The Herald

Dish well worth a little time

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by Brian McLeish from Moonfish Cafe in Aberdeen ESTABLISHE­D in 2004, Moonfish Cafe is located on the medieval streets of Aberdeen’s Merchant Quarter, with views of the 12th century Kirk of St Nicholas. Brian McLeish joined the restaurant in 2012, continuing on the good work from Christian Recomio who has since gone on to open Sitka and fine-dining restaurant Studio in Kuala Lumpur.

Brian is now a partner in the restaurant; his focus being on the kitchens constantly changing innovative menu, serving modern British cuisine on both lunch and dinner menus.

The bar has an extensive gin list from all around the world and an extremely interestin­g wine list, with natural wines, organic wines and bio-dynamic wines at the fore.

Run by a small team, Moonfish Cafe is a fine-dining restaurant in a comfortabl­e, relaxed environmen­t with knowledgea­ble and friendly staff.

It has also been runner-up in The Observer Food Monthly Awards for four years running, with honourable mentions in the Good Food Guide and boasts an AA Rosette.

Moonfish has also hosted a tasting series this year, which has proved extremely popular, so will continue next year with nights taking place approximat­ely every six weeks.

To mark the end of each menu, Brian hosts a seven-course tasting menu compliment­ed with wines. INGREDIENT­S: Serves 4 Overnight preparatio­n is required for vegetables Pickling liquid and glaze: 2ltr fresh orange juice 2g saffron 5g fennel seeds 5g coriander seeds 500g honey 10 whole star anise 5 bay leaf 5 whole peppercorn­s 5 whole cardamom pods 1ltr white wine 300ml white wine vinegar METHOD: 1. Add all ingredient­s for the pickling liquid to a pan and simmer until reduced to quarter of mix and put aside. 2. In a separate pan, mix wine and vinegar and simmer until reduced to quarter of mix. 3. Add both reduced liquids together and reduce by half. 4. Take quarter of mix and reduce to a glaze. 5. Set aside remaining liquid to use for pickling. Vegetables 1 green courgette 1 yellow courgette 1 red onion 1 carrot Use vegetable peeler or mandolin to create vegetables ribbons with courgettes and carrot. Finely slice red onion. Pour over the majority of hot pickling liquid, and once cooled, leave in fridge overnight. Red Mullet 4 red mullet fillets 1. Scale and pin-bone fish or use prepped fillets. 2. Place the fish flesh side down in the pickling liquid. Only use enough liquid to cover the flesh, do not let it cover the whole fish or skin. Leave for approx three hours. 3. Heat oil in a pan and place fillets skin-side down to crisp skin. Leave to cook for approx 1-2 mins, just to crisp the skin (the fish itself is already cooked via pickling, so this is only to crisp the skin). To serve 1. Drain vegetables and arrange some on plate. 2. Take fish from pan and add to dish, then decorate with remaining vegetables. 3. Garnish with the glaze and fresh coriander. Optional – a little crème fraiche works great on the side too. In associatio­n with Taste Communicat­ions.

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