Maison Valentina present you selection of five iconic Michelin-starred restaurants in Edinburg. Worldwide known chefs’ and luxury design interior will amaze you.
#1 The Kitchin
Of course, you can melt the credit card with the tasting or seasonal menus at this ultra-slick Leith restaurant, but Tom Kitchin has also brought his Michelin-starred brand of fine dining to a refreshingly wide audience of food lovers. A set lunch menu offers all the precision, provenance and presentation you’d expect from a restaurant groaning with accolades, but without requiring a second mortgage. Straw-smoked herring ‘leaping’ through a hoop of finely spun crisp potato with artful islands of dill-flavoured sauce is a dish in point. Calves’ liver of a perfect pink richness is sweetened with orange sauce and a tatin of endive. Pork belly crackles and oozes meatiness in the right proportions. A lemon soufflé is all about lightness and flavour; custard tart and poached rhubarb are ideal plate mates. It’s all simple in concept, but still ultra sophisticated. Not food for making headlines, but for giving pleasure and putting you at ease. But then, ‘Nature to Plate’ is the concept here, so ultimately – and a little ironically – the food is the star here, not the chef.
Martin Wishart’s eponymous venue remains a mecca for Edinburgh’s high earners and food connoisseurs. Dishes are divine and the service second to none.
It’s more than that Michelin star. Restaurant Martin Wishart has a certain caché. It is a place to propose, to woo, to seal the deal. If it’s on the expense account, lucky you. If not, buy the ticket, take the ride: choose a tasting menu, with accompanying sommelier-guided wines if you wish, and let them show you what they’re capable of. And bang, straight off the bat, an exquisite beetroot macaroon sets the tone, followed by a dainty, impeccable amuse bouche. Next up, black truffle sauce steals the praise from langoustine and confit chicken; then sherberty cerviche of halibut with mango and passion fruit is a prawn cocktail taken to another level. On the fish-themed tasting menu, the John Dory is boat-fresh and gutsy, while on the main taster is a two-course capsule roast dinner in miniature, first flame cake and crispy ox tongue, followed by soft cinnamon-pecked veal cheek and near-scene-stealing goat’s cheese gnocchi. Pause with port and a choice of cheese before either chocolate or caramel-themed afters, both as assured as all that’s been before. The petits fours, precisely presented by a white-gloved waiter, are a fitting finale.
Opened in 2006, the Plumed Horse has demanded – and garnered – a lot of attention from food critics and lovers of eating out.
To begin at the end – and a mighty fine end indeed, distinguished by desserts as delightful on the eye as the spoon. A vibrant gingerbread mousse contrasts with sweet, crunchy ‘rocks’ of honeycomb, a thing of true beauty. Then nougat parfait, delicately sandwiched between crunchy layers, accompanied by a deeply satisfying winter fruit salad. Of course, such elegant desserts are quite in keeping with the style of this U-shaped room in deepest Leith. The rest of the menu will not disappoint those in search of fine-ish dining with a degree of amuse-bouched, petit-foured splendour. But despite its pedigree, the Plumed Horse is no fussy thoroughbred. Sauteed calves’ liver, unpink, meets thick, salty pancetta on horseradish mash. Roast breast of guinea fowl has mash too, with an exuberant plate-smear of carrot puree. You get the picture: Tony Borthwick’s food still looks, and tastes, like, well, food. The wine keeps pace with this approach: thorough and full of reward. Which brings us to the end, and those desserts …
#4 . Number One
If you’re looking for a place for a romantic meal and some seriously imaginative cuisine, head for Number One, where the dining room and the food are both opulent.
From the moment you enter Number One there is little doubt that every aspect of this operation is a very classy affair. The surroundings are stylish and the welcome is warm. This is exactly what you would expect from Michelin-starred fine dining, from the melt-in-the-mouth canapés served with drinks in the bar area, to the range of little treats arriving between courses. Each dish is beautifully presented: a starter of scallops with glazed chicken wings, cauliflower and garam masala is a beautiful combination, while red deer with red cabbage, sprout leaves, bitter chocolate and a perfectly constructed mini bridie is an exquisite dish. Turbot with squid linguine, parsnips and shellfish sauce is equally remarkable, although the portion of perfectly cooked fish could be slightly larger. An impressive trolley of cheeses circulates, or for a sweeter conclusion opt for Valrhona chocolate cremeux, caramelia mousse and banana ice-cream. This is impressive food with an old-fashioned air to the dedicated service.
With interior design as interesting as the food itself, 21212 may be a relative newcomer to the Edinburgh Michelin scene, but is fast becoming an established player on the gourmet track.
The name 21212 derives from its unusual menu concept, offering two choices for starter, main and dessert interspersed with soup and cheese (you can choose to have three, four or five courses). However, what’s truly original is chef Paul Kitching’s style of cooking. Each dish is composed of many carefully mingled elements: a kind of symphony in food. Marrakesh chicken, for instance, melds slices of breast and leg meat with a spoonful of spicy baked egg, prunes, a curl of crispy bacon, seared courgette slivers, fennel puree and saffron pancake. Even simple vegetable soup turns out to be a multi-layered truffly broth with tiny perfect veggies peeking under a leek foam. This artful flair is mirrored in the restaurant’s elegant styling, the Georgian splendor of Royal Terrace enhanced with veiled walls, curving banquettes and statement lighting. Upstairs, there’s a private dining room and more intimate ‘Pod’ seating six in white leather luxury around a pink marble table. Service is relaxed and friendly, with a modern interpretation on everything from napkins to coffee. Savoir every detail as you will every mouthful.