Edinburgh Food Studio – Gala’s GameI love the Edinburgh Food Studio. Since I visited for their launch party, I’ve dined there when Roddie Sloan took some nail scissors to an unsuspecting batch of sea urchins, then for a couple of their excellent brunches back in February.
My latest visit was for an evening inspired by Salvador Dali’s Les Diners de Gala, Dali’s surrealist cookbook documenting some of the lavish dinner parties he used to throw. Guest chefs Brandon Baltzley and Laura Higgins joined the Food Studio’s Ben and Sashana in the kitchen.I was joined by regular guest quester Eleanor who was still crowing about her New Zealand sauvignon blanc victory over me at Rollo Broughton.
The evening opened with the usual warm welcome and a rather lovely sloe berry gin & tonic. We then had to try and resist eating too much of the delicious fresh bread before the first dish arrived.This was delivered on a marrow hedgehog with spines of pigeon heart and liver. It came with a walnut cream for dunking. It was an excellent start to proceedings with liver especially flavour-packed.
Next up we had the first piece of hilarious oddness. A duck egg with pineapple weed was loosely draped over an odd looking bowl with “secrets” promising to be unveiled. The first secret was the individually handcrafted “booby bowls” revealed upon devouring the delicious egg. Upon grasping the nipple and lifting the lid, caviar was found lurking beneath. It was an outstanding dish both in its oddness and accomplishment, served with an impressive black velvet cocktail of stout and sparkling wine.
Relative sanity was restored with what was probably my favourite dish of the evening. Thinly sliced scallop covered a mound of smooth butternut squash. This in turn was topped with kefir and spearmint crunch crumb. It packed amazing freshness and was an absolute flavour riot. The accompanying unfined white wine had the nose of a Belgian sour beer and was delightful on the palette.Next we had a dish of lamb sweetbread ravioli served in a casing that swapped pasta for thin discs of Discovery apple. This was served in a richly gamey broth. It was a dish of beautiful creativity and while a touch sweet for my tastes was another flavour sensation. This was paired with a French vintage sparkling wine that was simply fantastic.
The parade of excellence continued with a highly theatrical selection featuring beautiful roe deer, an exploded Florentine onion, a large plate of carefully cut Muscat grapes, and a bright and fruity jus. Winner, winner roe deer dinner. And the wine, from the Rioja region, was another classic combination.A palette livener of frozen herbage in vodka certainly proved an invigorating prelude to the best dessert I’ve eaten all year. The girolle mushroom ice cream served with brambles, sloe berries, wood sorrel and dehydrated mushrooms was startlingly good. It will live long in the memory.
We rounded things out with a final piece of anatomically correct baking.So overall, I couldn’t have been more impressed by Laura and Brandon’s work in bringing to life some of Dali’s weird and wonderful culinary creations. The excellence of the Food Studio continues apace. I look forward to visiting again and recommend you do likewise.