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November 22, 2019

A new gin, a new Indian restaurant in Edinburgh and two new pop-ups - it's all going on.

Can you have too much gin? Are we at peak gin in Scotland?

It seems almost sacrilegious to ask.

Chef Dean Banks (main pic) thinks the gin boom has some way to run because he has just launched his own Lunun gin.

Owner of the recently opened Haar restaurant in St Andrews and a former finalist on MasterChef: The Professionals, Dean said:

'I’ve always wanted to create my own gin and it seems like the next natural step for me after establishing my restaurant in St Andrews. I wanted to create something that people judge solely on the taste and not the hype that often comes with contemporary artisan gins – in fact, Lunun is the opposite to an artisan gin. There’s no smoke and mirrors with Lunun. People who appreciate a quality-tasting gin without any of the other nonsense will enjoy this one.'

Influenced by Dean’s travels to over 40 different countries and his expertise in fusion cooking, it is made with six botanicals - kaffir lime leaf, sea buckthorn, Sichuan pepper, kombu kelp, ginger and lemongrass.

Distilled in Dean’s hometown of Arbroath in Angus, the gin’s name is an adaptation of Angus’ most peaceful and secluded beach, Lunan Bay.

Indian street food

As we mentioned in an earlier blog, Masti Indian restaurant has been taking shape in Edinburgh's Morningside over the last few weeks.

If all goes to plan, Masti - the name means 'fun' in Hindi - will officially open today (Friday 22nd November).

Specialising in Indian street food, the restaurant is BYOB.

Where's me horned helmet?

Thor's Tipi Bar is already pillaging in York.

Thor's Tipi Bar is already pillaging in York. Pic: Facebook.

Moving from Morningside to the top of Waverley Mall, Thor's Tipi Bar is a new Christmas pop-up with a unique selling point.

Apparently, it's a Viking-themed bar with the tongue-in-cheek slogan: Drink, feast, conquer, repeat.

Wooden tables, furs and a fire pit all add to the atmos. As do the hot and cold cocktails.

We did chuckle at the marketing bumf referring to 'Viking hygge'.

Blood-spattered Viking warriors will be birling in their graves at being co-opted into the cosy, Scandi hygge concept.

Taco time at The Gate

Zipping across the M8, look out for MASA bringing their hand-pressed tacos to The Gate for a kitchen takeover next weekend (Thursday 28th-Saturday 30 November).  

MASA is the brainchild of chef, Derek Park. Having worked in leading Glasgow restaurants including Crabshakk, Ox and Finch and most recently alongside Julie Lin MacLeod at Julie’s Kopitiam, Derek’s cooking style is centred around fresh flavours influenced by season. 

He said:

'MASA is simply about tacos at their best; every flavour element has been well planned and prepared, served on the freshest possible tortillas. Our tacos are hand-pressed, vibrant and we can’t wait to take over The Gate for our first East End pop-up!'

We'll have the cauliflower al pastor taco, please. It's topped with charred pineapple, avocado mojo and pickled onion.