Zap My Sole

L, my T & S*, spoils me on a regular basis. She knows I’m very partial to lemon sole, whose texture she dislikes: she also knows (as do most of you by now) of my love of dressed crab. At a recent visit to McPhersons the fishmonger, bless her soul, she bought both. It transpired…

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Kanpai, Edinburgh

Kanpai 8 – 10 Grindlay Street, Edinburgh EH3 9AS  0131 228 1602 www.kanpaisushiedinburgh.co.uk The Bill Leaving aside selection plates, prices range from £4.50 – £22.50. We paid £50 for two, excluding drinks and tip. The Score Cooking  6.5/10 | Service 2/5 Flavour  4/5 | Value 4/5 TOTAL 16.5/25 Lost in Translation. If I remember correctly,…

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We Celebrate A Food Hero

First impressions can be important. Let’s take a reaction test. Loganberry Yum! Large luscious fruit. A thornless bush. What’s not to love? Genetic modification I’m hearing a lot of Boo! Hiss! Nasty Monsanto! Monkombu Sambasivan Swaminathan (MSS) I can hear a pin drop. You’ve never heard of him, have you? No, neither had I till…

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chá, chá, chá, Olhão

chá, chá, chá Travessa do Gaibéu 19 8700-544 Olhão, Algarve, Portugal +351 918 727 242   www.chachacha.pt The Bill Petiscos (Small Plates) €5.00 – €10.00 Pratos (Bigger Plates) €14.50 – €29.50  Puds Can’t remember The Score Cooking  7.5/10 | Service 5/5 Flavour  4/5 | Value 4/5 TOTAL 20.5/25 So you’re down in the Algarve, and you’re looking for…

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Granny Gray’s Clootie Dumpling

My sister recently celebrated a birthday of some significance. I suppose you could argue that at our age, getting through another year is a milestone, but we’ll let that pass. She told me that for her birthday our Aunt Agnes (not related, but that’s what you called your parents’ friends in those far off days)…

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Ultra-Processed – Ultra Scary?

For as long as I can remember, there have been food scares. Eat x, we are told, and you’ll get cancer or high cholesterol or have a heart attack. These things went in cycles, and were usually debunked fairly shortly thereafter. Milk, potatoes and eggs have all come in for the treatment. In recent times, however,…

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The Walnut, Edinburgh

  The Walnut, 9 Croall Place. Leith Walk, Edinburgh EH7 4LT 0131 281 1236  www.thewalnutedinburgh.co.uk The Bill Lunch 2 courses £25.00  3 courses £28.00 Dinner 2 courses £28.00  3 courses £32.00 The Score Cooking  5.5/10 | Service 3.5/5 Flavour  3.5/5 | Value 5/5 TOTAL 17.5/25 Walnut Whip What is normal? A question asked often, everywhere.…

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Yellow Fish No: Cullen Skink Yes

Here in Johnston Towers we are big fans of smoked haddock. L is happy having hers poached and served very simply with oatcakes. For me it needs mash. For really filling comfort food, top it with a sauce made using the poaching milk, and perhaps a poached egg as well. But whatever we’re doing, we…

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Why Chopsticks?

I seldom go out for Chinese food these days. It doesn’t really work for me unless you have a decent sized group who can share a wide variety of dishes. For that reason I hadn’t used chopsticks for a good while until our recent trip to Japan. No great hardship – it’s like riding a…

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Partridge with Mushrooms, Madeira and Spinach

Autumn. The game season. The gift that just keeps giving. On a regular basis we toddle out to Castle Game and fill our shopping basket. Then and only then do I start thinking about how I’m going to cook it. Today’s dish worked exceptionally well. Partridge has a delicate flavour. You have to be careful…

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The Caddy Mann, Jedburgh

  The Caddy Mann Mounthooly, Jedburgh TD8 6TJ 01835 850787 www.caddymann.com The Bill A la carte  Starters £6.50 – £11.50 |  Mains £16.00 – £26.50  Desserts £7.25  The Score Cooking  7/10 | Service 5/5 Flavour  4/5 | Value 5/5 TOTAL 21/25 I really should get out further afield, people tell me. And I should stop…

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Chef Watch featuring Brian Grigor of eòrna, Edinburgh

    Chef Watch Featuring Brian Grigor Chef/Owner, eòrna restaurant, Edinburgh       How long have you been a chef? Just over 25 years now. Why did you become a chef? I started washing the dishes at the local hotel while I was going through the process of starting an apprenticeship in joinery. One…

