Michael’s Grill and Seafood Place, Eyre Place Edinburgh: classic Scottish cuisine with creative, contemporary style.
Michael Neave is a talented young, entrepreneurial chef, who has recently opened his third restaurant in Edinburgh. In 2012, aged just 22, he opened the Michael Neave Kitchen and Whisky Bar off the Royal Mile, just a short stroll down Old Fishmarket Close. What a perfect address for a chef who specialises in the finest Scottish steak, game and seafood.
His culinary motto: “The best of Scotland’s Larder … will naturally feature heavily in my cooking. I have met the growers, the farmers, the fishermen and appreciate I am only a part of this endeavour to get the food to your plate.”
The next step was to launch “Michael’s Grill and Seafood Place” down the Royal Mile on Jeffrey Street, specialising in locally sourced, prime beef and seafood. The perfect location for city residents as well as visitors staying in the heart of the Old Town.
Absolutely gorgeous. We had the shellfish platter, cooked perfectly.
I had huge crab claws and the steak was also delicious. Overall very welcoming – will definitely return.
A hidden gem. Cannot recommend enough.
With such a success it was time to create the same dining experience in the New Town with a branch of “Michael’s Grill and Seafood Place” on Eyre Place, an ideal neighbourhood district between the urban villages of Stockbridge and Broughton.
For those who know the area, the venue was formerly Duck’s (now in Aberlady), then the French bistro, L’Artichaut, followed by the The Roamin’ Nose, and then over the past year or so, a Spanish Restaurant, Casa Mara.
Having opened at the end of October, 2019, Michael’s is well and truly open for business and Ken and I booked a table for dinner to experience his renowned style of Scottish cuisine. It is a cosy, intimate space with large orange and cream leather booths as well as a flexible layout of tables around two adjoining rooms.
Attractively designed to showcase the original thick stone wall on one side, wood flooring, soft colourful lights and a small gallery of abstract artwork. A featured artist is Tamsin Ghislaine Cunningham whose cool, crafted drawings explore the natural world of land and sea, waves, rocks, coastline through dreamlike abstract images.
As we study the enticing menu – like that of a typical French Bistro – we order a couple of aperitifs to get the taste buds going. Ken selects a favourite, a spicy, citrusy Negroni, while I choose an ice cold Gin Martini, straight up with a twist. £5 cocktails too – such as the popular pink Cosmopolitan and Mojito. Beers, cider, Scotch, Irish & American whiskies and various spirits too.
Now what to eat? The speciality here, of course, is The Grill, with fillet, prime rib and rump steaks, as well as seafood galore: Hot Shellfish Platter, Lobster Thermidor and classic Fish & Chips; Chicken, Burgers and inventive vegetarian dishes, such as Beetroot and Goats Cheese Gnocchi with wilted kale.
For a lover of shellfish, I am in my element: a starter of six oysters from Loch Fyne, with a choice of dressings, Shallot, chilli and coriander, Scottish Vodka Bloody Mary, Lemon and fennel.
A huge black box arrives with a bed of ice on which are placed the six shells and dishes of dips. Loch Fyne oysters are indeed “fine,” due to their provenance, quality and sustainability, with 2.5 million exported around the world each year to luxury hotels, 1st class airline cabins and Michelin starred restaurants .. and served at Michael’s.
Drizzled with each distinctive dressing, the salty molluscs are enhanced with a fresh spicy flavour, and the succulent texture is divine.
Ken selected the vegetarian Spiced Bean Haggis bon bons –the alternative to the Crisp Haggis Croquettes also on the menu. Well presented without being overly fussy, they have a good hint of spice, accompanied by a crunchy salad and artistic blobs of curry mayo around the plate.
After our cocktails, we order a bottle of French Sauvignon Roussane, which has a real similarity to a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc with its crisp gooseberry notes. The wine list offers several House Wines served by the glass and bottle, with additional advice on which white and red wines would pair well with, say, poultry, steak, oysters, smoked fish and with a sweet dessert.
Mussels are offered in either a half kilo or kilo pot. Even for a main course, the half kilo was adequate for my appetite, but hungry folk might tackle the full kilo portion. A choice of broths too – White wine, shallot and garlic, Curried coconut, sallion and cilantro or Spanish chorizo and tomato. The service is professionally done, with a small finger bowl (warm water thankfully), and the lid of the pot is placed at the side for the empty shells.
I create my own Moules-Frites (the national dish of Belgium where the dish was invented), with a side of Skin-on Hand cut chips. These are either cooked in beef dripping (more appropriate for the steak) or sizzled in vegetable oil. The fat juicy Moules were softly textured (not at all chewy), ‘swimming’ in the creamy, garlicky sauce, all quickly devoured along with excellent chunky frites.
On the other side of the table, Ken was enjoying Shetland Salmon which was a large steak rather than a thin fillet. Cooked to his specification, (almost rare), it was served on a generous mound of new potatoes as well as a large serving of samphire, completed with a drizzle of chive hollandaise sauce.
This was a gourmet feast of simply but imaginatively composed and artistically presented dishes – classic Scottish produce jazzed up with contemporary style. No space for dessert – but for those with a sweet tooth, indulge in Sticky Toffee and Banana Pudding, or Bitter Dark Chocolate and Whisky Pot.
We are looked after all evening with professional, personal, friendly care by Naidene, who is most knowledgeable about the dishes, ingredients and dietary advice. The atmosphere is warm and welcoming with a variety of easy listening music on the soundtrack.
The menu at Michael’s offers a foodie journey around Scotland and excellent to see the Provenance given on the menu – Arbroath smokies, East Lothian crab, Eyemouth Lobster Loch Fyne oysters, Arran mustard mash, mussels and salmon from Shetland. John Gilmour of East Lothian supplies the Scottish beef, Welch Fishmongers of Newhaven, Belhaven Smokehouse for fresh and smoked seafood.
Visit Michael’s for lunch or dinner with special offers. Sumptuous Sundays –a traditional Roast lunch, 3 courses and bottle of house wine for 2 @ just £45. Bring the family and friends and kids under 7 eat free.
Wednesday Steak Night and Thursday Lobster Night. The new Christmas menu (from 28 November), is amazing value – 2 or 3 courses under £20/25. The choice of dishes is mouth-wateringly tempting.!
Take a look at the website for menus with excellent special offers and book your table soon.
Michael’s Grill and Seafood Place
14 Eyre Place. Edinburgh, EH3 5EP
Tel: 0131 466 4576
Tues – Thurs: 12pm – 2.30pm & 5pm – 9.00pm
Fri – Sun: 12pm – 3.00pm & 5pm – 9.30pm