- Telephone 0131 332 9977
- Opening times Tue–Sun noon–2.30pm, 6–9.30pm. Closed Mon.
- Food served Tue–Sun noon–2.30pm; 6–9.30pm. Closed Mon.
- Pre-theatre times Mon–Thu 6–7pm
- Average price £10 (set lunch); £22 (evening meal)
- Pre-theatre price £10
- Website www.taisteal.co.uk
The latest venture from Michelin-trained chef Gordon Craig uses inspiration from his travels abroad to create dishes with local, Scottish produce.
Chef Gordon Craig is a happy man. This is his dream job: a place of his own. His path has included stints at the multi-Michelin starred Waterside Inn, the Plumed Horse, and more recently a partnership at Field. After a year at the helm of Stockbridge’s Field Grill, he has taken the opportunity, at an amicable fork, to rebrand in his own image. From session musician to conductor. Now he’s orchestrating proceedings; constantly tweaking, refining, perfecting.
Taisteal? It’s Gaelic for travel and Gordon now creates dishes based on the best local Scottish produce, laced with inspiration from his cook’s tours, whether to Copenhagen or China (or the Chinese supermarket). The pivot has lost the odd regular but quickly gained a crowd keen to dip their toes in international waters. He claims that future destinations – South America, he says – will determine the direction of his dishes and enable evolution, keeping both customer and kitchen satisfied.
So to start: scallops and black pudding (so far, so Scottish) but with pomegranate, satay and a shard of samosa pastry, a friendly shark’s fin protruding from hand-dived depths. Ras al hanout-glazed pigeon breast rests on a disc of giant couscous, scattered with pistachio like a glittery green cupcake. The fusion is not forced though, and doesn’t feel like a twist for novelty’s sake. It ‘works’. For mains, a shiitake samosa shakes up a maple and five spice Gressingham duck with grilled pak-choi and edamame beans. Two-textured deep-fried butternut squash gnocchi stand out alongside venison haunch with sesame seeds and cassis jus. The fusions are subtler at dessert – sweet is sweet. A chocolate and citrussy yuzu fondant reveals itself like a boiled egg receiving soldiers, prettied with orange curd powder and matching sorbet. And citrus plays again in a luscious lemongrass parfait with cracks of honeycomb and coconut ice cream.
It’s possible to interpret ‘taisteal’ as a conceptual culinary journey – this Taisteal hints at the exotic without being elite, inaccessible or scary. It’s a moveable feast indeed.
- High point: Creative chef taking fine Scottish produce in exciting directions
- Low point: Whether every fusion 'works' is up to the diner
- Notable dish: Grilled venison haunch with butternut squash bnocchi, wild mushrooms, sesame seeds and cassis jus
- Provides: Children's high chairs, Wheelchair access, Pre-theatre menu, Free wi-fi
- Music on stereo: Nothing
- Capacity: 44
- Largest group: 30
- Open since: 2017
- Number of wines sold by the glass: 20
- House wine: £22 per bottle
Reviews & features
Taisteal: 'hints at the exotic without being elite, inaccessible or scary'29 Mar 2017
Using Scottish produce this new venture takes inspiration from around the globe to offer a refreshing take on fusion
Chef Gordon Craig is a happy man. This is his dream job: a place of his own. His path to get here has included stints at the multi-Michelin starred Waterside Inn, the Plumed Horse, and more recently a partnership at Field. After a year at the helm of…