Make Your Own Michelin Star Menu
In honour of a new Michelin-starred restaurant around the corner from The Skinny office, here’s a guide to emulating their wares at home! Well, sort of!
Shout out to Condita – the tiny restaurant in Edinburgh’s Southside, with a constantly changing seasonal menu and a location next door to the Post Office where The Skinny sends its mail and buys its Monster Munch, has bagged a coveted Michelin Star. It joins a handful of restaurants in Scotland with the honour, which confers enormous clout but sadly doesn’t guarantee an audience with the Michelin Man himself.
Michelin Star dining is associated with a certain kind of cuisine – small plates, big visuals, fancy ingredients – but research from restaurant supply website Sous Chef suggests that the well-to-do aren’t that much different from us. They analysed (as in, ‘read’) the menus from the nicest of the Michelin Star restaurants across the country, and picked out a list of the 12 'most Michelin ingredients.'
Does this make sense as an exercise? Not really; food is food so there aren't going to be many big surprises. It's not as if the rich literally feast on the blood of the poor, that's just a metaphor (for now). But might it offer the chance for some amusing #content? You betcha. Here’s our guide for where’s best to pick up each of these 12 ingredients in Edinburgh and Glasgow, so you can eat the same things as the super-fancy.
You like chocolate, we like chocolate, people who run swanky restaurants like chocolate. And Scotland is home to a surprising amount of good independent chocolate, given we’re thousands of miles away from cocoa-growing territory. Edward & Irwyn sell incredible dark chocolate shards, Coco make fantastic bars with all manner of additional stuff in them, and Chocolate Tree have a great range of bean-to-bar chocolates from growers around the world.
Apple, Lemon, Potato, Beetroot, Mushroom, Onion, Tomato
Fruit and veg, it turns out, are big on restaurant menus. Who would have thunk it? Still, it’s always nice to beat the drum for nice people who sell good veg, so that’s what we’ll do here.
In Glasgow? Head to Locavore; they grow a lot of their own stuff, and will do you a humdinger of a veg box. Love tasteful window displays? Head to Roots Fruits and Flowers, and immediately feel bad for disrupting the well-arranged lemons by actually buying them. In Edinburgh? Get to the New Leaf Co-op in Marchmont, Dig-In in Bruntsfield, or Global Fruits in Tollcross. If you want to take things up a notch, it is the tail end of mushroom foraging season – as long as you know which ones are which, you could end up with a free meal (offer only valid if you like eating mushrooms).
Scallops, Lobster, Crab
Getting a good potato is always fun, but the quality issue is much more pressing when it comes to seafood. Luckily, there’s plenty to go around in both Edinburgh and Glasgow. Marchmont students are lucky to have Eddie’s Seafood Market on their doorstep – get down early and you’ll find the place overflowing with watery goodies. Armstrong's of Stockbridge do a similar line in well-sourced and nicely looked-after fish at the other end of town. Glasgow’s quality seafood sellers, on the other hand, seem to absolutely be in this for the puns. The Fish Plaice in Glasgow Cross deserves a thunderous round of applause, while Wilson’s Catch of the Day in Finnieston is run by a former chef, who will innately understand your dreams of Michelin stardom.
The rest of the list was fairly straightforward, and a nice excuse to recommend some of our favourite indie shops and producers. This part took us hours of scouring and just kept leading us back to the Waitrose website. So yes, if you want to go Full Michelin Star, and aren’t fussed about the ethical side of scooping out the insides of a still-living prehistoric fish, then Waitrose are your folks. Personally, we’ll try our chocolate, potato and lemon amuse bouche without the cav first, and see how we fare...
Condita, 15 Salisbury Pl, Edinburgh; condita.co.uk