The Ship on the Shore has a tall reputation as a great purveyor of seafood delights. Situated on The Shore at Leith, it has a lot of local competition in one of the city’s finest restaurant districts, but has carved out a niche that ensures it’s always busy.
The setting is heavy on wood and gold framed artworks, with nautical chart wallpaper and stained glass above the bar. It’s essentially an old-style pub, but the fare on offer is a cut above that. It’s a speciality seafood place, with quite an array of fishy delights to tempt your palette.
On today’s quest, I was joined by Iain and Aileen, who are soon to be married. I’ll be doing a reading at their wedding, in June. This is equal parts an honour (for me) and a terrifying prospect (for those attending the wedding).
I arrived a little early, so was able to secure a table. Iain and Aileen soon arrived and we assessed our options, from their extensive lunch and daytime menu. Some of the seafood platters that were being sampled by our fellow diners, including a fruit de mere “royale” for the princely sum of£85, looked incredibly tempting. I succumbed and ordered a more moderately priced platter to follow a bowl of cullen skink.
My dining companions opted for beer battered haddock and chips to follow a shared portion of fishcakes.
The cullen skink was rather underwhelming. It was good and chunky, but just a bit flat. Service was also a trifle muted. There was nothing particularly wrong with it, but it felt rather stand-offish.
My main course, thankfully, was a completely different matter. It was a truly dazzling array of seafood delights, with each item prepared simply and with expert accuracy.
Featured items included prawns, clams, oysters, mussels, smoked salmon, herring, crayfish, and Arbroath smokie, all of which were truly excellent.
I’m glad to have finally sampled the Ship on the Shore’s seafood goodness. As a place to send seafood lovers, I think this would be top of my list of recommendations. The place didn’t quite provide me with as satisfying an overall experience as it might have, but there’s no denying that the quality of the produce on offer is quite exceptional.
Blythe scores The Ship on the Shore:
4/5 for food
3.5/5 for presentation
3.5/5 for service
4/5 for setting
giving an overall 15/20
Today’s questers were: Aileen, Iain, Blythe
We ate: fishcakes, cullen skink, haddock and chips, seafood platter
We drank: Guinness, water, white wine
We wore: smart jumper, casual trousers, high-performance footwear
Total bill: c.£60