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Tapa, Edinburgh

  Tapa 19 Shore Place, Leith, Edinburgh EH6 6SW 0131 476 6776   www.tapaedinburgh.co.uk The Bill Lunch Tuesday to Saturday £15.00  A la carte (Half price Thursdays*) Para picar £2.50 – £5.95 |  Tapas £6.25 – £17.00  Charcuteria £15.00 – £36.00 | Para Algo Dulce £5.95 – £9.95 The Score Cooking  8/10 | Service 4.5/5 Flavour  5/5…

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Spaghetti with Prawns, Crab, Garlic and Chilli

At heart this is just a posh version of that simplest of Italian classics, spaghetti oglio, aglio e peperoncino,  ie with oil, garlic and chilli. It’s so easy as to defy belief. For today’s dish, the quality of your ingredients will make all the difference, though I did improvise. A few pointers. Use your very…

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Enjoy A Glass of Wine? Why Not Have 40? Or 85?

I recently lost a wonderful friend who in his heyday was wont to say, 1 bottle good, 2 bottles better. And if you enjoy a glass of wine, why not 85, as recommended by Decanter? To clarify, that is their recommendation for the maximum number of wines that a taster should sample in a single…

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Tom Eats! A New Restaurant Critic

  I permitted myself a small smile when I heard that Marina O’Loughlin was packing it in as restaurant critic of the Sunday Times. Not, I hasten to add, that I disliked her work. It was just that when one door closes, opportunity knocks, if you get my drift. The credentials for a replacement? Well,…

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Teriyaki, Tamagoyaki, Dashi

Mielko Itadakimasu! The customary saying before eating in Japan. It’s more than just bon appétit: it literally means I will have the food respectfully. For this, the last article influenced by our jaunt to Japan, I’ll say thank you (arigato) to Mielko, the lady who taught us to make sushi, and who sent us away…

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In Japan S is for Soya

Don’t be confused with the Tom’s Food! alphabetical. Yes, I know we haven’t done Q or R yet. When we get to S, we may do sprouts or succotash or some such, but that won’t be for a while yet. We are in Japan, where S is undoubtedly for soya. With every day that passed…

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Make Your Own Sushi

For the first cook of the post Japan period, it’s surely appropriate to start with what is probably the best known Japanese food, sushi. As we alluded to on Wednesday, there are about five varieties. I exclude sashimi from that, as no rice is involved. Today’s version, makizushi, is so called because you use a…

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Pound Kyoto Ekimae, Kyoto, Japan

  Pound Kyoto Ekimae 185 – 1 Higashi Sakaicho, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto 600-8217, Japan +81 75-708 8929   website not functioning The Bill (Based on £1 – 181.5 Yen plus 10% Tax) Starters £4.75 – £17.00 |  Steaks £67.00 – £185.00 Desserts £4.00 – £4.50 The Score Cooking  7/10 | Service 1.5/5 Flavour  4/5 | Value 3.5/5…

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Japan: Some Initial Food Thoughts

Sushi Tokyo Fish Market Some of you who noted the absence of Tom’s Food! these past few weeks may have been labouring under the impression that I was on holiday. As if! Those who follow me on social media will have known that L and I have been in Japan, researching frantically to keep these columns…

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Herringbone, Goldenacre, Edinburgh

  Herringbone 2 South Trinity Road, Edinburgh EH5 3NR 0131 552 3292  www.herringbone-goldenacre.co.uk   The Bill Daytime Starters £4.75 – £7.50 | Mains £12.95 – £18.90 Desserts £4.00 – £7.50 Dinner Starters £4.75 – £8.50 | Mains £14.50 – £20.95 Desserts £4.00 – £7.50 The Score Cooking  6/10 | Service 4.5/5 Flavour  4/5 | Value…

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Boeuf à la Ficelle (Poached Beef with Vegetables)

With Wednesday’s French influences still ringing in my ears, we had to go to France for today’s recipe. In fact, to France via New York. There are many versions of this classic, but this one comes from Anthony Bourdain’s Les Halles Cookbook. Brasserie Les Halles in New York City was where Bourdain was Executive Chef…

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French Food is the World’s Finest? Discuss

The only food magazine to which I subscribe is delicious. While the adjective is one I do my best to avoid in Tom Eats! columns, I very much enjoy the periodical, with a good range of columnists and recipes. It is enthusiastic and entertaining without being condescending or patronising. The September issue was dedicated to France, and contained…

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