Haggis and offal at the dogs

No trip to Scotland would be complete without trying haggis. I've heard many stories about how disgusting and awful it is, but Markus and I always try foods that are native to their country. You understand a country and it's people better when you live and eat like they do.  It's part of the whole experience.

Our dear friend, Ari, was great at finding really posh restaurants for a reasonable price. We ate and drank at some amazing places all throughout our trip. The first place that we ate at in Edinburgh was at the dogs. On their website they're described as, "a place for everyone who wishes to partake of great value food and wine, in a chilled environment with no frills or fuss, great kids to help, and a pretty eclectic soundtrack." I think this is a perfect description for the dogs. 

After in being in Asia for a year, we almost forgot what Western life is like. Eating at the dogs was a great way to reacquaint ourselves. The menu isn't very extensive and they focus on Scottish and British staples. We decided to order food with offal ingredients. In the UK, they tend to eat more meals with offal in them than we do in America. I know many of my friends and family can't stand blood sausage or liver, but my parents were very adamant about making sure that I had a broad pallet. As I've gotten older I try not to be discriminatory with my food, and try everything at least once. Although, I believe there are exceptions to the rule.  Durian, anyone? 

So with my mind set on adventurous eating, I quickly ordered a plate of haggis, neeps and tatties, which happen to be turnips and mashed potatoes. Markus decided to try deviled ox liver, onions, bacon and mushrooms on toast. Our friend James chose the British staple black pudding hash, but with a twist, the addition of a fried duck egg. 

Once our food arrived to our table, I knew that this was going to be a meal that I would never forget. My first bite of haggis was really delicious. There wasn't a hint of any unpleasant flavors. You would think that there would be a hint of metallic taste from the heart, liver, stomach or lungs, but there wasn't. The chef at the dogs created a savory and tasty haggis that I wish I knew how to recreate in Korea. The black pudding was delicious and the fried duck egg balanced out the flavors created in the hash. The biggest surprise was the deviled ox liver. I didn't expect to like it. When I first tried it, the flavors were overwhelming. It was cooked in a very spicy sauce, but it melded well with the tinny flavor of the liver. The toast really helped soothe the mouth from the hot spices. 

Overall my first experience with British offal was amazing and one that I will not forget. Markus and I spent the rest of our two weeks reminiscing on our first Scottish meal. We kept wishing that we could eat that same meal again and again. When the days turn cold here in Korea, I'll hold close the memory of haggis to keep me warm and comforted. 

the dogs logo: the dogs