Friday, 14 October 2016

Feast of Fife: Day 1 PM - Kingdom of Fife tasting dinner

For the second part of day one on the Feast of Fife bloggers conference we were whisked away to The Newport Restaurant for a real taste of the Fife larder. Based on the banks of the River Tay the restaurant, which boasts two floors seating 60 covers comfortably, offers some of the most stunning, panoramic views in the area.
On arrival, we stepped into the restaurant reception, which is home to a beautiful open gallery with unique paintings hanging on every wall. Hosting a drinks reception, both Eden Mill and Kingsbarns Distillery produced delicious welcome drinks for all of the guests to enjoy. Not the greatest of whisky fans, I turned to Eden Mill which had created a tasty gin-based cocktail with their new Golf Gin 2016. It was spot on, and yes, I had far too many of them.

Turning our heads to dinner, we were then invited to the bottom floor of the restaurant which boasted an outdoor demonstration area. Head chef and Masterchef professionals winner 2014, Jamie Scott, organised a pre-dinner cookery demonstration, showcasing two of the dishes which were on our Kingdom of Fife tasting dinner menu. 

As he cooked away, he educated us on the incredible offering the restaurant has on its doorstep, from wild seaweeds and beach plants, to berries and leaves further in-land, and told us about the local foragers who collect some of the most unusual ingredients for him and his team to get creative with in the kitchen. I loved the idea of using nature so close to home in the kitchen, and as much as I would really enjoy cooking with foraged ingredients, it's extremely important you know exactly what you're foraging as many things which look safe, can actually be very toxic and poisonous - good thing I was going foraging the next day and could pick up some top tips.
Moving upstairs for dinner we got a glimpse of the menu for the first time. Intrigued as to how these dishes would taste, I can honestly say Jamie and his team did not disappoint. The favourite dish of the evening seemed to be the salad, which is incredibly unusual, however speaks margins for the standard of food which was produced. The meat was cooked perfectly, and the homemade bread melted in your mouth. A delicate, delicious meal at that.

Course one consisted of numerous canap├ęs including an Anster cheese goujere, Puddledub pork bau - which was unbelievably juicy, buckwheat, flowers and curds, and a St Monans crab rarebit - this was also delightful.

The second was a light, Autumnal Salad featuring a selection of the seasons offerings, including fresh locally foraged produce - my favourite dish of the evening, and for someone who usually never orders salads, this was unexpected.

Course three was Pittenweem mackerel with Pittormie tomatoes, oyster and basil. This dish was also very refreshing and light.

The fourth course was Starr farm beef featuring a lovely piece of smoked shoulder, short rib, which was cooked rare, my personal preference would have been medium rare, but the rib was beautiful and soft, served with a selection of alliums - flowering onions, garlic, shallots and many other types of plants including chives and leek too, just in case you didn't know...

And finally, course five was Newport plums and popcorn panna cotta with white chocolate and a liquorice sauce. Probably my least favourtie dish due to my undying hatred for black liquorice, but nonetheless the plate was almost clean - I love dessert and minus the liquorice, this would have been one of my top dishes.
Overall the menu was absolutely incredible. Jamie and his team went up and beyond to ensure every dish was served with the utmost of perfection, be that both in taste and in presentation. His passion for the local larder oozes throughout the menu and his dedication to the food and drink industry is very admirable. With his outstanding palette and attention to detail, Jamie brings a fresh outlook on food and drink to Newport and works hand in hand with local producers to create some of the best dishes Fife possesses. A huge thanks to Jamie, his team, and the staff at Fife Tourism and Fife Council for organising this fantastic event.

Big shout out to my fellow Aberdeen bloggers Lesley and Michelle from Lost in Food who were also on the trip, these fabulous ladies had both Sarah and I in tears of laughter throughout the meal.

  For Now...

Just Julia



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