Mum and I arrived at The Wee Restaurant on a dark, windy and wet February evening.
The approach to this restaurant was an experience in itself – we came off a rainswept tangle of fast wide roads onto a quiet, empty, back road which wound its way down underneath the noisy road bridge to a tiny harbour, right next to the floodlit Forth Rail Bridge.
I had heard good things about this little gem nestled directly beneath the bridges and was excited to try it.
It was delightful to get out of the rain and enter the very welcoming, very cosy, Wee Restaurant, which was surprisingly busy for a Thursday – it must have a good reputation locally to draw the crowds.
My first impressions were good – with clean, simple table settings (just 40 covers) and a warm, welcoming atmosphere, I immediately felt relaxed.
I arrived a little before Mum and had a chance to properly peruse the menus, which offered enough choice without being overwhelming.
I had read that the chef has placed an emphasis on fresh fish, which is brought in from Anstruther, further up the Fife coastline, and there were certainly a good number of fish options.
The chance to order from the Menu du Jour, designed as a smaller version of the a-la-carte menu items, was a nice idea for those who aren’t keen on huge portions, and very reasonably priced at £5 for starters, £11 for main courses and £5 for desserts.
The main menu offered a few more options and bigger-sized portions. The prices were: starters £8, main courses £20.50 and desserts £8.
To start, I chose scallops. I always love well-cooked scallops, and I think they are one of my favourite items of Scottish produce.
They were served with the classic accompaniment of black pudding and the most delicious micro salad, containing pea shoots – this added a delicate sweetness and a nice crunchy texture, which paired well with the creaminess of the scallops.
Underneath the salad I was delightfully surprised by the celeriac remoulade, which I had temporarily forgotten was part of the dish.
However, it very much reminded me it was there – creamy, aromatic and delicate, it matched perfectly with the scallops and the crunchier salad leaves on top.
Mum had potato, Parmesan and truffle oil soup to start, which was delectably smooth, and a delicate-sized portion.
For the main, I chose a fillet of hake served with a Thai-inspired noodle broth. The fish was fresh and well cooked with the skin on, which was lovely and crispy.
However the broth, for me, didn’t have the standout aromatic and spicy flavours I had hoped for and was a bit of a non-event.
Mum chose fish goujons of the day in panko breadcrumbs, which were served with excellent home cooked fries – still with the skin on, which I personally love. Again, the fish was superbly fresh, served with a top-notch homemade tartare sauce and a fresh rocket salad. I certainly hit it right with my dessert choice – chocolate pecan tart with mascarpone.
The pastry was perfect, crumbly and crisp, the chocolate filling was rich and decadent, while the pecan nuts were delightfully crunchy. It’s difficult to put into words how good the texture of the nuts were, other than to say they were the best pecans in a tart I have ever tasted!
Mum opted for apple tarte tatin, which we were told by the waitress would take 15 minutes to cook as they were made freshly to order. But in our minds this was only a positive. The pastry was expertly cooked, and had an elegant texture to it, while the apples had been caramelised beautifully.
I had a small glass of organic Italian Pinot Grigio wine to accompany my meal. The wine list had a superb number of options from different world wine regions which would cater for the majority of tastes.
I also liked the fact there were many options for both 125ml and 175ml glasses and half bottles on offer.
The service was a good balance between attentive and still allowing us time to ourselves – my only slight complaint would be that it was a little slow.
Overall, the atmosphere was unpretentious, serene and had a simple elegance to it.
For the main part, my food was really well done and reasonably priced.
The situation of the restaurant is unique and awe inspiring and I was really pleased to see a lot of fish options, given that we were so close to the water.
I would definitely be keen to visit again, or try their other restaurant in Edinburgh’s New Town.
Price: Menu du Jour: Starters £5; main courses: £11; desserts: £5. A la carte menu: Starters £8; mauns £20.50; desserts £8.
Info: The Wee Restaurant
Address: 17 Main Street, North Queensferry, KY11 1JG
Tel: 01383 616263