It is safe to say I was super excited about Dram and Smoke bringing their pop up restaurant to the Edinburgh Festival, and to the wonderful location that is the Biscuit Factory. Unfortunately I was slightly disappointed, and I will explain why.
I have nothing but admiration for the chefs as it was quite clear they were working hard to get everything out on time, and it must have been difficult working in a venue with zero kitchen.
The venue itself was beautiful, decorated magnificently, it was like a warehouse mated with a garden party and out popped the decor.
The whole concept of Dram and Smoke is that it is all about the communal dining, so the starters were laid out on a wooden board, the main was a large piece of meat that had to be cut up that we all took pieces of and the dessert had a large clump of honeycomb we were given a little hammer to smash up. All in all I really liked the communal aspect, it was fun and it got you talking to the other diners on the your table. The way everything was set out was lovely as well.
The starter was smoked ham hock and haggis terrine with tattie scones, pickles and crispy capers. In all honesty I love haggis and I think it has a beautiful flavour, but I have no idea where the haggis came in this dish as I don’t believe I tasted any? However all in all it was delicious and the ham hock and tattie scone combination was a comforting one.
The second dish (there is four) was pearl barley risotto with razor clams, scottish chorizo and mushrooms. I have always wanted to try razor clams, so this was the first, for me personally they were quite chewy and fishy. The rest was a bit underwhelming and overall I would say that this was my least favourite dish.
The third dish was braised beef brisket, potatoes with smoked garlic butter, chargrilled leeks with scottish cheddar and a green bean and celeriac slaw. This dish looked fantastic (I apologise for the poor photo) and was great fun to cut up and get dug in to.
The meat was a bit chewy for me, as with this kind of dish I expect it to melt in my mouth. All of the sides were lovely.
I have an unfortunate fear of leeks (yes you read that correctly) from not washing some before putting them into soup which then resulted in horrendously crunchy soup. However I ate some on this night and they were lovely. (Shout out to leeks I apologize for ruining you for myself)
Last but not least was the pudding, rhubarb and custard with heather honeycomb. In all honesty this didn’t taste of much, I was excited to have some rhubarb but it was all a bit underwhelming.
The honeycomb was very moreish and smashing it up with the hammer was lots of fun and a great touch. The only thing I would say is that I know this meal was supposed to have a Scottish twist but there was really no need in the heather being added to the honeycomb. It was not a flavour for me.
At the end of the day, you never know what you are going to get at the Edinburgh Festival. Everything is always a hit or a miss, I bigged this one up for myself and expected a lot but whether that is my fault for having high expectations I am not sure.
Have you been to Dram and Smoke? Let me know what you thought in the comments below!
Price: 3/5 – (£40 for 4 courses)
Total: 12/20 from Cup of T!
Recommend: For the communal aspect.
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