The Kitchin - October 2016 Visit

After three months of travelling South East Asia for one half of Scotland Eats Out, whilst the other stayed at home recovering from knee surgery; a reunion for the blog was required, and where else to do so, other than one of our firm Scottish favourites. We have now eaten in The Kitchin six times and this review of the establishment will be our fourth. Where on this latest visit, we tried the seasonal and the classic tasting menus on a relaxed October lunch time serving. 
Cocktails and Snacks
We kicked the lunch off with some cocktails and snacks in the bar area; the cocktail of the week was the Black Forest Sour which was in keeping with the transition from summer to autumn. This irish whiskey mix went well with the hand crafted crackers and dips. These do not get old for us, where this time the dip was infused with chunks and the flavour of smoked salmon. Tom sat with us and chatted about his new book and all things food, it was nice to see that he still has time to say hello to customers in the bar area. After all, this is where his success can be most felt.
Modern Bar
Full Dining Room
Busy Service
Tom Busy in The Kitchen
Stools For The Bag
Oyster's With A Hint Of Asia
With Mrs SEO just returning from Asia, this beautifully crafted amuse bouche evoked memories of flavours she enjoyed on her trip.
Game Terrine
Beautiful Dish
The attention to detail within this dish was extremely high. Each component on the plate had been executed expertly. The best for us was the tartare which was of an extremely high standard. This dish certainly showcased the best seasonal ingredients available at the time.
Shellfish Cannelloni, Green Crab Bisque
Close Up
The shellfish within the cannelloni had been well seasoned. The green crab bisque was packed full of flavour. We thought the addition of orange to the dish was an interesting choice, but one we felt worked well. Yet again the food was expertly showcased with the contrasting colours highlighting each part of the dish.
Orkney Scallops, White Wine and Wild Herb Sauce
Close Up
This is a dish we had tried perviously, yet again we were wowed just as much as before. The white wine sauce had an incredible depth of flavour and complimented the precisely cooked scallops wonderfully.
Roasted Bone Marrow, Crispy Ox Tongue
Close Up
As neither of us had tried bone marrow before, we were eager to discover how it would work as a dish. We found it to be very rich and fatty in taste. The crisp ox tongue served with the marrow was magnificent, as was the precisely cooked quail egg. 
North Sea Halibut
Close Up
Fish dishes are clearly a strong point in the kitchen, and this dish further proved that point. Halibut is probably our favourite fish, and the cooking of it here was perfect, giving it a pleasing texture. The vegetables had also been prepared with great care and the presentation was something to marvel.
Fillet of North Sea Brill
When served in the silver foil we had little clue of what to expect. Inside was a beautiful fillet of North Sea brill which had a pleasant texture and flavour. We both loved the ceps from the Borders which had a strong flavour. It was interesting to hear from the waiter that the ingredients had been cooked inside the foil and then served to the table.
Highland Wagyu and Aberdeen Angus Cross Beef
Great Depth Of Flavours
For us this was the standout course of the whole day. The Wagyu and Aberdeen Angus cross beef was like no other meat we had tried, with great flavour and a smooth texture. The flavour presented in the small carrots was also highly impressive. This was quite possibly the best dish we have ever eaten at The Kitchin, where the sublime ingredient was showcased. 
Hare à la Royale
We had heard so much about this classic Pierre Koffman dish, and were delighted to finally be able to try a true classic. We loved the richness of the hare. The sauce was well balanced and had a great depth of flavour. This slow cooked classic was every bit as good as we had hoped it would be.
Yoghurt And Blackcurrant
Close Up
The addition of the granola to the blackcurrant sorbet added a pleasant texture to the dish. Before the sorbet was usually served by itself, but we felt the addition of the yogurt and cream cheese mousse elevated the the pre dessert to loftier heights.
Strawberry And Basil Millefeuille 
Head pastry Chef Chris Turnbull is extremely talented and created three fantastic plates for us to sample. The pastry was light, crisp and shattered with the lightest of touches from the spoon. The basil flavour was subtle, and worked very well indeed with the fresh sweet strawberries.
Lemon Soufflé
Another perfect soufflé proves to us that no where in Scotland does them better. This time the flavour was lemon, and it was simply fantastic. Special mention for the yoghurt sorbet which had just the right amount of sweetness and was a great match for the lemon flavour in the soufflé.
Selection of Desserts
Bramble And Chocolate Delice
Great Presentation
A dessert with an impressive variety of flavours and textures. The chocolate delice was sweet and indulgent. We loved the sweet sharp berries. The candied hazelnut added texture to a very impressive dessert course.
Scottish Gins
Coffee and Gin
Coffee and Petit Fours
Wonderful Decor
Like any business, if you stand still you may be overtaken by the competition. Despite already having a top class restaurant, it is great to see that Tom Kitchin continues to improve the standards at The Kitchin. Subtle changes such as adding salmon to the cheese dip and granola to the pre-dessert show chef Kitchin is always evolving his food. 

We have now sampled the tasting menu four times, and we felt a few of the dishes sampled on this visit were amongst the best we have tried at the restaurant. The stunning wagyu and halibut courses showcased everything great about the restaurant, and stand against any dishes we have tried in the UK at any star level.

With the highly talented Slyvain Ranc  temporarily working over at Castle Terrace, we had our reservations about how the team would cope without him. Thankfully the service throughout our visit was just as good as before. Rather than look outside the restaurant, it was good to see that Jonathan Demyttenaere had been promoted from within to restaurant manager. Despite having only been in the role a few weeks when we had visited, he had the team operating at a very high standard.

Can a meal, with drinks costing over £200 ever be considered good value for money? We feel at The Kitchin this is money well spent. The care which is input into each dish is truly remarkable. Sourcing top quality seasonal ingredients is what many restaurants claim to do, but more often than not they fail to deliver on those promises. Here they are true to their word, delivering world class seasonal dishes that wow every single time.