Here at Castlehill Restaurant, two-minutes’ walk from Dundee’s thriving waterfront and the V&A Design museum, we offer diners a sophisticated Scottish menu using locally sourced produce.
Our friendly front-of-house team will warmly welcome you to our small, elegant restaurant, and our award-winning chef Graham Campbell will ensure your meal offers a unique taste of Scotland. His menus are based on the best of the country’s natural larder and presented with an innovative and creative approach. He always lets the best Scottish ingredients shine through, but loves putting a playful twist on dishes, and creating delicious flavour and texture combinations.
We are all about the food, of course. But we also love great wine. We use specialist Scottish wine merchants to source a fine selection to complement our range of dishes. See the wine list here.
Graham, 36, is an established Scottish chef, born in Oban on the West Coast, with experience in several of the UKs best restaurants. He has been a star of BBC’s Great British Menu, and is a competitor in a 2018 original Netflix show, The Final Table.
Graham has an insatiable appetite for creating interesting dishes using Scotland’s brilliant natural larder. He also nurtures a love of wild foraging in the local countryside, and is often out early on the hunt for wild herbs, mushrooms, seaweed, sea vegetables, edible flowers and other unusual ingredients to create visual masterpieces and beautifully balanced tastes and textures.
He says, ‘I describe my cooking as uniquely my own with a Scottish twist. I like to experiment and play about with flavour, but it’s always Scottish at the core.’
Having started his cooking career in Oban at the Caledonian Hotel, he quickly progressed. He went on to work at Andrew Nutter’s restaurant in Rochdale, Paul Heathcote’s Longridge – which is where Graham’s fine-dining career began in earnest under the multi-talented head chef James Holah who worked with Marco Pierre White and Gordon Ramsay, among others. Graham moved back home to Scotland in 2008 for his first head chef role at The Ballachulish House hotel. Here he began to really develop his own style, and in 2009 retained the hotel’s Michelin star – at just 25 years old. It proved a huge motivator, and when the hotel sadly closed he moved onwards and upwards, working as head chef at the Lake of Menteith Hotel in the Trossachs, and finally, to Dundee to master the stoves here at Castlehill, where he has been co-owner and Chef Director since 2015.
He says, ‘I’ve worked in a lot of hotels, but being head chef at my own restaurant was always the goal – not having to think about breakfasts and in-room-dining and afternoon teas. Working at Castlehill is wonderful. I can create the food I want. In time, I’d love to oversee six or seven restaurants with Castlehill as the flagship.’
Here at Castlehill we change the menu every 2-3 weeks, keeping the menu really seasonal. Graham says, ‘I work with the food seasons – rather than just the obvious four. So, for example, asparagus are only in season for 5 weeks – and that’s when we use them. We showcase key seasonal ingredients in every dish on the menu. People love it when we have something unusual, too, such as hare. Our regular diners don’t want to come back within 6 weeks and have the exact same menu.’ Here at Castlehill Graham and his small team of chefs use only the best Scottish suppliers and as much local Scottish produce as possible.
Ancient Dundee, once encompassing just two main streets, used to be dominated by a dark cliff-faced hill, on top of which was the Castle of Dundee. Sadly, all that remains of the castle today is its name – and ours ‘Castlehill’, plus a small plaque to mark where it stood in Castle Street.
From 13th-Century references to the castle, we know that it was variously occupied by English invaders and Scottish Governors of the city. But in its distant past it is said to have been occupied by Picts and was a key fort in the stand against the Romans.
But following the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314, the castle and much of its written history was destroyed. The remaining plaque declares: site of Castle of Dundee, destroyed cir 1314. Near this spot William Wallace struck the first blow for Scottish Independence cir 1233.
In the 17th Century, a colossal statue of Apollo was built on top of the now empty hill as a shipping landmark – back then the sea harbour lapped the foot of Castle Street. Then in 1795 a street was cut through Castle Hill to improve access to the harbour. Today, behind the restaurant stands St Paul’s Cathedral, built on what is left of the castle rock.
On 3rd November 1755, further disaster struck. The aftershock of a massive Lisbon earthquake hit Dundee with a tidal wave of around 50ft, which swept away the harbour and pack houses around it. When rebuilt, the shore level was raised significantly to prevent future damage, meaning the hill was no longer such a dominant feature.
However, our name stands as a memory to what was once the route to the impressive cliff-top Dundee Castle.
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