Bowed but not broken by the crushing mediocrity of my visit to Monteith’s, yesterday, I decided to venture back to the Royal Mile to visit Wedgwood.
Well, I say decided, but I didn’t have a Wedgwoodian masterplan in mind. I was wandering with a vague notion of lunching somewhere like Jeffrey Street, but on this fine Bank Holiday, I was confronted with a sign in Wedgwood’s window saying two courses for £10, and that had me sold.
This place has been on our list for a wee while without us ever quite getting round to making a reservation. Speaking of not making a reservation, I hadn’t today and was quite lucky to get in just before the restaurant filled to capacity. I was seated next to the kitchen, which may not have been to everyone’s taste, but it gave me a nice little peek in to the industry going on in a what looked to be a rather compact kitchen area.
The main dining room (there is downstairs seating, which I didn’t get a chance to see) is in the Georgian style, with simple, elegant cornicing. Tables and fittings are more modern, but radiate the same classic feel.
Service was bright and breezy, much in the casual fine dining style of the Purslane. I felt like I was in safe and reliable hands, throughout.
Today’s holiday set lunch menu offered a nice range of dishes, with four options for both starter and main courses. Today’s “starter special” sounded like a rather elegant beast, offering pork fillet and black pudding served in a pea and ham soup.
When it arrived, it was a beautiful looking creation, and in terms of flavour it was truly sublime. The pork was beautifully moist and succulent, the neat cubes of black pudding packing little flavour explosions, and the sweet velvet of soup bringing the elements together in beautifully harmonious mouthfuls.
To follow, I continued my black pudding feast (Carter USM’s ‘God Save the Queen and Bloodsport for All’ ran through my Jubilee-infused mind), with a dish of venison, black pudding and pancetta meatballs with spinach, pickled apple walnuts and a picked apple reduction.
This wasn’t the world’s bonniest dish, but it was another complete taste triumph. Hidden in the depths of the profusion of spinach lay little parcels of apple goodness and walnut crunch. When combined with the soft muscular meatiness of the meatballs, this created satisfying forkfuls, rich in textural variety, with expertly agile flavour balance. For me, a little more of the apple reduction would have been good, but the given the succulence of the meatballs, perhaps that would have been too much.
So overall, I was blown away by Wedgwood. I had a notion in my mind that the place would be good, but “good” turned out to be a considerable understatement. The food is of exceptional quality, with quietly understated elegance permeating every flavour-packed fork and spoonful. I can’t recommend it highly enough, so would encourage you to visit at your earliest opportunity.
Blythe scores Wedgwood
5/5 for food
4/5 for presentation
4/5 for service
4/5 for setting
giving an overall 17/20
Today’s quester was: Blythe
I ate: pork fillet and black pudding in pea and ham soup; venison, black pudding and pancetta meatballs with spinach, pickled apple walnuts and a picked apple reduction
I drank: valpolicella, sparkly water
I wore: new New Balance action footwear
Total bill: £26 (food £13; drinks £13)