaxed and cheaper alternative (set menu £12.95) including the hot favourite. ('loutic Dumpling with brandy butter. I The Ubiquitous Chip 12 Aston Lane. 334 5007. Any list of venues for (‘hristmas would be incomplete without this one. The atmosphere is something else and don’t be surprised to hear carols coming from the diners. The set three course menu (£19.95) comes with coffee and homemade sweets. Also an a la carte lunch and dinner which changes daily and which includes turkey with all the trimmings at thistime of the year. Ifyou fancy something less formal there is pub food upstairs and there will always be something for vegetarians.
I Oubhprais Restaurant 123b High Street. 557 5732. Tue-Sat noon—2.30pm &
6.30- 10.30pm. Tucked away in a basement offthc Royal Mile. Dubhprais
l have been serving French
86 The List 8— 21 December 1989