Eating Out In January
West Fife Eatery.
As Fife food ambassador I enjoy the fact that that Fife is a microcosm of Scotland as a whole, it’s an amazing region, just look at what we produce; There is the magnificent shore line with its 130 plus miles of world class coastal path taking in the pretty East Neuk fishing villages where lobster, crab, razor clams, langoustines and mackerel are all landed. There are all the accompanying fish processors from frozen fish to award winning fish smoke houses. There the hinterlands of the east of fife with the cereals such as oats and barley for the distilleries, further inland we have great vegetables even peppers! There are all categories of livestock from grass fed cattle and sheep to pigs and poultry with a few small producers of rare breed pigs such as Gloucester Old spot and Soay sheep. Then of course there are fruit farms and our famous and only artisan cheese maker, and not to forget our wild harvest, from roe deer, partridge, pheasant in the hills to mushrooms such as chanterelle and ceps in the woods and all manner of herbs and plants from wild garlic, made use of by Trotter’s Independent Condiments with his Wild garlic pesto, to rowan and elderberries. I plan to look more closely at these as the year progresses. But this has become a long introduction to my main subject! Which is west Fife, as Food ambassador I try to cover the whole region and talk about the whole area, but in general when I do my food tours people want to visit the East Neuk so I take them to Ardross farm shop and the East Pier smoke house and the wonderful chocolate maker the Cocoa tree in Pittenweem and then we often cook together using the produce we have seen and tasted.
But what of the west, I think because of the proximity to Edinburgh and the motorway, visitors tend to be less inclined to explore. St Andrews and its environs are a draw, but there is much to see and do, and perhaps also the locals are less aware of their natural heritage in the region. I was involved in he Bruce festival a few years back and it was noticeable that local visitors were not interested in produce from their region, the fact that Kirkcaldy and Dunfermline Farmers markets are never as well attended as St Andrews shows this, all credit then to number 29 in Dunfermline a quirky eatery in the attractive Bruce street in the old town, which interestingly is just up from the Glen gates where the farmers market used to be, but due to the poor attendance there the market has now moved out east to the Fife Leisure park where admittedly the parking is much better. Anyway back to Bruce street and dine at 29, Restaurant Manager Neil Gardner tells me that the new menu is aimed at a young Dunfermline market and judging by the night we were there its working, but he is also determined to introduce local produce. It’s a fun place to be, which feels like a cellar or basement, with large pillars down the middle and a brick wall at one end. There is an eclectic mix of pictures, framed tartan and mirrors on the walls, all adding to the eclectic feel. Loud music is mainly Scottish contemporary with the Proclaimers and Texas featuring heavily. The menu is aimed at a young market with families and covers most bases. But do try the “hot rocks” steaks, as although it’s a bit of theatre you can cook your steak yourself at the table exactly as you want it! Neil wants to use local producer Puddledub for his meat and that will develop in time. John Bonner the executive chef has worked hard to create dishes which appeal to his market and are well presented and colourful. One hopes that the good people of Dunfermline will support such an admirable enterprise.
Dine at 29
29 Bruce Street Dunfermline
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