Hungry for fresh flavours? Discover what’s on the menu for the new season
There’s no getting away from it: Covid and the associated rules and restrictions have wreaked havoc on the hospitality industry. The good news is that summer looks set to be a bumper season for Scottish restaurants, bars and cafes, as they attempt to get back to business. The east coast welcomes newcomers in the form of Superico in Edinburgh’s New Town, while Leith adds Heron to its stable of destination eateries.
Food has become a real comfort for many of us during these difficult times, and the flurry of new Scottish venues promises to give staycationers plenty of gourmet treats. Heron, at the Shore, is the first standalone offering from Tomás Gormley and Sam Yorke (the two chefs behind popular Edinburgh pop-up Bad Seeds), while Superico’s Scott Wyse teams up with mixologist Mike Lynch at their new Latin-infused restaurant bar and lounge in Hanover Street.
As it moves across the road from its original site in Edinburgh’s Portobello, Bross Bagels will be opening its first licensed premises this summer. With a distinctly Canadian feel, the restaurant boasts an open kitchen and deli counter, serving up bagels baked in a superb Moretti-Forni oven. There will be a home-delivery service and an expansion of the menu offering hot and cold options including the famous breakfast favourite, the Goy.
Having a child can change your priorities. When Jaye and Grant Hutchison became parents, they knew they wanted to get out of the city and enjoy some outdoor space, especially after experiencing lockdown. Moving to the East Neuk of Fife gave them the garden and the community environment they were craving – and it also prompted them to act on an idea they’d been brewing for some time. “We’d been thinking of opening a cider bar/shop for a while,” says Jaye. “It felt right to start our new business venture in Anstruther – most cities have plenty of lovely bottle shops, so we liked the idea of being part of a community somewhere new that’s also a destination for day-trips and holidays.”
Their business, Aeble, stocks cider brands from all over the world, including Caledonian Cider Co, Brutes from Sweden, Skyborry from Wales and Eve’s from Upstate New York. The pair are also at the ideas stage of a community orchard and hope to offer apple-pressing workshops in the future.
“Our ethos is to encourage people to approach cider differently, in terms of quality, presentation and style. It has a reputation as a low-value drink when, in fact, the same amount of skill and craft goes into making cider as it does to wine – it’s a versatile and very interesting drink.”
GREAT GLEN CHARCUTERIE
Dutch couple Anja Baak and Jan Jacob had no idea they’d wind up as Scotland’s leading charcuterie producers when they relocated their young family to the Highlands back in 2000. “Part of Jan’s estate job was the management of the wild deer population, and it wasn’t long before we fell in love with the delicious meat,” recalls Anja, “The price of venison was very low at that time, and not many people were eating it. We wanted to add value and increase the shelf life so we could sell the products further afield.” So Jan began experimenting, building a wooden box in the garden in which to smoke the meat.
In 2003, the couple bought a derelict butcher’s shop in Roy Bridge, and Great Glen Charcuterie developed from a hobby to a full-time family business, supplying some of Scotland’s best restaurants. “Sourcing the deer from the surrounding estates has always been very important for us. We know the stalkers and estate workers who manage the wild deer population. The animals roam freely in the Scottish hills and feed on heather, wild plants and grasses, making venison a delicious healthy meat. It is low in fat and high in iron, and is a very sustainable meat source for the charcuterie products.”
Their award-winning salami, chorizo, bresaola and smoked venison can be ordered directly, or found at farmshops and delis around the country.
Hungry for more? Check out these other Scottish food stories