Ruby Munson-Hirst reviews St Andrews’ newest restaurant – and goes heavy on the gin
Every time a new bar, shop or restaurant opens on one of our beloved three streets, a buzz of interest, a rush of student CVs and plans to make a visit surround the venture.
The Adamson on South Street was no different. The old Post Office building is home to this latest gastro treat. Open for brunch and dinner, the restaurant blends a comfortable décor with highly thought out fixtures to create a refined formality. Greeted by a shiny and pleasingly well stocked bar area, the drinks menu is full to the brim with a gorgeous selection of wines, beers and spirits. And if the barman knows how to make a good G&T, then I’m sold. My free-poured and fizzing aperitif didn’t disappoint and the Adamson’s mixologist Rick Valentine was happy to advise on an appropriate cocktail to follow. Named after the Adamson’s matriarch, I opted for a Lady Dalton: fresh, zesty and generous on the gin.
The dinning area snakes right back to the open plan and visible kitchen where the chefs beaver away under the curious and expectant eyes of dinners. By incorporating the kitchen into the restaurant area, the whole culinary experience feels honest and highly professional. It is this kind of attention to detail that sets the Adamson apart. Every element of the place has been paid some serious attention and it’s no wonder considering the owners and management team are family. The Daltons obviously consider this culinary venture as their newest and youngest member – one they’ve worked hard to bring to life and are very proud of.
I was in the mood for fish, so started by indulging in the seared hand dived scallops with cauliflower puree and pancetta. They arrived perfectly placed and lightly browned, adorned by sweet pea shoots and lightly salted pancetta. Tenderly cooked, the scallops were individual mouthfuls of delight. Our waitress was attentive and knowledgeable and I liked that she knew what each dish tasted like.
My main of wild sea bass with braised ox tail was a risk as I wasn’t convinced by the fusion of such rich flavours. But it was head chef Mark Pollock’s signature dish and I shouldn’t have fretted. The fish was tender and the crispy skin was a delicious contrast to the side of juicy roasted artichokes. My companion opted for the 220g New York strip steak – big, juicy and cooked in the Josper grill (500 degrees over charcoal), an almighty boy’s toy professional oven that the chef described as the indoor barbecue. All the meat served comes from Royal Warranted Butchers, Donald Russell – dry aged for between 28-35 days before cooking.
The dessert menu is vast and varied but the passion fruit soufflé seemed like an obvious option. Presented in the mini saucepan in which it had been cooked, the golden outside had risen to a wobbling height, the inside all gooey and sweet. As if all that wasn’t enough, I couldn’t help but have one more cocktail. The Physician, combining Ketel one vodka, elderflower liquor, fresh mint and raspberries was delicate and the perfect end to a seriously tasty and refreshing culinary experience. Whether it’s a three-course meal, a cocktail or a coffee you’re after, the Adamson won’t disappoint.