It’s getting ever so close to Xmas, and with that the Xmas lunch\dinner is upon us. So it was a nice surprise to find that we were going out for a big meal on a Saturday afternoon with quite a few friends, some I knew and some I didn’t.
The setting chosen was that of Skippers Bistro which is quietly hidden around the back of Dock Place and opposite its sister eatery, Waterside. At first glance it seems a little out of the way place, but as you walk in the door you are suddenly hit by the warmth and individual style. Plaques, pictures and paraphanalia align the walls from what could be assumed as many holiday’s abroad for the staff and owners. There certainly seems to be a number of snow based holiday signs, and my favourite, apart from the crocodile skin against one wall (it’s okay, it is slightly hidden from view) is the brass plaque proclaiming that Any wedding that the Captain presides over is valid for the duration of the journey, we can but assume they meant the journey of marriage!
We chose from the special Xmas lunch menu, and I could see instantly what I was going to partake of, in an area which is famed for it’s seafood (Nick informed us that Rick Stein claims that Leith holds some of the best seafood restaurants in Britain, he also suggested extreme vogue-ing as a sport!) you could hardly not delve in and try some.
It is well to remember that there a 5 reasons for drinking : the arrival of friends; one’s present or future thirst; the excellence of the wine or any other reasonSkippers website wine page
Leaping for the cheapest bottle of red wine we could find, as we knew that we would get through a number of bottles in the afternoon, was the easiest choice. A nice bottle of Chilean La Ronciere Merlot Reserve was quite reasonable, although the Campo Veijo Grand Reserva was around two to three pounds dearer than the very posh and expensive North Bridge Brassiere, and about £15 dearer than some wine shops! The Merlot did us well and it was warm, pleasing and with enough flavour not to disappear with the various meats on offer.
Steamed west coast mussels with a saffron, tarragon & shallot creme
Baked Scottish goats cheese crotin in a walnut crust served with a fig, honey & rosemary compote
Char-grilled rib-eye scotch steak with a walnut, Dunsyre blue & chive melt
Aromatic confit of duck on a leek, apple & boudin noir mash finished with a mulled wine jus
Warmed rum & raisin bread and butter pudding
White chocolate & baileys espresso pot served with almond & vanilla shortbreadChristmas Menu at Skippers
The mussels were very tasty and cooked beautifully. Usually you find you can be fighting with mussels to get their meat from the shells, but these fell off easily and were filled with taste. Shame that the lovely creme was left in the very bottom of the bowl and you couldn’t appreciate it until most of the mussels were gone.
I then had the steak which was nicely cooked and tasted very juicy although a little fatty in places, it was slightly overpowered by the melt, although once that was removed it left the complimenting flavours. The side potatoes and vegetables were lovely and drissled in butter and oils.
I managed to get a taste of the duck which was on the bone, and it was cooked to perfection. Falling apart and sliding off the bone it was filled with the most flavours of the meal.
Finally the rum and raisin, bread and butter pudding was fantastic. A small enough piece so as not to totally fill you up, but enough to really appreciate the taste. As you began to cut it the sauces flowed out of the center. I really could have eaten more of that!
All in all it was an excellent meal, and I can definitely see myself going back. This time however, we won’t drop nine people on the kitchen ten minutes before closing. They did a wonderful job and the staff treatment is very efficient and warming.