St Andrews is always going to be a favourite spot for me – after spending years at school and at university there I feel like I know every little corner of the town. Over the past few years though, chain restaurants have started to creep in, and it can sometimes feel like a meal out has become a little ‘samey.’ So I positively jumped at the chance of dining in the gorgeous Kinnettles Hotel restaurant.
The dining room itself is stunning – a metallic feature wall glints in the light, and we kicked off supper with a couple of cocktails. Even though it was a Sunday night, I couldn’t resist an updated Old Fashioned. Bourbon was mixed with orange bitters, and a homemade, maple infused simple syrup. Wonderfully fragrant and delicious to sip on, it was a glorious choice! We also tried the elderflower mock mojito. Fresh and fruity, it was equally delicious, and you’d never know it was virgin!
The meal kicked off with freshly homemade bread and sea-salted butter. Deliciously soft, these are the breads I always attempt to make at home, yet never quite get there. As we would find throughout the meal, Kinnettles only serve fresh, locally sourced produce, which is currently in season. It means that menus change regularly, and if you’re looking for a new lunch spot, they offer two courses for an incredible £12.95!
We were then served up a couple of the most delicious amuse-bouche, which set the tone for the meal. First off a white bean dip served up with homemade crackers – rich in flavour we may have used the last of the bread to finish every last morsel. The second was a cod goujon, which was divine. The quality of the fresh cod was emphasised by the zesty lemon mayonnaise.
After tasting how delicious the cod was, I couldn’t resist ordering the Bergamot Cured Sea Trout with Pickled Heritage Carrots, Scorched Orange, Almond & Chive Dressing (£9).
An absolute riot of colour and taste, I’ve been dreaming about this dish since Sunday! The sea trout was firm and flavourful, without erring on the too-fishy side, and the use of scorched orange was an absolute revelation! Bright, fruity with a good dose of crunch thanks to the heritage carrots, this was a real taste of summer!
We also opted for the Ham Hock Raviolo, Burnt Tomato Consommé, Hazelnuts (£9). As well as looking incredibly dramatic, the consommé had a beautifully clear tomato flavour, whilst the ham hock gave the dish a rich, savoury depth.
Main courses were equally dramatic, and thankfully, just as delicious. The Cod, Orange Braised Chicory, Brown Shrimp, Pomme Dauphine, Parsley & Chive Puree (£23) made the most of the hunk of fresh fish, which petaled into hunks of firm, pearly flesh.
Topped with sweet Brown Shrimp, this felt like a dish fit for a seaside town. The presentation of all the dishes was right side of dramatic. With coloured leaves creeping over the dish, it was as delicious as it was beautiful.
I couldn’t resist the Roasted Venison, Grilled Herbs Polenta, Heritage Carrot, Braised Red Cabbage, Chestnuts (£23). I’m having a bit of a love affair with the meat at the moment, and this was sheer perfection. Roasted on the outside, whilst perfectly rare in the centre, it melted in the mouth.
As if the venison wasn’t perfect enough, it was served alongside the most wonderful Grilled Herb Polenta – crisp on the outside, and buttery smooth on the inside, it was an absolute joy of a pairing, soaking up the meat’s juices and providing a wonderfully rich element to the dish.
In addition to the wonderful venison and polenta, the dish featured sweet heritage carrots and braised red cabbage. It felt like it was all my favourite things on a plate, which combined to create a dish inspired by the best of winter produce.
Even though we had indulged in two courses, when we caught sight of Pressed Beetroot, White Chocolate Bavarois, Dark Chocolate Sponge, Beetroot Sorbet (£8) on the dessert menu, we couldn’t resist! After all, when have you had the option to indulge in beetroot sorbet?
It was an absolute triumph of a dish – the sweet earthiness of the beetroot worked perfectly with the rich dark chocolate, and the combination of textures was just divine! The White Chocolate Bavarois leant a hint of sweetness to the overall dessert, and the crisp, tempered chocolate was delicious as well as incredibly beautiful!
I opted for the Apple & Mascarpone Sugar Tuile, Apple & Basil Sorbet, Almond Shortcrust (£8), which although probably the exact opposite of the rich chocolate and beetroot pudding, was equally delicious.
The Mascarpone was encased in the most beautiful sugar tuiles, and was so light and flavourful. Apple and cinnamon is one of my all-time flavour combinations, and this was a particularly airy take on the duo.
Cubes of fresh granny smith gave a hit of freshness, whilst the apple and basil sorbet was fresh and green. The dessert all rested on a buttery shortcrust base, and it was just perfect end to a delicious meal! It’s undoubtedly one of the best meals I’ve had in St. Andrews, ever, and we’re already planning a return visit!
Thank you so much to Kinnettles Hotel for having us! You can find out more about the hotel and restaurant here.