The Kitchin is divided into several dining rooms with one having a large window into the very active kitchen. Tables are good-sized and nicely spaced, which makes the noise level very tolerable despite being totally full of happily talking people. The decor is very natural with lots of wood and stone and the menu strives to use only quality local products – they have a map showing where the various ingredients are from and many arrive within 16 hours of being harvested. I’m wondering if some local sheep farm provided the fuzzy covers for the fun purse stools. They have been open for 11 years, opening in 2006, and received their first Michelin star after just one year. Service is attentive and friendly and willing to go into as much detail about the food as you want.
They offer a variety of tasting menu options – as simple as a 3 course chosen from the menu, a seasonal menu with optional supplements, a 6 course surprise tasting and a chef’s surprise 8 course tasting. Wine pairings are available if desired. We chose the Chef’s surprise tasting and they were kind enough to invite us into the kitchen for one course, with a chance to see and meet Chef Tom Kitchin (of course Frankie jumped at the opportunity).
While deciding on our choices they brought out 3 flavors of flatbreads and butter with salmon. They were nicely crisp and really didn’t need any spread enhancement. After ordering they bring out a warm round loaf of sourdough and butter. The crust was nicely crisp and the center was lighter rather than doughy.
The first course was Tomato in the form of chilled heritage tomato consommé. It contained seasonal vegetables and tomato juice whose seeds and pulp had been removed. It was mild but extremely fresh tasting. A nice beginning.
Razor Clams or Spoots were from the Isle of Barra and cooked and served with diced vegetables, chorizo and wild herbs. It was creamy and almost cheesy with chunks of chorizo. The tender and delicious clam’s flavor was really set off by the chorizo and herbs. It was an excellent combination and a great hit of flavor and texture.
Ox was in the form of crispy ox tongue served with locally harvested (Perthshire) girolles, bone marrow and a fried quail egg. It was rich and totally savory with great textures. The excellent crispy meat was fabulous – perfectly crispy on the outside and totally tender on the inside. The bone marrow added even more richness to a delicious course.
Halibut from the North Sea was steamed and served with artichoke barigoule (stewed in olive oil) and artichoke puree with citrus sauce. A raw bit of artichoke was on top of the fish, which might have been better as a small piece of fried artichoke. The halibut was cooked to perfection and worked well with the sauce.
Borders Red Deer was in the form of roasted loin and braised haunch served with root vegetable mash, apple and a red wine sauce. The apple was fresh and cut in small cubes, mashed rutabaga was the orange oval, an excellent disc of beet was with the rare meat and a round of buttery mashed potatoes finished out the plate. The deer is a slightly mealy flesh but was cooked a perfect rare the sauce added the richness lack in game meat. A sweet berry was hidden in the sauce to make it a wonderful and tasty offering.
We didn’t have it but I snapped a photo of the cheese cart just for information purposes.
In the kitchen we enjoyed the Blackcurrant granita served with poached Discovery apples. It was refreshing and packed with flavor. A treat.
Bramble & Chocolate was a dark chocolate mousse served with bramble sorbet, toasted almonds and bramble sauce. The dark chocolate mousse was finished with a crisp layer of chocolate on the outside and them filled with the bramble sauce. The crispy almonds accented the sweet berry sorbet. It was rich, sweet and tasty.
We finished with Millionaire’s shortbread which was a Scottish shortbread crust filled with thick caramel and topped with chocolate. Gooey, sweet and totally yummy. I could have eaten a tray of them. Yum x3!
To accompany a fabulous dessert we indulged in a couple pours from their Scotch Cart. The friendly waiter that presented it was very knowledgeable and willing to give the prices of the various offerings – a nice thing. A perfect end to a wonderful dining experience.