Many publications have recently reviewed The Shore on Leith’s Waterfront, now it’s under the ownership of the team behind the neighbouring Fishers. Last night the Edinburgh Blog joined the masses and paid an impulsive visit to The Shore’s dining room. The Shore’s restaurant area was busy but we were squeezed in, provided we vacated the table by 9pm. The Shore’s dining room is a quick right turn as you enter the lively and very pleasant bar. The dining room is cosy and last night its large windows made great use of the early evening Edinburgh sunshine. Crisp white table linen, wooden chairs and woodpanelling combine with waiters in immaculate long white aprons. This gives the dining room a simple, French feel.
The Shore’s Specialities menu and A La Carte menu show further French influence with onion soup and lamb’s liver among the starters. Other mains of herb stuffed shoulder of lamb, roast breast of duck and corn fed chicken show a shift away from a total fish focused menu. We failed to embrace this shift though and, duly ordered a salmon starter and two lots of fish and chips for main.
Within minutes of taking our seat a basket of bread with accompanying humous was delivered to our table. The quantity of bread was certainly generous and evidently fresh. Our choice of wine was a very unexciting Pinot Grigio at ¬£14.95 a bottle. Before long our waiter had delivered The Shore’s homecured organic salmon gravadlax with potato scone and chive creme fraiche (¬£5.50) which we shared for starter. The presentation was good and the salmon was truly excellent. Faultless.
The number of times I have sent food back in restaurants can be counted on the fingers of one hand. Therefore it was disappointing that both of our battered haddock with chips and mushy peas (¬£9.50) were soon heading back to the kitchen. The fish and chips looked nice enough, but they were absolutely smothered in Maldon sea salt. After a few mouthfuls we were both thankful for the jug of water on our table. Apparently the fish was encased in Deuchar’s batter, but with a covering of salt this heavy it was impossible to tell. Our waiter explained how the chef liked to serve the haddock and chips with added salt. Quite how such a heavy covering of salt could be intentional escapes me; it looked like the chef had spilt the salt.
Thankfully the second attempt at our fish and chips fared much better. I could now taste the Deuchars in the batter and didn’t need to follow each mouthful of food with a glass of water. However the batter was a little too rich and oily - it was unsettling on the tummy. The haddock was pure white and obviously well sourced. The chips were fine, although nowhere close to the Tailend standard. The tartare sauce was delicious and surely homemade.
Throughout the night our service was pleasant and remained courteous following our rejection of the first fish and chips. The intimacy of the dining room is conducive to very attentive service.
We both regretted our choice of fish and chips when we looked at the dishes other diners were devouring. The 8oz sirloin steak looked delicious, although at ¬£17.50 it should. Ham hash cakes with poached egg (¬£5.00) and corn-fed chicken with asparagus and potato rosti (¬£12.00) also looked very appetising.
As said in previous reviews of restaurants around The Shore area of Leith: bad restaurants really won’t survive, given the extreme competition and choice in the area. The Shore is clearly a good restaurant with an interesting menu, I just hope the kitchen learns to go easy on the salt. Given time it should mature and should get much better.
The Shore is located at 3 Shore, Leith, Edinburgh, EH6 6QW. Telephone: 0131 553 5080