After the strenuous task of renovating our first home, we decided it would be nice to treat my parents to a meal at Native Restaurant, a contemporary restaurant in the city centre, for their solid work throughout the 6-month house transformation period as a thank you. The night just happened to coincide with my mum’s 50th birthday so we made it a family event also and took along my sister and her boyfriend for the celebrations.
The night did get off to a strange start when I arrived and our table was set for 4 instead of 6 people, leaving us sat at the bar while the waiting team were running around the restaurant finding it difficult to set up the new table even though the restaurant was practically empty. All came to light, however, when a bus full of travellers entered the building and filled the restaurant to capacity.
We had Itison vouchers which treated us to a 2-course meal with a glass of prosecco so once we were finally sat down, we were promptly brought our prosecco. We were pleasantly surprised at just how large the glasses were. Each prosecco could easily have been equivalent to 2 regular champagne glass which went down a treat for we alcohol enthusiasts.
Now onto the bit you really care about – the food.
The Native pride themselves on their locally produced ingredients and techniques to showcase the very best of Scotland and produce high-quality meals for their customers.
The Native Starters
The menu has a lovely selection of starters to begin your meal right. The menu changes often so you aren’t guaranteed to find the following options but it will give you a feel for the type of cuisine you can expect to indulge in.
You could opt for the warming soup of the day with a crunchy, homemade roll, pan-fried scallops with crispy pork belly and apple sauce or smoked salmon with lemon and lime pearls and lime caviar.
On this occasion, I went for the Confit Chicken and Black Pudding Terrine which was a gorgeous pate-like dish served with red onion jam and tarragon brioche. This appetizing course started my meal off perfectly and left me wanting more.
Blair opted for Poached Cod Pave, which was beautifully cooked cod pieces in a smoked haddock veloute sauce, served with asparagus, bacon jam and parsley oil, making this the perfect savoury dish. He loved this course and wishes it were twice the size because he couldn’t get enough!
The Native Main Courses
Again the main course menu does switch up regularly but you can expect to enjoy dishes such as crispy skin seabass with roasted chorizo and chickpea stew, treacle cured duck breast in a red wine reduction and barley risotto with winter veg and garlic bread. Or if you are after the grill, there is a selection of dry-aged Scottish beef steaks for you to choose from.
Had the seabass been on the menu when I visited, I would have gone for that 100% but instead, I went for the Native Char-grilled Cheeseburger. This melt-in-your-mouth beef burger, made with Scotch rump steak and served in a fresh bun was exquisite. I could even say it is one of the best burgers I have had in a long time. The native slaw inside added a lovely, creamy touch to the burger, much like a sauce, while the flavour of the cheese stood out and didn’t get drowned out by the other tastes, which is a plus. Served alongside a bed of onion rings and a hearty portion of hand-cut chips, this was an incredibly filling and enjoyable dish.
Blair chose the Alford Pork Loin with fondant potatoes and black pudding bonbons. He mentioned how the meat was nice and tender and not chewy as pork can sometimes be. The potatoes were soft and the accompanying sauce was delicious and complimented the dish wonderfully, albeit there could have been more sauce in his opinion.
The Native Desserts
You’ll be glad to know that the dessert menu does stay the same so the desserts I mention here will be waiting for you on arrival.
After my mammoth burger, I couldn’t manage dessert but that didn’t mean the rest of the family didn’t satisfy their sweet teeth.
Let’s start with Blair’s dessert of Apple and Blackberry Crumble. Blair loves a crumble so it was no surprise he craved this fruity sweet. Served with a lashing of ice cream, this homely dessert ticked all of his boxes.
Another popular dessert amongst the group was the Dark Chocolate Tart– a rich chocolate tart with bitter orange gel and fresh berries adding a sweet, tart element to the dish and a scoop of ice cream to finish it off. Delicious.
We all had an outstanding time at Native Restaurant and the food was beautiful; beautifully tasting and beautifully presented. The restaurant is in a convenient location and one I think we would all be happy to visit again sometime soon.
Why not also check out my Fiery Feast at Brewdog Union Square post?
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