Sharing's caring: Delicious food that's made to be shared
The best dinner's, we at i-on have found, are those where you get to try a bit of everything. No food envy means everyone is happy, everybody wins. For dinner with friends we recommend trying these top restaurants offering food that's meant to be shared...
White Horse Oyster and Seafood Bar
Nicky Howden goes to seafood heaven
In over 10 years of writing restaurant reviews it’s safe to say I’ve become hard to please. So it comes as little surprise that it’s rare for me to find a restaurant that I cannot stop talking about–a gourmet destination that ticks all my boxes. Well, White Horse Oyster & Seafood Bar, I think you’ve made me fall in love. From the moody interiors, cool vibe to the impressive menu packed with options including lobster, scallops, crab, steak and oysters, this is relaxed luxury dining at it’s best.
The good thing here is that you can keep it informal and sit at the bar or venture through the back where you’ll find plush velvet upholstery, leather chairs and green marble tables. The restaurant serves the best of Scottish seafood and it’s renowned for its oysters and impressive looking Seafood Platters, from £65. They’ve also just launched a Sharing Plates menu which is ideal for those of you, like me, who suffer from food envy and want a little of everything. It’s recommended you try two to three plates per person but if our choices were anything to go by then you can opt for slightly less as portions are refreshingly generous. After oysters to start, we managed four dishes but really were full to the gunnels.
Recommendation wise, the lobster salad, £12.50, with whipped avocado not only looks picture perfect but tastes it too. We also enjoyed the delicious crab and crayfish toast with chili, orange and avocado, £9; three skewers of succulent monkfish satay and toasted nuts, £9; and Glenarm Estate Flat Iron Steak with chimichurri, £12.50, and a side of naughty but nice straw fries with salt and vinegar, £4–just for good measure. After a perfect serve of Espresso Martini, £8, to finish, I was already planning our next visit... and kicking myself I hadn’t been sooner.
Dark and atmospheric, go for a date night, girlie night or family dinner-just go. It’s great.
266 Canongate, Royal Mile, EH8 8AA, Tel: 0131 629 5300, whitehorseoysterbar.co.uk.
The Stockbridge Restaurant
Amy Falconer puts the new menu to the test
When I heard The Stockbridge Restaurant was open for a weekend lunch service, I couldn’t wait to check it out. Offering classics from its evening a la carte menu–think duck confit with cassoulet bean stew, and Seared Shetland salmon–as well as brunch favoruites and new tapas sized portions, in a more relaxed, bistro setting, it seemed like the perfect way to spend a Saturday.
We order an array of dishes to start–crudités and hummus, £3, crispy squid rings with alioli, smoked salmon and scrambled egg on brioche, garlic field mushrooms on toasted brioche and chorizo risotto in tapas size, £3.50 each. All of the dishes were fresh, beautifully seasoned and darn scrummy. The standout dish for me being the smoky, chorizo risotto and my friend’s was the smoked salmon and scrambled egg. Next up were the mains, my dining partner orders a Smashin’ eggs omlette with wild mushrooms and chorizo, £7, while I opt for the duck confit with cassoulet bean stew, £9. While his isn’t anything special in the looks department I’m assured it’s delicate flavours were bang on the money. My duck was melt in the mouth. The bed of beans with the rich, deep gravy was knock out and served with the buttery mash was utterly heavenly.
We finish off the meal with their famous sticky toffee pudding in butterscotch sauce, £9, and their cake of the day which was lemon drizzle, £4.50. All of that along with their delicious sensational Bloody Marys and The Stockbridge Restaurant is firmly on our weekend brunch list. Even better i-on Members’ receive a 20 per cent discount (for membership details visit ionmagazine.co.uk).
54 St Stephen St, EH3 5AL, Tel: 0131 226 6766, thestockbridgerestaurant.co.uk.
Holly Tracey tries small plates with big flavours
Having been first in line at its opening back in February and regularly heard raving about the skewers of sizzling meats upon which it has built its reputation, I was intrigued to see how Fazenda's Petiscos menu (made up of small plates and dishes) would match up. So it was to George Street that my dining partner and I headed, seated in the sunshine and eagerly awaiting what was to come.
Priced between £4-£6, the dishes are designed for sharing and hungry bellies. We kick things off with Churrasco-a taster selection of mixed grill meats straight off the main menu. Mouth-wateringly delicious and served on a miniature BBQ keeping the meats sizzling. We follow up with Moquca De Mexilhao (mussels in a coconut and bisque sauce) and the Bauru Sandwich. The mussels are a seriously hearty portion, spiced to perfection and a real stand out dish while the sandwich satisfies with layer upon layer of Picanha beef speared with a kitchen knife (yes, really). Presentation alone won over our respective Instagram feeds, the taste test already surpassed on first bite.
The Petiscos menu (only available in the bar and outside terrace) is perfect for those who appreciate what Fazenda is all about: big flavours, succulent meats and Brazilian flair, providing a well-pitched alternative for diners looking for a lighter offering. One last word of advice: leave room for the Churros.
102 George St, EH2 3DF, Tel: 0131 215 1234, fazenda.co.uk/Edinburgh.
THREE PLACES TO TRY IN GLASGOW
OX AND FINCH
Offering contemporary tapas-style dishes, this Finnieston favourite never fails to impress. Trendy and effortlessly cool, expect everything from coley, chorizo Iberico and grilled chicory, £8, to Thai fishcakes. There’s also good veggie and vegan options too. Tel: 0141 339 8627, oxandfinch.com.
Simple, fresh Mediterranean food made for sharing, Alchemilla at 1126 Argyle Street, offers relaxed dining and a delicious seasonal menu. Go Monday to Friday, 12noon-4pm, for two plates for £10. Tel: 0141 337 6060, thisisalchemilla.com.
MOTHER INDIA’S CAFE
This is tapas style dining featuring favourite Indian dishes alongside some chef specialities. Authentic tasting and delicious. It’s also located on Argyle Street and open daily, 12noon until 10pm. Tel: 0141 339 9145, motherindia.co.uk.