Maggie Joan’s celebrates its third anniversary with a new chef and updated menu.
Maggie Joan’s, by Glen and Daniel Ballis—the same father-and-son-team behind Moosehead—has become a fixture on Gemmill Lane since it opened three years ago, and its meteoric rise can be attributed to the restaurant’s cool sophisticated vibes and contemporary cuisine.
To celebrate its third anniversary, the establishment recently unveiled a new chef and an updated menu, and we’re glad that the food is just as good, if not better, than before.
Led by group executive chef Seumas Smith, formerly the head chef at Maggie Joan’s sister restaurant Moosehead, the updated menu features modern European cuisine prepared with seasonal ingredients sourced from artisanal producers. One unique ingredient he uses in his dishes is the burnt Scottish Heather honey, which he procures from Mey Selections. Mey Selections is launched by His Royal Highness Prince Charles, to foster closer connections between farmers, fine food producers and customers, helping to maintain a balanced way of life in the Highlands of Scotland.
The Chef’s Tasting Menu ($88 for five courses) is a great way to experience chef Smith’s creativity and skills—we love how each component in all his dishes is made from scratch, and how they are all impeccably presented.
While waiting for our snacks, we were served a housebaked sourdough, which was baked to perfection—crusty on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside. The pairing of the bread with the accompanying smoked beef fat butter was divine. If we didn’t have a long list of dishes to tackle, we would have requested for seconds.
We had two entrées: Hamachi crudo, almond, trout roe and edamame; as well as beetroot, smoked crème fraiche, walnuts and burnt honey, and both were exceptional. The beetroot dish, for instance, comprising fresh Australian beetroot done two ways—barbecued in an INKA charcoal oven and pickled in a solution of red wine vinegar, wine and sugar—served with smoked crème fraiche, fresh pomegranate, candied walnuts, upland cress and burnt honey dressing, offered the perfect balance of flavours and textures.
Our dining experience reached a new high with the mains—our top favourite was the barramundi, mussels, cavelo nero and parsley nage. We loved how every component of the dish, from the delicate flavour of the locally farmed fish to the briny savouriness of the mussels, melded together so perfectly.
Meat lovers will enjoy the duck breast, carrot, plum and buckwheat dish—the meat was cooked to pink perfection and went well with the other elements on the plate.
We polished off the dessert of blackberries, yoghurt sorbet and shiso, which was deliciously light.