Haar, St Andrews

Haar: A cold sea fog that most often occurs on the east coast of Scotland.

But also a new(ish) and rather good restaurant up in St. Andrews. We were visiting St.Andrews at the beginning of February for our anniversary weekend and having read great things about Haar we decided to give it a try. The aim of restaurant is to give you a sensory experience that you have never had before, using local and sustainable produce and that they most certainly did!

At the beginning of the year the restaurant was running a Tasting Series, focusing each week on a different countries cuisine, we were there for Italy. It is a 6 -course tasting menu with an extra course or two you can have thrown in (naturally we did, in for a penny in for a pound!) and paired wines.

The restaurant is located on North Street in St Andrews, so pretty central. Upon arrival we were shown to a bar area to enjoy a cocktail or two and look over the menu, which was nice not being rushed to the table. The Head Chef also owns Lunan Gin and so a number of their delicious cocktails are based on this.

I’m always nervous of tasting menus having been a bit of fussy eater in the past, but this one all sounded great and I liked the fact we were asked not only if we had any allergies but also was there anything on the menu we didn’t like or couldn’t eat. I drew the line at Oysters (course 1) so I got a very tasty butternut squash veloute instead!

So first up was the nice juicey Oyster with Bloody Mary and Parma Ham, followed by the Vitello Tonnato with a Pepper Crisp. I did not realise what a Vitello Tonnato was (I also draw the line at raw meat) its a veal tartare with tuna mayo.. yep… tuna mayo and raw meat. However, it was truly delicious!

Next up was the chefs signature dish a Smoked Lobster and Butter. You will recognise this dish if you have ever eaten in Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles, as the chef learnt from the best and put his own twist on it. Following on was a beautiful piece of Coley served with Courgette and Coriander Pesto, and keeping on the fish theme was the optional Scallop course, a big juicy scallop.

Our final savoury course was Pork (loin and belly) with spiced tomato and orzo pasta, which was a great way to end the savoury part of the meal. All the dishes were beautifully presented and certainly a feast for the eyes and the tastebuds!

Before dessert there is an optional cheese course, which we declined, but we did get a choice of two desserts, a deconstructed Tiramisu and a Tarte Tatin. We decided to go with one of each and agreed to share (since it was a special occasion!) Both were delicious the tiramisu light, coffeey and slightly boozy, with the Tart Tatin being fresh with a nice light pastry and great big scoop of ice cream.

All wine pairings were excellent too and we finished it all off with a little Port before rolling / staggering off into the night back to our hotel!

If you happen to be in St. Andrews or fancy going somewhere a bit different, I would definitely recommend giving Haar a try.