Miller & Carter
I remember when the Miller & Carter steakhouse opened at the Cramond Brig a few years back. I still haven’t made it there for a visit but when a city centre branch opened it lit the appropriate fire under me to cross their threshold.
It was an utterly horrid evening outside with persistent rain bringing misery for all. It was great to get indoors and be seated at a comfy table.
I was asked the fateful question about whether I’d dined with them before. I hadn’t, so strapped in for a comprehensive run through the menu. This included details of some really odd sounding accompaniments to their steaks that came as standard, of which more later.
I was left to contemplate things. I quickly settled upon the scallops to start and the bone-in ribeye to follow.
I had to Google the mention on the menu of scallops being “black pearl”, wondering whether there was a Pirates of the Caribbean tie-in. Black Pearl appears to be a seafood distribution brand which exports rather a lot of seafood from the US to the European Union.
The dish soon arrived and was a bit of a mess. The scallops were nondescript and the accompanying tomato, bacon, pesto and potato cubes confused and obfuscated rather than adding anything. It was a weak opener.
I then had the dubious pleasure of the arrival of their signature lettuce wedge. This is lettuce in a bowl with your choice of sauce to make it taste less like lettuce. I think I was supposed to eat this as a sort of palette cleanser before the steak. Why on earth would I want to do that, I wondered?
The lettuce might have made sense if it had been charred on the grill. It had not been. It was utterly pointless.
The steak then arrived with another of their signature innovations, a slice of onion loaf. This was like the pakora equivalent of the Ginsters scotch egg bar. It was baffling. The bearnaise was pale and thoroughly lacklustre to the eye and palette.
By this point I’d largely lost interest; I just wanted the meal to be over. This was a shame for the chips as they were the undoubted highlight. The steak itself was totally unremarkable.
I compounded the agony by rounding things out with poor espresso. It brought an appropriately dark veil down on a piss-poor dining experience.
So overall, Miller & Carter is a very odd place. It offers several items that are extremely ill-conceived. If I’d been served a clean plate of local scallops then a simple steak with chips and a well-considered sauce, which I’m fairly sure they could muster by trimming all their bullshit frills, I would have been so much happier. If you find yourself compelled to visit, I’d advise you to approach with extreme caution.
I ate: Black Pearl scallops, bone-in ribeye, fries, lots of irrelevant shit
I drank: white wine, red wine, water, espresso
I wore: drenched maroon
Total bill: £50.25
Address: 29-31 Frederick Street, Edinburgh, EH2 2ND