Monday, 29 May 2017

The Newport

Slightly later than intended, my review of Jamie's Scott's restaurant, The Newport.
First of all the location - the restaurant is situated on the Tay, with a great view up river to the rail bridge and beyond. The huge patio windows certainly allow you to enjoy the view, and I'd assume they're open in summer, as there is some outside seating.

Not the best picture but I think you can see that the dining room is a light airy space. The subtle nautical theme is a nice touch. There is a bar next door as well, which was busy when we arrived.
On a Saturday night there's no A La Carte menu, with a choice of either an eight or five course tasting menu. We opted for the five courses, though we did also add in the cheese board as it was just too hard to resist.
Before the meal 'proper' we were brought out 4 snacks - I guess in a more old fashioned restaurant they'd be called Amuse Bouche, but this is definitely a very modern take on fine dining! No photos of the snacks as we ate them too quickly! The buckwheat, tomato and skyr was a tasty little blini with diced tomato and skyr in place of the more usual creme fraiche. Skyr is basically Icelandic yoghurt, though with a very mild flavour and thick texture - the high protein content seems like a big selling point.
The pigs head and langoustine dumpling was delicious - a Chinese style dumpling filled with shredded pork and langoustine.  The purple broccoli was the one part of the menu that wasn't really to my taste - I'm sure the scorching was intentional but it just tasted burnt to me I'm afraid. The potato and smokie was definitely a hit though!
With hindsight we should probably have gone with the matching drinks flight - by the time we worked our way through two bottles of wine the cost wouldn't have been much different - oops!
I can't say I've had an Austrian red wine before but this one was very good - and organic as far as I recall!
So on to the meal itself.  The asparagus was cooked to perfection, and the accompaniments were just the right side of not messing about with the asparagus itself.
One of the themes running through the menu was I guess foraged herbs, particularly ones reflecting the location of the restaurant, close to the coast. This really started with the fish course - the hake was served with pepper dulse, an edible seaweed, and alexander, which has a celery flavour, a little like lovage.
The meat course was a beautifully moist Mutton loin served with cabbage and wild garlic, to continue the wild vegetable theme. The cabbage was barbecued but was much more to my taste than the broccoli earlier in the meal.
Next up was a well balanced selection of cheese, served with a fruit bread and chutney which really enhanced the cheese. The oatcakes were also lovely - quite sweet, almost like a hobnob!

The rhubarb and custard doughnuts were a real treat - I could have probably eaten more of them!
The meal was rounded off with a cheesecake.  Pear is one of the few foods I don't really like, but there were enough other flavours going on to get away with it - a lovely light, fresh way to end the meal, and as you can see, another opportunity to showcase an unusual herb - in this case meadowsweet.

Service throughout the evening was spot on, and our server was quick to bring the bill when we mentioned we had a bus to catch. Waiting ages for the bill is a bugbear of mine, so I was very happy we didn't have this issue! Actually, the bus stop's just around the corner, which is a bonus, and there's a frequent enough service back to Dundee - always a factor when planning a meal out!
I would definitely recommend the Newport to anyone with a reasonably adventurous palate. The only thing I would change might be not ordering that second bottle of wine!

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