Restaurant: Kilted Lobster – new crustacean on the block

Kilted lobster is a new and first restaurant for Scottish chef patron Colin Hinds with the focus on Scottish ethical and sustainable produce with the emphasis on seafood – its all in the name…. and when the lobster season finishes Colin moves onto Scottish langoustine from the west coast of Scotland. In fact Colin’s eyes light up at the prospect.

Colin has over 20 years of cheffing under his belt having worked in France, Indonesia, Australia, UK (London) and Caribbean; Colin returned home to Scotland 4 years ago and has turned the former Karen’s Unicorn Chinese restaurant on St Stephens Street into an attractive eating space with blue painted tables and chairs and lobster motifs on the walls. He has kept the industrial woks used in a Chinese kitchen as he says they are very useful for cooking seafood.

It is good food with a sense of fun – I loved the starter combination of woodland pigeon breast served with fruit dumpling, Stornoway black pudding and crumbled chorizo with a dash of reduced merlot wine all served on a tree trunk platter. Great combination of flavours and textures. Other starters range from Colin’s granny’s version of cock-a-leekie soup to calamari with a garlicky spicy mayo. Starters hover round the £6 mark. The lobster is a feature on the menu – in fact Fridays is lobster night, kicking off at 5.30pm:  Whole lobster and a glass of Champagne – £28, half lobster and a glass of Champagne – £16.

Also there are interesting veggie options- no being palmed off with a stuffed mushroom: gluten free sweet potato and poppyseed gnocchi with honeyed beetroot, roast heirloom tomatoes, spinach & toasted almonds & truffle oil  or butternut squash stuffed with quinoa, chestnuts and herbs, Jerusalem artichokes & peppered kale along with big hitters such as venison rissole with beef shin and wild mushroom stovies and  Isle of Mull cheesy mash or slow cooked confit of belly pork with Stornoway black pudding, apple and ginger puree and crushed potatoes.

Puds worth leaving space for – I loved the toffee apple panna cotta – fantastic contrast of creamy base with a lovely caramelly toffee apple topping. Colin just needs smaller spoons to access the last spoon of panna cotta!

Another interesting and important aspect of the restaurant is the putting back into society bit:  COOKING UP A STORM is the Social Conscience of the restaurant. All profits from the restaurant will go towards funding projects such as workplace and job training for school leavers and individuals with barriers to work. “Meal Banks” where they invite families and individuals facing financial hardship to complimentary dine at Kilted Lobster. Cookery classes for single parent families wishing to learn how to cook inspiring healthy and nutritious food on a budget. Cookery classes for individuals diagnosed with food related health conditions such as diabetes or food allergens.

Great local restaurant which is trying to provide good Scottish food cooked in an interesting and imaginative way for everyone in the community. Give it a go – before it gets too busy!

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