It is a cloudy and rainy day, and a Monday, to make things worse. But as we step in award-winning restaurant The Adamson, everything gets better. It is warm, the lights are diffused to create a peaceful atmosphere, and there is a soft and pleasant chit-chat in the background. As usual, we are shown by smiling staff to our table, but what is not usual is the new autumn menu, launched on 10th September 2015.
With October 21 approaching, how can we not think of the classic 1985 movie ‘Back To The Future’? That is, of course, because October 21 2015 is the date in the future to which Marty McFly, Doc and their flux capacitor travelled with the DeLorean time machine. The new Head Chef at The Adamson, Stewart Macaulay, known amongst colleagues and friends as ‘Macca’, was born when the film premiered. But he takes inspiration from the past, present and future – and his new menu reflects this.
Scottish quail with roasted sweetcorn, mushroom & soya tea
Reading through the delicious food combinations on offer, we are delighted to see new additions, from the Salmon Gravadlax served with pickled kohlrabi with lime puree and fennel to the Heritage Tomato & Mozzarella Salad with basil panna cotta and a black olive crumble as well as a Sweetcorn Risotto. All classic dishes but that “acknowledge past favourites with a futuristic and contemporary twist.”
East neuk crab with beetroot carpaccio, avocado sorbet & hazelnut
Stewart, 29, is looking forward to his new role, saying: “As well as working with a brilliant team, I’m looking forward to developing menus. The Adamson has always been known for its creativity and innovation, and in my role as Head Chef, I want to drive that forward. I love creating food that inspires and excites. I want to leave each and every one of our guests with a fantastic memory which will encourage them to tell others of their experience as well as to return and do it all over again.” And one thing that the new dishes do is certainly excite. We are brought, plate by plate, beautiful constructions, an array of colours and different consistencies and textures. The scottish quail comes together with a sauce that is poured on the plate by the waitress with an elegant and circular gesture that reminds of an ancient tea-ceremony. The crab seems more like a painting than a meal, making us feel a bit guilty when we start eating it.
Blade of beef with cassoulet of beans, roasted salsify & sun blushed tomatoes
Macca explains: “Every chefs looks for inspiration, but sometimes it is a classic dish that provides that lightening moment – and allows you to develop the dish and take it into the future.”
My favourite dish was the atlantic sole, served on a bed of confit ratte potatoes, curly kale and brown shrimp & macadamia nut butter. I have to admit: I don’t usually like sole. Perhaps it is an instinct from being forced-fed it as a child, but I always found it somehow bland. The Adamson, on the other hand, managed to make me love it (hopefully no word of this will reach my grandma). And although I was never part of the big kale-frenzy, the addition of the touch of green was not only pleasant for the eye, but for the palate too. While my sister was more of a fan of the blade of beef, I found myself finishing not only my half, but some of hers too. The best part? The macadamia nut butter. (Totally stealing this idea)
Atlantic sole with confit ratte potatoes, curly kale, brown shrimp & macadamia nut butter
What I really enjoyed was the use of local and quality produce. As Stewart, says: “I have been privileged to work in St Andrews for some time now, and I have built up many key relationships with local suppliers and producers. We have a wonderful larder right on our doorstep, and I plan to make the most of that”. This is great advice, perhaps one that we should all take.
Creme brûlée of the day (we had mint)
We might not have flying cars, self-tying shoes or hover boards, but The Adamson new autumn menu is something that we do hope to see more of in the future.
Student tip: as a weekend treat, or as a break from the incoming deadlines and essays, make sure to take a moment to enjoy a delicious take on the classic Sunday lunch at The Adamson. As Chef Macca explains: “We are all about delivering a unique dining experience – the food is essential, but we want our guests to leave knowing they have experienced something that cant be found elsewhere. That is the thinking behind our Sunday Roasts. Yes, they are a tradition, but we don’t think anyone does them quite like we do.”
If, on the other hand, you prefer the fun of the Saturday night more than the peacefulness of the Sunday lunch, make sure to pop in the newly open cocktail bar, where there is a delicious cocktail for all tastes.