the Scratch Series Edinburgh, pop ups

The scratch series pop ups!

Pop ups? Scratch Series?? If you don’t know what we’re talking about then chances are you’ve not been to The Scratch Series yet….don’t panic! There’s still time!! This is probably the BEST dining experience we’ve had in a long long time so we thought it only fair to share it with you, our dear Monkfish readers.

Where to start? Tricky one… seem appropriate, scroll down, get hungry, be very impressed, read a little more text then find links at the bottom to BOOK YOUR PLACE before The Scratch Series leaves sunny Edinburgh at the end of March.

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The Scratch Series is the brain child of these two gentlemen. AKA Ben Reade and David Crabtree-Logan who are taking over Iglu, Jamaica Street, Edinburgh until the end of March 2015. They have known each other for over 15 years and check out where they’ve worked….River Cottage, Nordic Food Lab, The Kitchin, Helen Brownings, Beast….there are plenty more…

the Scratch Series Edinburgh, pop ups

Yes, they’re as mad as they look…

Say Ben and David….’For four months, this omnivorous pop-up dining experience is offering food like nothing Edinburgh has seen before. The Scratch Series is founded on direct relationships with the growers, farmers, fishermen and foragers of our region- and our desire to weave the narrative of our lives through the dishes we cook and serve. We will bring you seven course suppers of refined, whimsical, thought-provoking- and above all, delicious food.  The menu will be a constantly evolving story, starting with the last of autumns bounty, preserved into the long, cold days of winter and emerging into the first green shoots of spring. We seek to surprise and delight you with a true feast.’

The pop ups have been running since the end of last year and if our visit is anything to go by you will not be disappointed. The level of cooking and innovation is seriously seriously good. We felt like we were party to a secret dinner, it’s a very intimate dining space, you get friendly with your neighbours and you eat the BEST food you’ll probably have eaten in Scotland (and beyond).

A true feast hosted by two grown men who make you laugh, fill your bellies, entertain you from front of house and the kitchen, feed you stories and leave you wanting more.

Apparently, that might be on the cards if their latest blog post is anything to go by. The Scratch Series may be coming to an end in it’s current locale but watch this space…..

So, pretty sure you’ll be wanting to book….if you’ve not clicked one of the links above then here’s what you need to know…

Supper is served at 7pm on Thursday, Friday & Saturday nights. It is a fixed menu costing 45 pounds for seven courses, with a generous bonus of teasers and treats. Seating is family-style, talking to strangers is encouraged.

Booking Inquiries:
07939 975 836

Upstairs at Iglu
2B Jamaica Street















Mast Brothers chocolate ANYONE??

Did that wake you up from your Monday afternoon slumber? OK, they might be hipsters, have ridiculous (?) beards and the outfits to go with it BUT they still make really great chocolate. And now you don’t have to travel all the way to Brooklyn in the U.S. of A to get your chocolate fix…for they’ve landed in the hipster capital of Blighty, that being Shoreditch, East London.

Quite predictable that they should set up in Shoreditch given the Mast Brothers hipster credentials but let’s face it, their customers are on the doorstep, probably know all about them already (from their hipster twitter feeds) so will part with their readies quite happily for a quality product.

Above all though, the Mast Brothers chocolate is really really GOOD!  The fact that they’re hipsters should be irrelevant, they’re a PR dream! Great look, great chocolate, cool packaging, fantastic photography, 41 thousand Instagram followers and an amazing Instagram feed to boot. Next time you’re in London you know where to go…..

the mast brothers chocolate


The Mast Brothers
19-29 Redchurch Street
Open daily 10-7

Photos thanks to The Mast Brothers chocolate 


GASTROPUB from Marks and Spencer

It’s all in the name….

from marks

….and sometimes the music…

We fancied a January challenge so when we were asked if we’d like to try out the Gastropub range from Marks and Spencer it was a case of  ”well….urm…hang on a minute, should we? Are we calorie counting – NO, is it freezing – YES, do we need #comfortfood – YES, by the bucket load – YESSSSSS’. So that was that decision made.

Marks and spencer gastropubWe love cooking from scratch at the Towers but occasionally isn’t it nice/convenient just to have dinner made for you? Yes it is.

