Hi, my name’s Emma and I have a problem I’d like to share with the group – every time someone says ‘timber’ I start signing “It’s going down, I’m yelling timber. You better move, you better dance. Let’s make a night you won’t remember. I’ll be the one you won’t forget.” Thanks Ke$sha and Pitbul!
It’s inappropriate at the best of times, but what’s worse is I hate myself for singing along to the rather catchy objectification and degradation of women. Now we can’t blame Edinburgh based restaurant Timberyard for my subconscious instantly linking it with the country and western dance beat but hey, it was my background song for the meal so I thought I’d use it to set the scene for this review.
Unlike ‘Timber’, Timberyard is classy, sophisticated and the perfect way to start a romantic date. From the moment we walked through the big old, fire house doors, Jon and I knew we were in for a treat. As we were shown to our table, past the wood burner and complete with tartan wool blanket to keep me all snuggled up, I knew we wouldn’t be leaving any time soon.
As I briefly mentioned somewhere up there, Timberyard is built into an old fire house so there’s a big warehouse style feel with beautiful reclaimed brickwork and wrought iron. The room is then delicately lit with soft, exposed bulbs and candles at your table. Despite being such a big open space it felt really quite intimate and warm.
Once we’d settled down we put our minds towards ordering a drink or two. The cocktail list is quite simply amazing – I had NO idea where to begin because you’re not going to find anything predictable or ‘classic’ here. During our meal I had what was essentially a martini infused with pin and a whisky cocktail spiked with dill and cucumber which tasted like the breeze wafting through a kitchen garden on a spring day. Quite simply, amazing. Soft drinks are equally inventive boasting flavours like pickled blueberry and if you’re after something simpler, you’ll find the best malt whiskies, gins and other spirits behind the bar.
But enough about the drinks…like many of the other top end restaurants in Edinburgh, they have a real focus on sustainability and the ingredients are all supplied by small, local, artisan growers, breeders, producers suppliers and even foragers! This means a menu that not only changes with the seasons but the weeks and days. I loved how they stamped the date in the corner of the menu so you knew how long it had been served for – in our case just two days prior.
We did consider going for the full 8 course menu, but it being out last night in Edinburgh we were quite frankly already quite full. We had overindulged. Instead we ordered the following (mine / Jon’s):
Bites: celeriac, crab, horseradish, pear, soured cream, toast / beetroot, kohlrabi, cabbage, spelt, curd, whey, scurvy grass
Small: mallard, squash, chard, elderberry, liver, onion / cauliflower, red cabbage, goats curd, rye, celery, seeds, ales, sprouts
Large: smoked beef, cauliflower, kholrabi, mushroom, kale, radish, ramps / artichoke, truffle, onion, shallot, potato, mushroom, hazelnut
Sweet: milk, nut, honeycomb, egg, hay, barley / British cheese, biscuits, quince
You’ll notice at no point there have I used the words starter, main, dessert etc. The bite is like a large appetiser, the small like a large starter or small main, the large like a normal main and the sweet…well it doesn’t take a genius to work out that that’s a dessert. The portions are very reasonable so if you do visit get all four courses. You will be pleasantly full without being stuffed. If you were looking for a lighter meal I really wouldn’t know where to begin suggesting which course to leave out. You’d really be missing out on something special!
Don’t let this quirky ordering system put you off.
So what can you expect with the food? Firstly, you can expect interesting ingredients. Jon, bless him, wasn’t always entirely sure what he was eating and if I’m perfectly honest neither was I. So you may need a bit of a sense of adventure but I promise you they are only putting things on your plate that the God’s would be willing to eat. This food is truly something special!
You can also expect food created with passion and care. The ingredients were painstakingly laid out on the plate in what can only be described as an expression of art. The servers were again incredibly knowledgeable and passionate about the food they were serving. They could answer any questions you through at them, were really up on their dietary requirements (checking things like animal rennet in the cheese for Jon) and they were more than happy to accommodate even the strangest of requests.
If I lived in Edinburgh without a doubt I would be hiring out their private dining room at every opportunity – birthday, engagement meal, anniversary… you name it!
Have you visited Timberyard in Edinburgh? Is it on your list of top 10 restaurants on Edinburgh? It’s certainly on mine!