Taisteal is one of these places that has a lasting effect on your mind- from ambience to food taste and presentation, Taisteal isn’t a stranger to perfection! Its competitors are not the wonderful restaurants of Stockbridge, but the Michelin star restaurants that push the standards of fine dining. If your tastes run to the latter, then Taisteal is your heaven.
The first thing you notice is the big windows and beautiful blue facade. Located in the corner of Raeburn place and Dean Street perhaps you might remember it as Field Grill House, but it has now changed to Taisteal and it is certainly here to stay.
We were seated at a table by one of the big windows, having gorgeous views to Stockbridge. Big paintings featuring seascapes and countryside landscapes were hanging around the walls and the bar was full of wine bottles, and that’s one of the things people should know about Taisteal, their wine selection is equally good to the food served on the table.
Back to the table, the waitress offered us some mint and cucumber infused water before handing in the menu. I dislike long menus, I waste time trying to figure the best dish and end up ordering something that I will most certainly regret later on. This food menu however was just of the right size, the dishes had a great variety of ingredients and some of them had very rare combinations – octapus and feta, anyone?
Butter and bread on a wooden plate was soon after served on the table, but it wasn’t your average butter and bread served in most restaurants. The butter was creamed and had a deliciously surprising smoky flavour and the bread was fresh with a wonderful texture. To my eyes, the difference between a good and a superb restaurant lies in these little details. In Taisteal, it is obvious that everything is well designed and much thought has been put into it!
Having a look at the cocktails menu, one can understand that whoever designed it, has a great sense of humour!
The Muddy Water (rum and ginger, muddled together with lime and mint) and Life on Mars (cranberry and orange juice with vodka), are a few good examples. But what really got my attention – and finally won me – was the Alternative Facts*, a delicious red cocktail served on a tall glass comprising of gin, creme de Cassis, lemon and sugar.
Once food arrives on the table, the first thing you notice is the smart presentation. Ingredients are arranged in such way that the main flavours stands out immediately. Crockery is complimenting this presentation as the plate colours and shapes were in an artistic accordance with the food. Fine dining at its best!
We tried the pan-fried Scallops with satay sauce,
black pudding and pomegranate (I requested the dish to be served without the black pudding as I am not a fan of it) and the gin cured Salmon, Octopus, compressed watermelon, avocado crème fraiche and feta. The scallops were really soft and juicy, perfectly cooked and served on a rich, creamy, lemon flavoured sauce with pomegranate seeds that was an explosion of flavour to my taste buds. The salmon dish was something that caught my eye on the menu as it was served with feta, watermelon and octopus which I thought was a very unusual marriage of ingredients. Little did I know that the compressed watermelon and feta (a salad combination very popular in the Mediterranean area) would match perfectly the fish and not overpower the dish. I am slowly learning…
- Roast Hake with Grilled Prawns, Thai Muesli, Cucumber Sauce and Dill Potatoes
- Maple and 5 Spice Glazed Gressingham Duck Breast, Pak Choi, Edamame Beans, Shiitake Samosa, Sweet Potato
- Triple Cooked Chips
For the main course I ordered the hake with grilled prawns, which was a very filling and delicious dish! The fish was nicely cooked and topped with crunchy peanuts which gave some extra texture. Underneath, there was shredded cucumber with a hint of garlic that reminded me a lot of a lighter version of tzatziki. The white sauce covering the dill potatoes was delightful and went down very well with mouthfuls of hake. The prawns were deliciously barbecued and the Chef really did his magic here as I could still taste the burning of the BBQ without balancing out the rest flavours of the dish. As a side, we got the tripled cooked potatoes that are basically big chunks of boiled potatoes, fried twice. Heaven!
The duck reminded me a lot of Asian dishes, served with barbecued pak choi and a nice dark dressing, as soon as the dish was on the table, a lovely, warm, cinnamon smell came out of it. The meat was cut into thin, fine slices letting it soak all the juices. The samosa was crunchy and nicely enhanced with spices.
Between having big mouthfuls of fish, chatting away with the waitress about the menu whilst she was filling our glasses with water and looking at the people walking past the window, it was time we order our desserts. We shared the roast pineapple with rum and raisin ice-cream, maple comb, macadamia praline and pistachio, and the peanut butter Alaska, that was the speciality of the day! The roast pineapple was very flavoursome and aromatic! It had the sweetness and all the juices of the fruit and it was quite light so ideal if you feel full but still want some dessert.
This was my first time ever (!) having the Alaska dessert and I can tell you I was equally shocked with myself as much was the waitress. It was a mini browned meringue igloo on a soft sponge chocolate cake filled with mouth-watering peanut butter cream surrounded with honeycomb, meringue and chocolate cake crumbles. It was so good that words are not enough to describe so I will let you with some extra pictures to run your imagination wild…
Taisteal gets a 10/10 for me. Everything was up to high standards, the food was delicious and the restaurant atmosphere and food presentation were just the cherry on top of the cake. If you are ever in Stockbridge, do yourself a favour and book a table, they are open Tuesday – Saturday and serve lunch between 12pm-2.30pm and dinner between 6pm-9.30pm (Tuesday-Thursday) and 5.30-9.30pm (Friday & Saturday). You can thank me later!