Sometimes life gets the better of you and even though we’d love to be able to say we NEVER EVER buy ready meals, we’d be lying. So there it is, a confessional from Monkfish Towers.  Last week we were able to do Beef Bourguignon on a wednesday night, result. We dined on Slow cooked venison and pork ragu with a potato and cauliflower gratin on Friday night. And we had double yoker (YESSSS) soft boiled scotch eggs for lunch on Saturday. This was a dream of a week! This was a marks and spencer gastropub week.

There was time to catch up on Spiral Series 2 (gripping…and yes, we’re a tad behind) AND time to write blog posts, heaven.

So, was it any good? Well yes, actually it was. Not in a blow your mind, WOW, this is the best beef bourguignon we’ve ever had. And that’s not something that the gastropub range is trying to be.  But what it is, and what we think it is, is a well thought out selection/range of dishes using good ingredients, fairly rich but comforting meals, and great quality food to eat at home when life gets the better of you.

And it seems that a few fellow food bloggers think the same too. Niamh Shields, has appeared in one of the recent M&S YouTube films, view it HERE. Mmm, maybe Mrs M might get the call soon too, she’s always up for a wee TV spot every now and again….

NOTE: We’ve always liked food from Marks so were more than happy to sample their delights and let you know what we thought. This isn’t just food…. :)

AND A FURTHER NOTE: Stuck for Valentine’s Day ideas? Can’t be bothered to cook? Nope? Well neither can Mr Monkfish so Mrs M is sending him to pick up ‘Dine in for £20′ as apparently there are some runny Scotch eggs for the taking….let’s have it! Dinner from Marks again…..




There is so much going on right now it’s hard to know where to start… Mrs M has just rolled the ‘magic’ dice and it said EAT, so perhaps that is where we should start this edition of Monkfish Monday…with food…for a change.

- Popcorn to be exact. Really need one of these at the Towers…

-  We’ve been hanging out at Lovecrumbs this week, they’re ‘about to’ (inverted commas) open a new place on Brunswick Street, look out for their soon to open news via Instagram.

- Lucky Mrs M dined at Number One at The Balmoral last week just to ‘check out’ their new refurb. You’ll find her photos over on our Facebook page. Yes, it was pretty spectacular and she’s been raving on about how blooming lovely Chef Jeff Bland is…

- The Kitchin also celebrated their latest refurbishment which has extended the dining space and then some. There’s some great photos over on their new Instagram feed.

- We love this book Hemsley & Hemsley, and think you will too. Healthy yes but still really really good! They’ve inspired us to buy a spiralizer so we can do all of THIS.

- Soderberg formerly Peter’s Yard in Edinburgh has opened a HUGE bakery/pizza place in Quartermile. It looks and smells amazing, pizza by the slice, what’s not to like.

Love this short film by Carol Sachs on the rebuilding of @PolpettoW1 & the brilliant @FlorenceKnight #food #film

- And food news just in….we’re excited to be able to tell you that our friends Dram & Smoke will be ‘popping up’ during the festival this year, hurrah for that. We’ll let you know when we know more.

- Our new favourite bar in town is Spitfire, check it out!

- Finally, some light entertainment for you from Wednesday 11th February 2015. Mrs Monkfish took part in a Google Hangout on behalf of The BIG Dinner. You can tune in HERE.



Supper ClubHello 2015! We’re quick off the mark this year with a much needed update to our

Edinburgh supper club directory for 2015

Click on the image above to take you to the list or click HERE.

If there are any we’ve missed, you’ve been to, or we don’t know about please let us know via our CONTACT US page.

We are intending to update this Supper Club directory shortly to cover the whole of Scotland. Yes, there is life outside of Edinburgh ;) and there are plenty of exciting things going on including this recent find….. The Mad March Hare who have recently popped up in North Berwick at Steampunk. We will also be travelling West to sunny Glasgow where there are plenty of out of the box dining experiences going on.

Looking ahead to Summer 2015 we will be dining with Dram & Smoke who are coming up from London with their ‘Scottish’ pop-up and we will also be heading to The Secret Herb Garden for one of their ‘Full Moon Dinners‘. Soooo much going on, note to self….get diary organised….