Restaurant Review - The Adamson, St Andrews

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Yes, I’ll admit it, there’s something very fishy about me! Pescetarianism means that when I go out for lunch or dinner my food choice is based on what fish I fancy and the fancier the fish the better.

So when we arrived at the Adamson in St Andrews I immediately scoured the menu for a fish to float my boat.

It wasn’t hard; with an added liking for all things hot and spicy the Thai fish cakes (pictured) certainly fitted the bill.

Unlike many shop-bought fish cakes, the inside wasn’t just a fishy-tasting potato mash; instead the small, fresh chunks of fish were delicately put together with a sprinkling of fresh red chili.

The presentation was also well-put together with a dinky little saucepan containing a sweet chili and basil mayonnaise (pictured).

My husband tried the chorizo and feta stuffed baby squid. Both starters were excellent and at £6.95 and £7.50 respectively, weren’t too highly priced for a St Andrews establishment.

Before we had time to take much of a breather our main course arrived and again my fish dish - this time lobster and king prawn linguine (£19.50) - proved to be very fresh and extremely tasty.

I don’t usually opt for a pasta dish when I’m out, primarily because I exist on it at home and it irks me when restaurants put a hefty price tag on something which can be bought for next to nothing in a supermarket. However, in this case the delicate parcel of linguine in a light tomato sauce was a good partner to the seafood. Although it looked stunning it also proved to be quite filling, a combination some restaurants can’t quite master.

The blade of beef with buttered savoy cabbage, crispy potato and forestiere sauce (£17.50) was declared one of the Adamson ‘favourites’ and seemed to be a popular choice with fellow diners that night.

However, while it looked simply delicious - even for a someone who doesn’t eat red meat - my husband wasn’t too convinced. He said it was tasty enough but he’d been imagining a chunky slice of well-cooked meat more akin to steak, than a dod of beef which tasted more like the chunks you get in a steak pie. He did eat most of it, washed down with a pint of the restaurant’s only draught lager, St Mungo (£3.90).

Again, our empty plates disappeared quickly and I almost wanted to ask the waitress to slow it down a bit.

We were having a very rare night out after all and it would’ve been nice to have been able to savour it a bit longer! Not to worry, the desserts came and we were able to linger over a perfect creme brulee (me) and sticky toffee pudding and ice cream (him), both £5.

My brulee came with two little pieces of shortbread and while welcome, were actually too much even for someone with a sweet tooth like me. The sticky toffee pudding was declared suffiently sticky and substantial.

We finished off our meal with a coffee and a peppermint tea. The tea came in a lovely white teapot full of fresh mint leaves. Other diners may have been tempted to complete the experience by sampling a beer from the Eden Brewery or a glass of ‘The Hive’, the new 12-year-old whisky from the Wemyss Malts, but with a busy day ahead of us the next day we refrained.

Adamson director and co-founder Graham Dalton expalained the Adamson, located in the former post office in South Street, was the home of physician and pioneer photographer Dr John Adamson, whose residency there between 1848-1865 is marked by a plaque outside the restaurant. Inside there are some old cameras on display paying homage to his interest.

What probably captures the eye more, however, is the art work on the walls; some of it abstract, some of it verging on unsettling.

One feature sure to draw the eye is the open plan kitchen run by head chef Scott Davies. Watching the fast, efficient service from our seats we were left in no doubt that the running of the Adamson is a slick operation.