Category Archives: dinner


the Scratch Series Edinburgh, pop ups

The scratch series pop ups!

Pop ups? Scratch Series?? If you don’t know what we’re talking about then chances are you’ve not been to The Scratch Series yet….don’t panic! There’s still time!! This is probably the BEST dining experience we’ve had in a long long time so we thought it only fair to share it with you, our dear Monkfish readers.

Where to start? Tricky one… seem appropriate, scroll down, get hungry, be very impressed, read a little more text then find links at the bottom to BOOK YOUR PLACE before The Scratch Series leaves sunny Edinburgh at the end of March.

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The Scratch Series is the brain child of these two gentlemen. AKA Ben Reade and David Crabtree-Logan who are taking over Iglu, Jamaica Street, Edinburgh until the end of March 2015. They have known each other for over 15 years and check out where they’ve worked….River Cottage, Nordic Food Lab, The Kitchin, Helen Brownings, Beast….there are plenty more…

the Scratch Series Edinburgh, pop ups

Yes, they’re as mad as they look…

Say Ben and David….’For four months, this omnivorous pop-up dining experience is offering food like nothing Edinburgh has seen before. The Scratch Series is founded on direct relationships with the growers, farmers, fishermen and foragers of our region- and our desire to weave the narrative of our lives through the dishes we cook and serve. We will bring you seven course suppers of refined, whimsical, thought-provoking- and above all, delicious food.  The menu will be a constantly evolving story, starting with the last of autumns bounty, preserved into the long, cold days of winter and emerging into the first green shoots of spring. We seek to surprise and delight you with a true feast.’

The pop ups have been running since the end of last year and if our visit is anything to go by you will not be disappointed. The level of cooking and innovation is seriously seriously good. We felt like we were party to a secret dinner, it’s a very intimate dining space, you get friendly with your neighbours and you eat the BEST food you’ll probably have eaten in Scotland (and beyond).

A true feast hosted by two grown men who make you laugh, fill your bellies, entertain you from front of house and the kitchen, feed you stories and leave you wanting more.

Apparently, that might be on the cards if their latest blog post is anything to go by. The Scratch Series may be coming to an end in it’s current locale but watch this space…..

So, pretty sure you’ll be wanting to book….if you’ve not clicked one of the links above then here’s what you need to know…

Supper is served at 7pm on Thursday, Friday & Saturday nights. It is a fixed menu costing 45 pounds for seven courses, with a generous bonus of teasers and treats. Seating is family-style, talking to strangers is encouraged.

Booking Inquiries:
07939 975 836

Upstairs at Iglu
2B Jamaica Street


Imagine, me and Mr Monkfish on a date, hard I know… But that’s exactly what happened last week when we popped out for dinner at The Scran & Scallie, the new Tom Kitchin venture to open in Stockbridge, Edinburgh. ‘Edinburgh’s new gastro pub’ was about to be #monkfished ….

With the ‘wee scallie’ tucked up in bed for the night we charged to Stockbridge, ducked in to the local cocktail emporium for a Zeppelini and then headed to dinner.
*NB the wee scallie was under the watchful eye of Grandma Monkfish for those of you who were worried by that opening statement.

There are probably very few people who are yet to hear of Tom Kitchin, numerous curls*, a Michelin star, TV appearances galore, a book, 4 boys under the age of 5, crikey, he’s a busy man. But seemingly not too busy to open this pub (with the help of long time chum Dominic Jack, chef patron of Castle Terrace , a Monkfish all time favourite restaurant) and devise a  menu using the local lingo eg ‘sheip’s heid’ and ‘yer starters’, perfect for a Brummie and a Prestonian and sure to be a talking point for the tourists who will come in their droves. That’s as much of a guarantee as seeing  offal on the menu.

There’s a nice feel to the place as you walk in, some cool touches with the decor,  the tartan’s all there but with some Scandi ‘bits n bobs’ thrown in. Think Ilse Crawford and her revamp of The Olde Bell, Hurley. But, a pub? Mmmm, not really. Well, not the sort of pubs we visit…this is more of a dining room with a ‘wee bar’ as you walk in. Hey, detail…on with the food.

