Dinner at Dram & Smoke
This cockney catering outfit is currently setting the Fringe ablaze with a fun festival takeover. Hailing originally from Scotland, you were previously more likely to find Dram & Smoke carving a name for themselves in the Big Smoke, but they decided to return to their roots this summer to seduce Scottish foodies by serving up a selection of the best local produce on home soil.
Their concept selects curious venues to provide guests with a unique dining experience with a distinct homely feel, and throughout August these culinary kings are transforming Edinburgh's Biscuit Factory into their own warehouse wonderland. To kick things off, guests are welcomed on arrival with a whisky themed cocktail before being escorted into their delectable dining space. From sassy signage, selfie stations and palette gardens, to table tennis and tartan blankets complete with an illustrated bar, Dram & Smoke pride themselves on being sticklers for detail. Seating is communal to ensure the banter is flowing as freely as the table wine and guests may wind up making firm friends by the end of the evening, if they play their cards correctly.
With such a carefully honed menu, Dram & Smoke encourage your tastebuds to venture outside their normal comfort zone. Stay awhile to sample "spoots" (that's razor clams to you and I) or bravely risk it for a brisket – a whisky glazed Aberdeen Angus Brisket that is. Soft, delicate and bursting with flavour, the meat is sourced from Peelham Farm and is slowly cooked for around five hours until it practically falls apart without so much as a sideways glance. Other show-stoppers include the individual servings of traditional rhubarb and custard accompanied by giant heather honeycomb pieces. The slab of honeycomb is laid in the middle of the table and smashed with a hammer, so diners have to get involved and use a little muscle in order to get a slice of the action.
Allow yourself to be serenaded and savour the sounds of visiting performers as you dine, recline and unwind in fine company. The prescribed dress-code is as fanciful as your imagination. The atmosphere is warm and welcoming, even on a dreich Scottish summer's eve and everyone is invited. Quite frankly, the more the merrier. Come to this table and order up a fresh spin on dinner with a difference, I’m pretty sure you’ll get a taste for it.
Smoked ham hock and haggis terrine
with tattie scones, pickles and capers
Barley risotto with spoots
served with Scottish chorizo and foraged mushrooms
Braised beef brisket, hasselback tatties and smoked garlic butter
served with chargrilled leeks and Scottish Cheddar
and green bean and celeriac slaw
Rhubarb and custard panna cotta
served with heather honeycomb
Dram & Smoke’s Edinburgh Festival Project runs at the Biscuit Factory until Sunday 28 August 2016. Tickets costs £40 and can be purchased online at www.dramandsmoke.com.
Words and images: Claire McCullough