Here at Dalziel Ingredients, we are looking to restaurant menus for inspiration. Horticulture took our attention as it has recently been named among the best in the UK by diners in the National Restaurant Awards shortlist, and how lucky are we that it’s right on our doorstep!
The restaurant is found down a little backstreet in the heart of ‘The Toon’. It’s fair to say the outside doesn’t do the inside justice, and as soon as you head up the stairs to the first floor, the bar, you can understand where the name Horticulture comes from. Exposed brick, artistically painted walls, hanging flowers and a beautiful outdoor drinking terrace lends itself to a Instagrammable ambiance.
The restaurant is on the second floor which hosts an open kitchen where you can see the hustle and bustle of your food being created. Horticulture’s menu serves casual small plates with modern British cuisines with international flavours.
We were advised to choose a range of dishes, around 3-4 per person. We went for a wide variety of dishes ranging from, barbequed aubergine, burrata mozzarella, poached scallops, Korean pork belly, citrus cured salmon and finally spring lamb rump. The menu is comprised of meat and veggies with over half of the menu being vegetable based and almost all of the food is organic and locally supplied the North’s finest farmers, fishermen and butchers which is proving more and more popular.
Each dish is served as it’s ready so first up was the Burrata, silky smooth, creamy cheese topped with floral, bitter pesto, fermented salsa that cut through the richness of the burrata topped with crunchy, toasted pumpkin and black onion seeds to give a contrasting texture.
Next up, the very lightly poached scallops. Sliced lengthways, the scallops were gently cooked in a seaweed dashi, light and warming. The broth had a sweet and salty taste which almost resembled the flavours of crab sticks, topped with kale and fresh chive oil. The use of seaweed in this dish boosted the fish notes, but wasn’t too over powering. We are slowly seeing seaweed creep into the retail market. If you’re seeking salt replacement inspiration or flavour enhancement, our range of seaweed could also be your answer!
The salmon, a firm favourite of ours came shortly after. Cured in orange blossom, the richness of the salmon paired perfectly with the sweetness of the cure as well as the rose lemonade gel which added another fruity note to the dish.
Sriracha features heavily within the Horticulture menu, we tried the Korean pork belly, thinly sliced in a sticky sriracha sauce topped with hot wasabi peas, pickled red cabbage and coriander seeds which provided a great contrast of flavours. Another dish sriracha made an appearance on was the signature spiced Horti fries. Deliciously coated in sweet, yet peppery and smoky harissa emulsion, paprika oil and sriracha. All balanced to perfection, not only a treat for the tastebuds but also a treat for the eyes!
There’s more! Next the spring lamb took centre stage, blushing pink on a background of green. The dish came with the most deep, rich, salty sauce packed full of lamb notes. The fresh dill labneh was welcomed and hot wasabi peas cut through the richness of the impactful dish.
The barbequed aubergine took our eye on the menu, topped with harissa, drops of herb mayonnaise, za’atar and sumac. For us, the flavours didn’t balance, and the aubergine was overpowered by the floral notes coming from sumac and additional toasted coriander seeds.
Overall, we loved the relaxed vibes that this restaurant offers. The ethos of the chef shines through in the food, combining classical flavours inspired by world flavours using locally sourced ingredients. The world cuisine trend is continuing year and year as UK consumers continue to crave a taste of life outside the UK using global spices and dishes. The authenticity of world cooking techniques and ingredients appeals widely to consumers which we found Horticulture showcasing throughout their menu from the thinly sliced pork belly to the seaweed dashi.
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