Wednesday, 1 February 2017

The Refinery, Edinburgh

Hot on the heels of the latest launch from London’s dapper and delicious Drake & Morgan group, The Refinery- I was eager to see how they would make their mark on the Scottish scene.

Instantly I adore their creativity. The branding. Their sense of story.  The commitment to creating an overall dining “experience” rather than simply offering a port in a storm to refuel on the run.

Their attention to detail and décor hit me in my weak spot.  Not only are  they ambitious and eager to please patrons with their mouthwatering menus, but they are constantly evolving and invitingly innovative with plans in the pipeline for fresh launches in the near future.

Drake & Morgan began their adventures back in the day with The Refinery and today they exist as multiple unique and stunning restaurants/bars across London, Manchester and (thankfully) Edinburgh with names as intriguing as the dishes on offer (The Otherist, The Fable, The Folly, The Happenstance, to name just a few.)
Their choices display a carefully crafted labour of love and each wonderfully individual location is steeped in the most stunning and sumptuous décor, making it a delight to lavish over any mealtime. 

The Tipple
We were greeted by our waitress who was swift to bring beverages for the table and offer helpful menu selections that fused both our cravings with her expert advice.
Kicking things off with a round of cocktails from the bar- a classic Old-Fashioned for the gent, an Espresso Martini for our coffee connoisseur and for me, the quirky-loving Goldfish in a bag which happily stole the show.
HINT: When your debut drink comes carved with a tiny fishtail suspended in a bag of gin carefully clipped to the side of your glass by a miniature close peg, you can be certain sure that you are in for a total treat.
For round two, we ordered Milk & Cookies- (a grown up Bourbon milkshake to you and I) and the tequila based La Magia which promised a playful balance of sweet "n" sour.

Our gent chose to bow out this time from downing pretty potions and opted instead for a plain and simple beer (ooh, manly!)

The Touches

We arrived to the St Andrew Square set-up to hints of an edgy, industrial feel combined with welcoming hues of orange, rich wood textures, copper tones and luxurious textiles.

Throws casually draped on the seating.  Animal skin rugs scattered here and there.  Buckets of blankets to greet you at the door and dreamy fittings that leave lighting lovers in paradise. 

It is immediately clear to me that the gastro gurus behind each Drake & Morgan outfit want to visually set the tone of the evening, creating an atmosphere for you to lose yourself as the inner city chaos clambers for you attentions.

The Taste

After a prolonged perusal of the delightful dishes, we ordered up the Charcuterie board of cured meats which was the perfect pick to share, coupled with the Italian inspired Napoli flatbread. Cooked to perfection and packed with flavour- first impressions are crucial after all.

Moving to mains, I only had eyes for the Buttermilk Chicken burger which I paired with sweet potato fries (old faithful.)

My friends, seduced by their starter and plenty game for a little more in the meat department, ordered the Braised beef shin with polenta and a sirloin steak.

All dishes were piping hot from the kitchen and settled to perfect temperature as soon as we had delivered on our normal Instagram antics. You know, priorities.

My chicken dish was encased in light crispy batter accompanied by chipotle mayo, which added just the right amount of kick- all sandwiched between two beautiful buns.

The meats were soft, succulent and lip smackingly luscious. Naturally I sampled all other dishes purely in the interests of research!

Normally 3 courses for me in one sitting is out of the question, but let’s face it- it was more than just the chicken on a roll here!

For a little something sweet to round off our evening we selected the pecan tart, crème brûlée and chocolate brownie. Classic comfort food for a frosty Edinburgh evening, don't you think?

After dessert we decided to linger a little longer- reclining in our seats to continue chatting, soak up the relaxed vibe and sip on our lattes.

So would I recommend stopping by? A thousand times, yes.

If you are looking to switch things up this season, impress on date night or find something worth salivating over that ensures you are the guaranteed “go-to” guy for a hot tip- you’re welcome.

For me, Drake & Morgan bring it to the table.
(now to work my merry way through others...) 

London, I'll be comin' for you.

Have you tried anywhere special lately?
How do I connect with Drake & Morgan?

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