Edinburgh dining scene is so dynamic and sometimes it’s difficult to keep the pace with new restaurants and bars opening in the city. But that’s what I love about the Edinburgh, there are always some interesting new places popping up.
Ishka restaurant and cocktail bar is the latest addition to Edinburgh’s vibrant restaurant and cocktail scene. The venue is located on Morrison Street and occupies the premises of recently closed down French Brasserie Les Amis. Conveniently located in the bustling business district, opposite the EICC, Ishka is only minutes from the city centre.
MODERN SCOTTISH CUISINE
Ishka specialises in serving ‘modern Scottish cuisine with nods to the Mediterranean’. You can find classic dishes with a contemporary twist created using the finest seasonal ingredients. Daily specials featuring seasonal fish, locally cured meats and hand picked locally grown vegetables.
At Ishka they know how to shake things up as the cocktail list looks as impressive as a food offering. From well-known classics to modern creations, Ishka’s cocktail menu appeals to every age and taste.
At Ishka, social snacking is encouraged in the bar and they’ve got a great selection of sharing platters from charcuterie, shellfish & game to homemade pâtés and Mediterranean nibbles.
Ishka officially opened its doors in May and since then I was desperate to try their dishes.
When we walked in, we were warmly welcomed by the friendly and enthusiastic staff and we chose the table next to the window so we can watch the passers by.
Ishka offers magnetic ambience for almost every occasion. Perfect for quick lunch, an intimate dinner or cocktail with friends, Ishka is designed to suit any taste and occasion. The venue quickly established itself as ‘the place to go’ with their friendly service and exceptional menus.
The interior is very stylish and sophisticated, with comfy booths, bright yellow seating, a curvy bar, marble tables and sets of pictures on the walls, making it the perfect place to celebrate something special or kick start a night out with the girls.
Not long after we sat down we were presented with Lightly Toasted Bread with an olive oil and balsamic bowl and green olives on the side. Not many places do that and I thought it was a really nice touch.
MODERN SCOTTISH CUSINE
The menu at Ishka features Scottish seafood, best quality meats as well as vegetarian options. As a starter, we opted for goats cheese panna cotta, watermelon, balsamic onion, pistachio nuts and Crayfish & Clam (cucumber & herb salad, Bloody Mary dressing)
The dishes certainly had a wow factor when they landed on our table.
Goats cheese panna cotta, watermelon, balsamic onion, pistachio nuts
Light and refreshing salad that plays on the sweetness of the watermelon. Unsalted roasted pistachios added a slight crunch, and the goat cheese panna cotta contrasted the watermelon just enough without overpowering the salad all together. Finally topped with a balsamic picked shallots that gave the whole dish a perfect little kick of tang.
What I love about this dish: It’s on the lighter side, but it’s still delicious, especially if you are counting calories this dish will fill you up without filling you out, and the presentation is a total knockout.
CRAYFISH & CLAM (cucumber & herb salad, Bloody Mary dressing)
Crayfish have been called many things (poor man’s lobster) and is still a bit undervalued by fine dining restaurants that are more likely to serve lobster than crayfish. Funnily enough, lobster was once a poor man’s food and became popular as luxury food in the late 1800s. Prior to that, lobster has been fed to prisoners, animals and servants.
The bloody mary dressing gives this crayfish and clam salad a lift. Fresh and tasty, this colourful dish was a joy to look at and eat.
SCOTTISH SALMON dill new potatoes, green beans & samphire, mint pea purée
An elegant and vibrantly coloured dish was a true summer meal. A mint-spiked pea purée is always the perfect partner for fresh Scottish salmon. I thought it was a very generous portion and was very good value for money.
Huge thumbs up to Ishka for serving Scottish fish. Salmon is the biggest food export from Scotland and the great quality of the fish (particularly firm and less fatty) has been recognised all over the world.
RED MULLET sesame seed pak choi, braised fennel, beetroot water
Red mullet and fennel are a perfect combination of flavours. The delicate flavour of the Red Mullet stands up against the stronger ingredients. Red beetroot water gave the dish bold colours and earthy flavour. Sesame seed pak choi added extra crunch to this dish.
Sweet potato Fries
Deliciously sweet and creamy sweet potato fries were perfectly seasoned
CHOCOLATE dark chocolate mousse, Arran raspberry sorbet, amaretto biscuits
Raspberry and chocolate flavours are the ultimate combination.
Loved the intense sweet-sharpness of raspberry sorbet and crunchiness of amaretto biscuits.
LEMON lemon drizzle cake, fresh Scottish berries, curd, Arran lemon sorbet
Very summery dessert garnished with Scottish berries looked fantastic on the plate. Every mouthful was bursting with flavours.
PEACH peach turnover, balsamic strawberries, white chocolate glaze with mint leaf.
I would not normally have referred to a peach turnover as refreshing but the small mint leaves hidden underneath certainly made it that way.
Food quality at Ishka certainly lives up to the standard of the most awarded restaurants in Edinburgh.
The restaurant delivers when it comes to serving modern Scottish cuisine with Mediterranean twists. With fabulous modern bistro-style Scottish food, innovative cocktails, excellent customers service and a contemporary interior, Ishka is now one of our favourite places in the city.
83 Morrison Street
Telephone: 0131 228 7517
Booking email: email@example.com