Monday, 6 May 2013

Shebeen Bar & Braai

So, there've been some truly epic meals this year, not least the much celebrated Galvins at Pompadour.  However, it has taken something truly very special to dust off the old blog, and this might surprise you; Shebeen.  Previously in Leith and now located on Morrison Street, Shebeen is a meat lovers' Mecca.  

South Africa is a beautiful and very special place, and Shebeen indulges in a true passion of South Africans - the braai.  Barbecuing is a favourite past-time and they know how to do it right, and so does Shebeen.  Two visits have confirmed that this is the place to come for high quality, expertly cooked meat - from their on premise butchered local 35 day aged beef to home-made boerewors and the truly epic Jo-burger - this place has my mouth watering just thinking about it.

The Jo-burger needs a special mention; this is a 1.2kg burger in a custom made 12 inch bun (they use a local baker to custom make a number of items for them, including for the bunny chow - see below).   Now, yes this is epic, but it's not a tacky men vs food gimmick; billed as for four hungry people or two very hungry people, this had to be one of the best burgers I've ever tasted.  Home made, the Jo-burger included off cuts of fillet from their T-bone steak offering and was cooked to medium-rare juicy perfection; needless to say we couldn't manage the fries (but a previous visit had already confirmed these as fantastic).

The quality of the meat, the heat of the braai, and the prospect of a 'Lion size' steak - think 900g T bone folks - confirmed this place will be a firm favourite, and we'll soon be checking out their lunchtime deals too.  While your vegetarian friends won't necessarily thank you, make sure you get along to Shebeen and experience some great South African hospitality.

Monday, 31 December 2012

2012 Mop Up

2012 has been a super busy year for us, it has unfortunately been mostly work, but we've thankfully managed to squeeze in some eating and  travel along the way as well.  Not as much of this as I'd originally hoped has found its way on to this blog for various reasons (couldn't remember enough about it, not worth the bother, bad photos (yes, even more so than usual!) etc.) but rather than just forget about them, here's a mop-up of some of the various meals and travels of 2012 that didn't quite make it.

There were lots and lots and lots of Indian meals (and takeaways) throughout 2012; some good, some mediocre. To mention but a couple - Assams in Glasgow was ok, but not a patch on the meal we'd had at Mother India the week before.  Kasturi - a local of ours - does a brilliantly priced lunch, unusually on a Saturday too.

Astoundingly good value early evening dinner at La Garrigue in Leith.

Lovely but not particularly exciting Malaysian at Nanyang in the eerily quiet Quartermile.

The other side of town to us, and so a rare but treasured visit to the legendary Tail End chippy on Leith Walk.

There were a few visits to Cafe Fish - all enjoyable, all drunken.

A disappointing lunch at Wedgwood.

Of all the holidays we've had this year, surprisingly only Iceland was worth posting about.  Otherwise, there was more 'mixed fish' in Andalucia than I care to remember.

And lots and lots of very good (and unbelievably cheap) wood fired pizzas in Krakow, when we just couldn't bear to look at another chunk of meat or dumpling.

A truly disappointing dinner at Galvins Brasserie.

And finally, one I really have no excuse for not writing up, a fantastic meal watching the end of festival fireworks from the perfectly positioned Heights at the Apex Hotel in the Grassmarket.

So there we have it, a mop up of the majority of the stragglers from 2012.  This is probably the point that I should say I'm going to make a New Year's resolution to do better next year, blah blah, but let's just wait and see what happens.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Restaurant Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles

I was delighted this week to see Andrew Fairlie top the Sunday Times list of the 100 best eateries in Great Britain.  It seemed as good a reason as any to dig out these pictures from a couple of years back, and share with you an utterly stunning and very special meal.  

Amuse No. 1
Amuses No. 2
Pressed Mallard & Confit Fois Gras, Jerusalem Artichoke & Pickled Barley
Sauteed Scallops & Sea Vegetables, Oyster Veloute
Caramelised Veal Sweetbread, Braised Swiss Chard, Wild Mushrooms
Tortellini of Beetroot & Squash, Parmesan Cream, Sage Butter

Roast Fillet of Pollack, Iberico Ham & Hazelnuts
Duo of Old Spot Pork, Apples & Burnt Onion
Coconut Pre-Dessert
Chestnut & Rosehip
Hot Chocolate Mousse
Petit Fours