Restaurant review: HATCH, St Andrews

We had only planned to go for a walk, visit a bookstore or two, and buy a Fisher & Donaldson fudge donut.

I’ve never tried this Fife delicacy, and for some reason algorithms on the internet have decided I’m the Scottish version of Homer Simpson.

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If he shows me another photo of one, I’ll eat my phone. I have already nibbled a corner.

Either way, the drizzle and haar changed our plans, as well as the fact that there was a long line outside their Church Street bakery.

Still, I could see from the window that there were hundreds of them in stock – a mosaic’s worth along the shelves, with their matte and buff glaze lids.

There was enough luck to come back later.

hatch

To shelter us, we looked for a new location, HATCH, which is not named after the catering vents we got used to during the lockdown.

Instead, owner Julie Dalton created a coat rack with the names of her two children, Harrison and Charlie, with the T doubling as a + in the logo.

We grabbed a high stool by the door and wondered how many of their little plates we could fit on the titchy table, along with the lantern and the water bottle and glasses, before we banished those thoughts. It’s not the guests’ job to worry about ergonomics.

They recommended two or three dishes each, as well as some extra carbs or pud. Some are smaller than others which is reflected in the price.

Miso salmon

The first was the Miso Salted Salmon (£ 5.95) – a dreamy and delicately scented creation, with a fishy cross section, as well as sweet magnolia-colored buttermilk that was marbled with herbal oil and topped with sprigs of dill, frosted purslane, thin wedges of apple and cucumber.

It worked well with their summer bellini basil smash (£ 7.50) – my fantastic cocktail, thanks to a sour lemon juice flavor, with Bombay Sapphire, peach cream, champagne syrup, basil and just one. amaranth flower floating on top, like the bathing cap thrown by Esther Williams after a shark attack.

The traditional roasted beets (£ 5.50) were a pretty thing, served on a plate the color of a blood moon. There were vegetable nuggets, as well as tiny drops of an ultra-cheesy gouda cream, plus apple slices, basil, and thin pieces of sourdough bread.

Another bigger dish – their heavenly piece of Atlantic sole (£ 12.95) – was so fluffy and light I felt a little sorry for having to carry a backpack of samphire, brown shrimp , spinach, capers and a little brown butter and lemon.

Atlantic sole

If those options slipped into ballet slippers, the rich and deep ox cheek (£ 12.95) misted up in steel-hooded bovver boots, then kicked in the door. The meat had gummy, melted connective tissue and was covered with a tarry soy sauce and honey. In case that wasn’t enough umami for you, there was a sprinkling of feathery katsuobushi on top, and mushrooms, seaweed, and wild rice in the mix.

The sides were also punchy. Chunks of breaded polenta (£ 5.95) were topped with grated Cuddy’s Cave thatch and a mayo chevron injected with jalapeno, while dauphine potato fries shaped like fortune cookies (6.25 £) had soft centers and were served. with a dispersion of smoked almonds and Romesco sauce.

I was wondering if we should have pudding or save ourselves for our donut trip.

In the end, the chocolate and hazelnut butter ganache (£ 5.25) won our order. It was an interesting combination – an ultra-sweet brick of chocolate, topped with tiny transparent melting pearls of yuzu granita and ginger, micro cilantro, praline veils and crushed macadamia nuts.

We also tried the Rhubarb and Custard (£ 8.25), which featured a solid cylinder of wobbly cold custard, like the innards of a baker’s slice, along with chunks of meringue, pistachio crumbs and other nibbled pieces.

Guess it’s also good that they were completely exhausted by the time we left this place and got along with the baker.

As grandmother said, what is done for you will not go by you. In this case, it was the wonderful HATCH that was meant for us, not fudge-coated donuts.

I can always eat my phone instead.

How much? Lunch for two, excluding drinks, £ 63.05

Dishes at this place, which includes a bookable outdoor patio, can include steak cooked on their Josper grill, or Kiev-style corn-fed chicken with baby gem bbq, bacon, and Parmesan. They also do afternoon tea and have a kids menu.

Balgove Larder, Strathtyrum Farm, St Andrews (01334 898145, www.balgove.com)

On your way to St Andrews, head to this farm shop for one of their excellent steak pies, or check out their Steak Barn or the new Pizza box, which offers sourdough pizzas topped with local treats, including cheese from Fromagerie St Andrews.

Tom Morris Bar & Grill, West Sands Road, St Andrews (01334 466 642, www.standrews.com)

This restaurant was opened in time to celebrate the golf icon Old Tom Morris‘200th birthday on June 16, although you don’t have to be a golfer to visit. Expect a menu of 80 whiskeys and plenty of local produce including Balgove burgers, Jannettas Ice cream Gelateria and shellfish from East Neuk.

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