South Queensferry restaurant Thirty Knots offers hearty food and stunning views - review
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Only a short train ride from Edinburgh city centre, Thirty Knots is located on the shore of the Firth of Forth, just beneath the iconic Forth Bridge. If you're lucky enough to secure a window seat, you will be treated to a stunning view of the towering structure.
After we were greeted by the friendly staff and seated in the stylish dining area, our server quickly came to take our drinks orders, but the cocktail list was so long that we had to send them away for more time to think. After much contemplation, I decided to try their take on my favourite drink – a Mojito. Their ‘Victorian’ version was served with gin instead of rum, and was tart but sweet – a refreshing start to the meal. My boyfriend ordered a perfect serve gin-and-tonic, which was a simple choice, but one he enjoyed.
We had an even harder time deciding on our food orders. The menu had much to choose from - from pub classics like burgers, steaks and mac-and-cheese to slightly more adventurous dishes like charred corn, nagasaki crunch and a Californian chicken bun. After much deliberating we decided on two small plates and two mains – hoping that it would be enough food, while still leaving room for dessert.
Salt and chilli squid is a favourite dish of mine, so I knew I had to order Thirty Knots’ version – and luckily I wasn’t disappointed. As a seafood lover, I've tried calamari and squid at quite a few fine-dining fish restaurants in my time, but this was the best I’ve ever tasted. The squid was flavourful and perfectly crispy, and came with a delicious tangy Vietnamese dip, which I couldn’t get enough of.
We also ordered the slow-braised pork belly bites, which were served with a burnt onion garlic mayo, pork scratchings, panko crumbs and a watercress salad. The pork was delicious, as was the sauce, however, I would have loved a little more of the latter.
The portion sizes for both starters were generous – I was already starting to feel a little full before the mains arrived. But arrive they did – so I dug into the even bigger portions.
I ordered the King Rib Supper, a slow-cooked pork with a sweet and salty char sui glaze. The meat was tender and juicy, and the rich umami sauce was the perfect accompaniment. The meal was served with fries drizzled in a spiced Katsu ketchup – which made for an interesting but tasty addition.
We also tried the Karrag Chicken Bao Buns. Inside the soft bao buns were bites of crispy chicken – which were nice, although could have been a little more flavourful. However, the zesty srircha mayo served with the dish made up for the chicken’s lack of seasoning. I’m not usually a fan of coleslaw, but loved the crunchy asian slaw that was served alongside. The dish also came with chilli fries, which had just the right amount of spice without being overwhelming.
The dessert menu had a host of incredible options, including Salted Caramel Cheesecake and the Limoncello and Scorched Italian Meringue Tart. Sadly, we were so full from the huge portion sizes that we couldn’t squeeze another bite in, but I’ll definitely be returning another time to try some delectable desserts.
We left Thirty Knots feeling content after a lovely night full of delicious food and drink. Whether or not you live nearby, this South Queensferry restaurant is definitely one to visit.