The Anstruther Fish Bar in Fife and Edinburgh’s the Gardener’s Cottage restaurant are among 11 Scottish eateries ranked among the best places to eat in the UK by an industry guide.
The Mountain Café, Aviemore, was also added to the new listings of the prestigious Good Food Guide, as well as Glasgow restaurants Cail Bruich and Central Market and Highlands venues The Cross in Kingussie, Birch Tree in Delny and the Limetree Restaurant in Moffat.
A further three eateries in the capital were among new entries to the guide this year – two of them restaurants in the luxuriously refurbished Caledonian Hotel, plus Purslane Restaurant in Stockbridge.
Earlier this year, the Gardener’s Cottage was named the Good Food Guide’s Regional Restaurant of the Year for Scotland.
The Good Food Guide – the longest running, best-selling industry “bible”, now published by Waitrose – has also named five Scottish restaurants in its top 50 places to eat in the UK.
The new entries were marked out by a preference for fresh produce, rather than sumptuous decor, experts said.
“The message from these new additions to the guide is that it is the produce doing the talking, not necessarily the surroundings,” said James Withers, chief executive of Scotland Food & Drink. “There are all types of different restaurants in here.
“Good dining doesn’t automatically mean fine dining and the emergence of a whole new generation of simple, great quality eateries is testament to this.”
The Kitchin, Restaurant Martin Wishart and Castle Terrace, all in Edinburgh, Restaurant Andrew Fairlie at the Gleneagles Hotel in Perthshire, and the Peat Inn in Fife all appeared in the UK top 50.
Restaurant Andrew Fairlie – lauded in the guide for its “awe-inspiring, luxurious” French cooking – is the highest ranking Scottish restaurant, coming 20th. L’Enclume in Cumbria and Heston Blumenthal’s the Fat Duck in Bray lead the top 50 UK-wide.
Mr Withers said: “We’re in a tough economic environment, but this doesn’t mean people spend less, it actually means in many cases people spend smarter.
“There are chefs the length and breadth of Scotland tapping in to that, and embracing top quality food produced on their doorstep to do it.”
Elizabeth Carter, consultant editor of the Good Food Guide, said: “Scotland seems to be a magnet for talented chefs.
“While the country has a wealth of top restaurants, particular acknowledgement must go to the new entries in Waitrose Good Food Guide 2014 – it’s great to see more and more simple, good-value restaurants entering the guide.
“I really am impressed by the high standard of all our Scottish restaurants. Long may this continue.”
Scotland is also home to some of the longest-serving restaurants listed in the Good Food Guide, which has carried out anonymous restaurant reviews for the past 63 years since being founded by journalist Raymond Postgate.
The Ubiquitous Chip in Glasgow has appeared in the guide for 42 years, while the Airds Hotel in Port Appin, Inverlochy Castle in Fort William and Ostlers Close in Cupar have all been listed for more than 30 years.
New Scottish entries: What they said
The Limetree Restaurant, Moffat “Colourful cooking with emphatic ﬂavours”
Anstruther Fish Bar, Fife “This traditional chippy, a local institution, also does a great turn as an eat-in restaurant, with friendly if slightly erratic waitress service.”
Galvin Brasserie de Luxe, Caledonian Hotel, Edinburgh “On the food front there’s nothing fussy or gratuitously showy. The assured cooking has clear flavours.”
Purslane Restaurant, Edinburgh “A smart basement restaurant where chef/patron Paul Gunning’s aspiring menu of precise dishes reflects his experience under the likes of Jeff Bland at Balmoral’s Number One.”
The Gardener’s Cottage, Edinburgh “‘Yum bloomin’ scrum’, reports another reader. We concur.”
Cail Bruich, Glasgow “Trendy, bohemian and slightly pampered, Glasgow’s West End is well placed to support a restaurant of serious intent with a list of artisan suppliers as long as your arm. Cail Bruich (‘Eat Well’) rises effortlessly to the occasion.”
The Pompadour by Galvin, Caledonian Hotel, Edinburgh “Inspired dining in the heart of the city”
The Cross, Kingussie “The whole experience was superb … nothing was rushed. The chef is obviously very passionate and staff were very knowledgeable.”
Mountain Café in Aviemore “A jewel in the midst of Aviemore.”
Birch Tree, Delny “It’s a real find in such a rural area”
Central Market, Glasgow “The interior (white tiled walls, slate floors, busy chefs on show) sports the kind of stripped back, dining-in-the-kitchen brand of cool that says the food is the star.”