A Food Tour of Scotland

Scottish Food and Drink: Edinburgh, Glasgow and Dundee

Here's a throwback to a 2016 Food Tour north of the border...

Scotland has always been a hotbed of food and drink innovation with a rich, fertile environment to rear the tastiest Aberdeen Angus and more premium gin than you can shake a haggis at. In recent times Scottish revolutionaries such as Flavourly subscription boxes and Thistly Cross Cider have led the way in the food and drink movement.

With all this rich food heritage I take any opportunity I can to explore Scottish food and drink so I thought I'd enjoy a small tour around Edinburgh, Glasgow and Dundee; check out the places I found...

Eatery: V Deep

Location: Leith, Edinburgh

Style: Craft Ale & Indian Street Eat/ Tapas

Avg Price Per Head: £25 (two courses plus drinks)

Ambience: if you're after a traditional Indian eating experience with tired flock wallpaper and barely audible Bollywood soundtracks then Hardeep Singh Kohli's V Deep is not for you. It's loud, bustling and energising with quirky décor made from up cycled doors, bottle tops and chick pea tins. The exterior is unassuming in an area of Leith I'd describe as 'up and coming' with high rise apartments out of one window and trendy wine bar through the other.

Appeals to: food adventurers, group eaters and trend seekers

Quick Review:

Now, I made the mistake (sorry gents) of going to V Deep with two experienced chefs who were seeking the traditional Indian experience - and therefore they were disappointed. I however, love this place. The haggis naan breads, well fried pakoras and decadent curries were incredible. I've also started to measure eateries on their selection of alcohol and anywhere that serves Thistly Cross Whisky Cask is a winner in my opinion! At first the notion of Indian Tapas may seem like an unlikely fusion but imagine going out with a group of friends and passing the foils between you, beers flowing and music blaring - what a great way to spend a few hours!

Eatery: Bo'Vine

Location: Glasgow, West End

Style: Steakhouse

Avg Price Per Head: £15 (two courses plus drinks)

Ambience: the room was dimly lit with a quiet and moody ambience, I thought it was bordering on being pretentious until I heard 'Hey Joe' through the speakers and then I knew I'd be in for a treat!

Appeals to: meat eaters, fine diners and steak aficionados

Quick Review:

It's been a long time since I've had a good steak served just how I asked for it but the grilled Sirloin here was absolute perfection; the creamy pepper sauce added a great juxtaposition to the sweet cherry tomatoes it was served alongside. Although I would ordinarily seek out a Thistly Cider, I can't grace a good steak with anything but a nice, smooth Malbec and Bo'Vine certainly delivered the goods with the wine menu. The service I received was super fast without being overbearing and I was amazed at the price when I got my bill: starter, main and a large glass of wine for £15 - what type of sorcery is this?!

Eatery: The Beer Kitchen

Location: Dundee

Style: Traditional/Comfort

Avg Price Per Head: £25 (two courses plus drinks)

Ambience: the room was very open, light and trendy with wooden furnishings adorning every nook and cranny. The ambience was very laid back and chilled with a selection of neo soul setting the scene for a great meal

Appeals to: most foodies with an appetite for good food and drink

Quick Review:

Given that this is an Innis&Gunn establishment you'd expect the drinks menu to be incredible - and it is. Obviously, I elected for a Thistly Cross Whisky Cask. The food, although fairly simple on the surface, was fantastic. I started with a savoury haggis donut that was complimented by crisped seasonal vegetables and a sublime bone marrow aioli. My main course was a succulent lamb rump with creatively cooked vegetables and a rich, smoky gravy that gave the whole dish a new dimension.

So that concludes my short jaunt around Scotland and I have to say: Scottish Food and Drink, take a bow; just don't bow too deep, I'm not keen on discovering whether you're a true Scotsman or not! I have a great deal of respect for a fine Scottish menu and these are three eateries I can definitely recommend that you try.

That just leaves me to ask for some feedback from foodie friends for recommendations of more Scottish eateries I need to seek out. Also don't forget to check out my tour around Merseyside I wrote for Foodies100.


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