Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Review: Field Restaurant

Ending Edinburgh on a High

Sweet and sour quail with quail cannelloni 

Field is a charming little restaurant that I’m very glad we visited during our time in Edinburgh. We booked on the night at a whim – it was near Summerhall Place, where we’d just stepped out of an Energy Futures debate. We were quoted a 20 minute wait time for a table, but managed to burn through most of that during our slow, winding walk to West Nicholson Street. We arrived at what is indeed a tiny restaurant, seating perhaps 20 people at a push. The décor is black and white, and a large (painted) cow dominates the left wall as you walk in. Similarly quirky adornments are scattered around the room. Beware the slit wooden table surfaces – cutlery has tendency to fall through. A quiet buzz of chatter permeated the low lit room, creating a cozy, casual atmosphere.

Wild garlic bun with a few unnecessary sesame seeds on one side 

Service was polite but curt to begin, when the restaurant was busy and the staff seemed stretched, but became friendlier as the meal progressed. They were helpful throughout, however, offering to bring us water while we looked over the short menu. If you avoid the more expensive steak, £30 is about what you can expect to pay here for 3 courses. I believe options change over time, but expect meat, poultry, fish and vegetarian options to be covered. We ordered drinks, then made our choices before settling down for a short wait, which passed quickly as one of the staff brought over some lovely wild garlic bread that they had forgotten to serve earlier.

My partner skipped on starters but I was hungry, and had ordered the quail in sweet and sour sauce accompanied by a quail cannelloni, photographed at the beginning of this post. It was a good start to the meal - the meat was cooked properly, nice and soft without being too pink. The cannelloni was salty, and balanced the sweet and sour taste of the wings quite well.

Smoked duck served with apple, polenta, pearl onions
and a cider vinegar beurre noisette

My main, where I'd opted for the smoked duck served with apple, polenta, pearl onions and a cider vinegar beurre noisette, followed on quite quickly. The image may not make it obvious, but the food on the plate was generously portioned. The smoked duck again very nicely cooked, and the accompanying beurre noisette was lovely. My only criticism would be the apple: I can understand it being paired with duck (introducing tangy notes like plum sauce), but I felt the cuts were a bit too big and threw the dish slightly off balance. I'm nitpicking here though, and I definitely enjoyed the dish.

8 oz sirloin steak in a Szechuan pepper sauce,
served with potatoes, French peas, shallot rings and chips

My partner had ordered the 8 oz sirloin steak in a Szechuan pepper sauce, served with potatoes, French peas, shallot rings and chips. Another generous portion - the size of the steak made me wonder if other venues claiming to serve 8 oz steaks were really doing so! The meat was cooked medium rare as requested, though the feedback was that it could have done with a little more of the pepper sauce.  

Chocolate and passion fruit délice with a mango sorbet

Impressed by the food, we decided to round off our meal with dessert. My partner had a chocolate and passion fruit délice with a mango sorbet - which was excellently prepared but maybe a little too rich for some people. However, the richness of chocolate was countered nicely by the sorbet, and I was happy to see a pairing that wasn't just "chocolate-orange". 

Salted peanut butter choux bun
served with banana milkshake, and Nutella ice cream

My dessert, a salted peanut butter choux bun served with banana milkshake, and Nutella ice cream, was the star of the show. It was rich and indulgent, as the ingredients would suggest, but the peanut butter cream and and Nutella ice cream weren't overbearing. The banana in the milkshake was quite obviously greener than usual, but I thought this balanced out the sweetness of the rest of the plate quite well.

We finished our meal extremely satisfied, and I was glad our last dinner in town was somewhere nice. The service could do with a little improvement, not for lack of sincerity but rather execution - as we were paying we saw some confusion over a table that seemed to have been promised to two different groups of diners. However, we paid £33 per head for our meal, which is very good value for the calibre of food served. This is definitely a place to recommend, and I will endeavour to return to whenever I'm in Edinburgh. 

Food: 7/10
Service: 6.5/10
Atmosphere: 7/10
Value: 7.5/10

Final Score: 7/10

Contact Information
A: 41 West Nicolson Street, Edinburgh EH8 9DB
T: +44 131 667 7010

NB. The final score, while influenced by the sub-scores, is a qualitative reflection of my overall impression the establishment.

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