Restaurant Review: The Kilted Chef

Having noticed the delicious-looking 3 course set-menu that The Kilted Chef offers at lunchtimes, I’d been wanting to try this place for ages, so I was delighted to finally get round to it last weekend. Tucked away in a stylish, beautifully-lit vault beneath Kingsmead Square, this is a restaurant you might not notice, but you’d be missing out.

The set lunch menu, as I said, comprises three courses, as well as fresh bread to start and coffee with handmade chocolates to finish, for £17.45, which is a pretty amazing deal. It changes on a regular basis, but can always be found on the website here. On the day that we popped in, we started with fresh poppyseed rolls, which came to the table with a choice of orange vinegar or rosemary-infused olive oil for dipping. The orange vinegar was a bit of a new one on me, and although it was a lovely fresh burst of flavour, I have to say it was a bit sharp for my taste – I did love the rosemary oil though.

To start, I had a smoked salmon and crab risotto with basil pesto, which I must confess was far and away my favourite dish of the whole meal – I could have eaten it all over again! The risotto was smooth and creamy, with bursts of savoury saltiness from the smoked salmon, whilst wilted spinach stopped the dish becoming unbearably rich – the whole thing was perfectly balanced. It was so delicious, in fact, that I didn't even take a picture before I scoffed it all, for which I must apologise! My dining companion chose the cock-a-leekie soup which, although it’s not one of my favourite things, he also pronounced to be delicious.

Roast leg of lamb
For my main course, I chose the roast leg of lamb, with a pink peppercorn and mustard velouté. I should first say that my dining companion also chose this and he cleaned his plate with gusto, enjoying every morsel. I thought the lamb was beautifully cooked, and the sauce was rich & delicious. However, I did also think that the dish was a little cluttered by too many different accompanying vegetables, which weren’t particularly exciting in terms of flavour.

Finally, I chose a local cheese-plate to finish off my meal, which was lovely if a little heavy – I had a taste of my dining companion’s lemon tart and it was fabulous, so perhaps I should have gone for that! The presentation was also beautiful, as was that of the Italian meringue with butterscotch fruits which I saw arriving at other tables.

Lemon tart
Stuffed and satisfied, we sipped our coffee and nibbled on dark chocolate raspberry chocolates - a perfect way to finish off the meal. Although I wasn’t convinced by every single course, this is certainly a restaurant to watch, and on the basis of the first course alone I would have to recommend it. Keep an eye on the set menu and pop in when something really takes your fancy.