Right, it’s date night, Ms Monkfish was out to impress so after a quick perusal of Yer Starters, Yer Mains and Yer puds she was all set to order. First up roasted bone marrow. An interesting choice, a little daring but to heck with it, you’ve got to try these things. Mmm, not quite sure was the opinion although she did manage to see most of it off, waste not want not. And to be honest, it makes a cracking photo for the review…non?! Mr M played it safe with his choice, chicken liver parfait, toast & pickled cabbage, yes, Mr Predictable was back for the night! He polished it off nae bother, a very good start.
Now that Mr Predictable has made an appearance there’s probably no need to mention what he had for ‘yer mains’?? Yep, the Scran and Scallie wagyu burger and chips. Tasty, tad pricey, plentiful, although he still had room for a side of cauliflower cheese. Might sound random to you but apparently it worked ‘just fine’.
Talking of predictable Ms Monkfish actually chose the grilled monkfish tail cooked with garlic and herbs. Sooooo good, definitely the highlight of the meal, the fish oozed yumminess, the garlicky herby butter was amazing. A side order of braised cabbage and bacon topped it off nicely. Side orders probably aren’t necessary although if you want to cover off all the major food groups in one sitting then you’ll need to order one of ‘Yer bits n bobs’.

Pudding? Oh go on then. There’s no bravado on this date. Give in to the calories and go the whole hog. If there were any gaps to be filled for Ms Monkfish then a portion of Alison Jack’s syrup sponge was surely going to sort that. Belt loosening stuff but well worth it, old sKool puds that do it for us every time. Not to be outdone Mr M selected the warm chocolate chip cookie and ice cream. Bought to the table in an individual ‘wee’ pan (nice touch) this was another comfort food pud at its best.

So, there you have it. Date night consisted of a quick cocktail at The Last Word Saloon (St Stephen’s Street, Stockbridge), followed by a visit to The Scran and Scallie – 3 courses per head, a bottle of Chenin Blanc, coffee and a calorie overload. The S&S is quite pricey in our opinion for ‘pub grub’ but hey, with date night only once every 6 months at the moment we were happy to take a hit. We’re of the opinion you can easily pop in for a fish n chips and a beer and get change from 20quid. We were sorry not to have seen the curly one hanging around his new establishment whilst we were there but as mentioned earlier, he’s a very busy man.

Our ‘date’ was lovingly sponsored by….



** FACTOID – Mr Kitchin goes to the same ‘barber’ as Ms Monkfish, crazy stuff…if you want hair like us then click HERE Mr Austen Thomson works his magic on the most tricky of customers 🙂

All photos copyright Mymonkfish with the exception of the logo courtesy of The Scran & Scallie website.


Following on from the success of last year’s Harvest Supper at Cafe St Honore Neil Forbes is once again preparing a feast for foodies and beer lovers on Friday 28th September 2012.

Matching Innis&Gunn beers with his own inimitable style of cooking the supper promises to take your taste buds to new places! This year Neil has been fortunate to be able to use a new Limited Edition I&G beer – Spiced Rum Finish – which will be served with dessert.


Peelham Farm ham hock on toast
Inverawe smoked salmon, oatcake
Mull cheddar biscuit
Served with Melville’s Strawberry and Raspberry fruit beers

Arbroath smokie salad, crouton, beetroot and Crowdie Cheese
Served with Innis&Gunn Original

Borders game pie, buttery mash, autumn roots
Served with Innis&Gunn Rum Finish

Bramley apple and bramble tart, gingerbread ice cream
Served with Innis&Gunn Spiced Rum Finsih 

Artisan Roast coffee and tablet…if you’ve still got room… 

Dinner is served at 7pm, £40 for four courses and matching beers. Book now on 0131 2262211 or email 🙂

For more information about Innis&Gunn and beer and food matching CLICK HERE


“There are no strangers here; only friends you haven’t yet met”*



Opening gambit – if truth be told here at Monkfish Castle we can take or leave a curry…..not that we don’t appreciate the finer spices in life but we’ve kind of got bored of them. Maybe that’s because we OD’d on them as students many moons ago or maybe that’s because in our beautiful home town of Edinburgh we sometimes struggle to find anywhere* that lives up to the curry reputation of either Birmingham or Manchester where we spent much of our yoof.

*A notable exception is of course Mother India, a Glaswegian institution which luckily for us opened its doors in Edinburgh a few years ago.

Stop the clock!! All that is about to change or it did change last night!

We dined at Mithas, the lovely new ‘fine dining’ Indian restaurant in Leith.  Wow, take back much of that first paragraph as we have re-found our love of all things curry….  With fine dining decor to match – private booths, Tom Dixon copper lights, sleek wooden fittings, and the best bathrooms I’ve ever seen in an Indian restaurant (these things are important!) the Monkfish can happily report that Mithas is definitely not ‘curry in a hurry’.  The service was splendid and our food was very very exciting.

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