Chef-Proprietor Paul Gunning named his restaurant not after himself, but a herb. Popular in Asia and Mexico, Purslane, a lemon-scented salad leaf rich in omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins, it's a nutritious superfood. Hidden down a few steps beside the pubs, boutiques and galleries of this quirky Stockbridge street, Purslane is a casual wee bistro, furnished in rustic style with warm shades of cinnamon and coffee.
Named after a superfood, Purslane serves super food
Reviewed by Vivien Devlin
Thursday, August 30, 2012 - 10:02pm
With the superlative background of both Paul Gunning (previously working under Marco Pierre White and Jeff Bland), and his head chef, Craig Smith having reached the final rounds of Masterchef the Professional, there are two Masterchefs working in the kitchen.
The cuisine is casual fine dining, presenting inventive, creative dishes based on seasonal Scottish produce, foraged wild herbs and with many suppliers such as for meat, game, fish and cheese based in Stockbridge. Not even one food mile from local shop to copper pot.
As we settle in, sipping a glass of Prosecco, we are offered a basket of freshly baked bread and then a surprise amuse bouche, a tiny soupcon of pea green veloute. If the meal continues in this classy vein, it will be a fabulous dinner.
The A la Carte menu has a choice of five starters and mains, with vegetarian option. I had heard that the Chicken Liver Parfait is perfect, but I could not resist my favourite delicacy, seared soft juicy scallops with creamy cauliflower puree, sprinkled with the ingenious addition of crisp slices of pear. I was able to taste my partner’s Asparagus and warm potato salad - simple ingredients, but a drizzle of truffle oil made it zing with an earthy scent.
With a choice of two fish – direct from the market - and two meat (perhaps Duck, Lamb, Guinea Fowl or Pork Belly), main courses are hearty with generous accompaniments of potatoes and colourful vegetables. We both selected seafood - a tender grilled trout fillet with pomme ecrase and spinach; across the table, a white slab of rock Turbot with mash and tartare sauce, both awarded top marks for quality, taste and artistic presentation. From a well priced wine list, we shared a soft, brambly Tempranillo.
Unless you have a fine-tuned appetite, do arrive hungry in order to experience three courses. The desserts are the icing on the cake if you have a sweet tooth, to be tempted perhaps by Chocolate Marquise, or, as sampled, Poached Peaches with Raspberry Sorbet, a fine fruity marriage. A selection of cheese, from I J Mellis with home-made biscuits was also a superb finale to our feast.
Purslane receives regular 4 and 5 star comments on Restaurant blog sites with consistent views from diners: “Delicious food, reasonable prices, helpful waiter, intimate surroundings”. “Fabulous food, great service and amazing dessert.”
I absolutely agree and could not sum up the intimate charm of this wee place better, perfect for a romantic dinner a deux, or small party of friends. Call in for lunch too - a shorter menu of the same exceptional food at a bargain price.
Named after a superfood, Purslane serves super food.